Gary Kubiak isn’t the Broncos head coach anymore, but he’s still an influential member of the staff in Denver.
Kubiak — once drafted as John Elway’s backup quarterback — has done just about everything for the Broncos. From player, to world-class offensive coordinator for Mike Shanahan’s teams, to eventually becoming the team’s head coach and leading them to a Super Bowl 50 victory.
And after retiring in 2016, Kubiak’s taken on the role of Senior Personnel Adviser in Denver, helping with the draft — which the Broncos dominated in April — as well as being “very involved” in the offense, according to offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
“Very involved, even to this day,” Musgrave said on Thursday at Dove Valley. “I was able to spend a considerable amount of time with him this morning. He’s forgotten more football then all of us will ever know, It’s great to have him as a resource. I’m always hitting him up when he has a moment, amongst his personnel duties.”
Musgrave is in his second year as the Broncos offensive coordinator after most recently being in the same role with the Oakland Raiders. He’s been a coach for 20 years in the NFL and was actually a Broncos quarterback in 1995-96.
Musgrave’s offense loves to run with the power, which means pulling a guard or tackle — or both — to open up a lane for the running back. He also loves to bully defensive linemen with interesting other ways of blocking them. Here, we see Matt Paradis block back to his right, while right guard Connor McGovern moves up to the second level and opens a gaping hole for Freeman:
What does Kubiak love? Well, he enjoys the misdirection plays.
Remember John Elway or Jake Plummer when the Broncos got down into the red zone? Kubiak would dial up the play-action fake, and then have his quarterback roll out naked and find a tight end for an easy touchdown. That play still works today, at every level, fooling defenses from pee-wee to the pros.
So, could we see a little of that “trickeration” this year with Case Keenum and the Broncos receivers? You never know.
Considering how bland and lackluster the Broncos offense has been the last few years, they can take all the creativity possible from Kubiak at this point.
And, this year’s offense is promising to be much improved compared to the last few seasons. First and foremost, there’s a legitimate quarterback in Keenum. Second, the rookies Freeman, Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton and more are ready to set the offense on fire. And now Kubiak is helping Musgrave in the offensive development area.
The Broncos were 27th in scoring offense in 2017, at 18.1 points per game, so anything and everything different should be considered by Musgrave. Luckily for Broncos fans, he’s listening to Kubiak.