Gary Kubiak needs little introduction to Broncos fans. He was heavily involved in all three of the organization’s Super Bowl victories, winning two as an offensive coordinator and one as a head coach.

In addition to playing nine seasons in a Denver uniform from 1983-91, Kubiak spent 13 seasons as a member of the Broncos coaching staff, in different capacities. Furthermore, Kubiak was a part of the Broncos administrative staff the past couple seasons, working as a senior personnel advisor.

But this week, Kubiak finds himself on the other side; as an assistant head coach and offensive advisor for the Minnesota Vikings. It is the first time the two sides have locked horns since Kubiak and the Broncos parted ways after the 2018 season.

In spite of a familiar face standing on the opposite sideline, current Broncos players let it be known they still hold their past coach in high regard.

“I have nothing but respect for him,” said safety Justin Simmons. “I just remember the culture I was part of with him as coach.”

Facing a coach whom you have past experience with should typically give a team a leg up in preparing for the game.

“Oh for me, it helps out a lot,” said Chris Harris Jr. The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback added, “You know how ‘Kub’ is, he runs his zone offense trying to make everything look the same.”

However, it won’t be that easy. Kubiak’s impact on the Vikings’ offense is being felt this season. The Vikings enter Sunday’s contest ranking eighth in total offense and own the ninth-best scoring offense in the NFL. Dalvin Cook leads the league in rushing yards and Kirk Cousins is the third-highest ranked quarterback with a rating of 112.0. Vic Fangio has caught wind of this, stating, “Those guys are really good on offense right now.”

Kubiak’s influence runs deeper than his knowledge of Xs and Os. For years, players have described Kubiak as a coach you enjoy playing for.

“He’s a player’s coach, a great coach,” explained Harris. “He’s going to do whatever he can to get that team prepared over there. I had a great relationship with ‘Kub,’ so I know he’s going to be ready and he’s going to have those guys ready to go.”

It is safe to assume both teams will be well-prepared heading into this weekend’s matchup. The Vikings own a 7-3 record, while the Broncos sit at 3-6 coming off their bye week. As evidenced in last week’s Saints vs. Falcons game, any team is capable of getting beat on any given week. And the Broncos will be looking to upset their old pal Gary Kubiak and his high-powered Minnesota offense come Sunday.

That game kicks off at 11 a.m. MT this Sunday in Minnesota.