Yesterday had the theme of a welcome home party to a former Bronco when the Broncos introduced Gary Kubiak as their 15th coach in franchise history.
Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis couldn’t stop talking about how it feels right that the new head coach is coaching the Broncos because he is a Bronco. Broncos president of football operations John Elway couldn’t contain his excitement about his friend coming home to take the job. As for Kubiak, he was just happy to be home.
Kubiak couldn’t stop thanking Elway for hiring him. He admitted he wouldn’t have coached for any other team if the Broncos did not call him. He said the Broncos’ opening was a chance of a lifetime and a game-changer. Basically, it was hard for him to say no to a friend.
He came off as strong, firm, humble, bold and filled with conviction. He knew what he got himself into in taking this job, which the expectation is championship or bust. To his credit, he embraced those expectations.
The tough question was asked to Kubiak about what type of offense he would run. Everyone knows he likes running a zone-block offense, and this question would relate to Peyton Manning, who prefers to throw from the pocket.
To Kubiak’s credit, he said he would run an offense that would fit Manning’s skillset. That’s important he said that. He knows he is in a no-win position if he says it’s his offense or the highway.
That answer obviously meant something to Manning since he made up his decision about next season. Denver Post’s Woody Paige said the Broncos quarterback will play for another year as long as he passes his physical.
It’s the right thing for Kubiak to do. He knows his best chance to win and fit Elway’s championship or bust mandate is having Manning back under center, not Brock Osweiler.
Kubiak was asked if he is healthy to handle the workload of being a Broncos coach. It was interesting he was asked that question because he collapsed on the sideline during a game as Texans head coach few years ago. He was sent to the hospital for checkup.
The question was important since being the Broncos head coach will require stress and so many working hours. I wonder if Kubiak is equipped to handle that. He said it’s not an issue.
Time will tell if his health can handle the pressure of being a Broncos head coach.
He also talked about holding guys accountable the way Mike Shanahan did as Broncos coach.
Kubiak did not offer much about his football philosophy. He did not talk about what he brings to the table. It wasn’t rah-rah as one would expect.
That’s fine. Pressers are not worth a hoot. Only thing that matters is Kubiak winning on Sundays, Mondays or Thursdays. Most importantly, winning in January.
Kubiak wasn’t apologizing for being hired because he is friends with Elway. He shouldn’t, either. No one wants to hear him admit that when everyone knows it already. Broncos fans only care if he wins.
There’s no question Broncos Country love the hire. Kubiak is one of theirs. They know what he has done for this franchise as an offensive coordinator. They know he is an extension of Elway. Whoever Elway hires, he can do no wrong in their eyes.
If Kubiak does not win a championship, his honeymoon will be over as former Broncos coach John Fox can attest.
Kubiak knows this could be his last head-coaching gig. It’s hard to believe he would like to get back to being a head coach if he gets fired again. He wasn’t interested in being a head coach until Elway called.
He wants to make most out of this. What would satisfy him is him winning a championship as Broncos head coach. He wants to win it for the ailing Pat Bowlen, Elway and Denver. It’s what drives him. It’s what inspired him to take the job of being the Broncos head coach.
This is a serious business for him.
Coming home is great, but it won’t mean much for him if he doesn’t win. He knows this as much as anyone.
The presser was easy for Kubiak. He didn’t have to say much to make an impression. His aw-shucks personality said it all.
The hard work will get started the minute he coaches a regular season game.
Good luck to Kubiak because he is going to need it with this aging team.
Contact Leslie Monteiro: @LightRodWriter