Gary Kubiak is back in the play-calling chair after spending the 2019 season as a senior advisor. The new Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator couldn’t be happier to dive back into the play-by-play rush of calling an NFL game.
“I never lost the joy,” Kubiak said Tuesday, via the Associated Press.
After former OC Kevin Stefanski accepted the head coaching gig in Cleveland, it was natural for Vikings coach Mike Zimmer to turn to Kubiak, if the 58-year-old with a history of health issues, wanted the job.
“I just said, ‘Coach, do you mind if I go back home and mow some grass for a couple days or something to think about it,” Kubiak said. “I told him two days, and I think I called him in about a day and a half. I was just really excited to do it.”
Zimmer noted Tuesday that the Vikings passing attack could change slightly with Kubiak replacing Stefanski as the play-caller. After shifting offenses the past several offseasons, however, much of the plan remains in place. The foundation was put there by Kubiak when he joined Minnesota last offseason, including his running attack, in which Dalvin Cook thrived.
“I get here, we put a system in place, we go to work, we do a job throughout the course of the year,” Kubiak said. “And then one thing changed: One guy got a head coaching job. For me, it’s very familiar. I didn’t have to go back to work a month ago and, say, start over with a new group of coaches. We’re way ahead. We can go back to work and try to make up some more ground here. I think all those things together added a little fuel to the fire, so to speak. It made it easier for me to say, ‘Zim, I appreciate the opportunity, and I’m looking forward to it.'”