Gary Kubiak interviewed with Detroit

Frederick Breedon

Add Gary Kubiak to the list of candidates in Detroit after the former Houston head coach interviewed with the Lions.

SB Nation 2014 NFL Playoff Coverage

The Detroit Lions interviewed former Houston head coach Gary Kubiak for their head coaching vacancy on Tuesday, according to Jennifer Hammond of FOX 2.

Detroit's coaching search has focused on offensive-minded coaches and Kubiak fits the mold. He spent 11 seasons as the offensive coordinator in Denver before eight years as the head coach in Houston. The Texans entered this season coming off back-to-back AFC South titles, but regressed sharply. While Houston started the year 2-0, it finished it on a 14-game losing streak. Kubiak was fired in the midst of the streak after Houston dropped to 2-11. Despite the struggles in 2013, Houston won at least eight games in five of Kubiak's eight season with two playoff appearances.

While he would bring considerable experience, Kubiak's offensive attack could be a great fit for the skillsets in place in Detroit. The Lions are stockpiled with talent on the offensive side and he's proven to be able to coordinate a high-powered offense. Houston finished in the top 15 in yards in seven of his eight seasons, and when he was the offensive coordinator in Denver, the Broncos finished in the top 10 in scoring offense in 10 of his 11 seasons, including three top-two finishes.

Kubiak spent most of his time in Denver as the quarterback coach in addition to his offensive coordinator duties. Matthew Stafford has racked up yards in recent seasons, but lacked the consistency and efficiency of the top quarterbacks in the league. Houston's passing attacks under Kubiak were often among the more efficient passing teams in the NFL, and maximizing Stafford's natural ability will be a key for the next coaching staff in Detroit.

Kubiak effectively utilized a zone blocking rushing attack in Denver and Houston. He would likely bring a similar attack to Detroit which could be an excellent fit with Reggie Bush. Bush excelled on some inside zone runs this season, as Christopher Tomke of Pride of Detroit broke down:

This play has nothing fancy about it. Likewise, there was little fancy about a lot of the Lions' success on the ground, as it came from incredibly conservative play-calling. The trap block is as old as time, and the Lions took two of those for double-digit gains as well. But, that's what Reggie Bush does: He turns the mundane into the electric. It seems like a constant refrain at this point, but as long as teams keep trying to take away Megatron, Bush and the Lions offensive line are going to continue to have space to operate.

In addition to Kubiak, the Lions have either interviewed or reportedly shown interest in: Jim Caldwell, Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt and Jay Gruden. Like Kubiak, they all have backgrounds on the offensive side of the ball. Of the five, only Gruden doesn't have NFL head coaching experience.

More from SB Nation NFL

SB Nation's 2014 NFL playoff coverage and brackets

SB Nation's NFL awards: Peyton Manning, Robert Quinn lead list

BCS title game: Tre Mason and other draft prospects who shined

How would expanded playoffs look in 2013?

2014 NFL mock draft: Offseason planning begins for 20 teams

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.