Late on Tuesday afternoon, an underrated name quietly surfaced in the Detroit Lions' search for a new head coach when it was revealed that the team was interested in talking with Gary Kubiak, former head coach of the Houston Texans.
It appears that interest was reciprocated quickly. Later Tuesday night, Jennifer Hammond of Fox 2 Detroit reported that the Lions had in fact interviewed Kubiak on Tuesday, somewhat shockingly bringing his name to the forefront of the wild, unpredictable search for Detroit's next football boss. The former Texans coach was fired this past season after leading the team to a rough 2-11 record, and as a result, was not allowed to coach out the season.
All told, the Kubiak development is interesting from Detroit's perspective, considering nobody in the national or local media heard about the Lions interview until after it was already over. Interestingly enough, Kubiak also represents everything the Lions could be looking for, considering he has head coaching experience with a notable offensive background. He tutored legends like Steve Young and John Elway as an offensive coordinator while helping make serviceable passers out of journeymen quarterbacks like Jake Plummer and Matt Schaub.
Though he struggled to a tough finish in his Texans career, Kubiak did win two playoff games in Houston, and has a career record of 61-64, which is respectable considering where the expansion franchise was before his arrival. A health problem and a rough 2013 cast a notable pall over Kubiak's tenure in Houston, but many forget that the Texans coach had back to back playoff appearances while winning 12 games in 2012. Needless to say, that kind of performance in Detroit would probably net Kubiak legend status.
The quiet, surprising nature of this interview might say plenty about where things are actually headed for Detroit's search. Ken Whisenhunt has been viewed as the can't miss candidate for some time, but considering the Lions went to great lengths to keep interest in Kubiak out of the press and haven't yet interviewed Whisenhunt, Kubiak might be the actual top candidate at this juncture.
Clearly, the Lions are valuing coaching experience and offense first in their search for the franchise's next head coach, which could end up favoring an under the radar candidate such as Kubiak the most.
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