Why the Carolina Panthers should stay clear of Klint Kubiak

The Carolina Panthers should stay well clear of Klint Kubiak in pursuit of finding a new offensive coordinator this offseason.

One of the primary objectives for the Carolina Panthers this offseason is finding a replacement for Joe Brady as offensive coordinator. The respected young coach was fired midway through the bye week due to a difference in philosophy with head coach Matt Rhule, who wanted to implement a run-first offense despite not having All-Pro Christian McCaffrey in the lineup.

Long-time Rhule loyalist Jeff Nixon was handed play-calling duties with little in the way of change. After not doing enough to win the job, the Panthers are now turning their attention to finding an alternative who can hopefully transform the team’s fortunes.

According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Rhule needs to hire a “rock star” offensive coordinator to appease team owner David Tepper, who cannot be happy with what he’s seen during the season. There isn’t going to be much margin for error heading into Year 3 of his tenure, so failing to appoint the right man to work with the offense could have some grave consequences.

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rappaport, the Panthers held interviews with Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak and Mike Groh, who was play-caller on the Philadelphia Eagles once upon a time and is now the wide receivers coach at the Indianapolis Colts.

There will be more talks before Rhule names Brady’s replacement. But this is an underwhelming start from the outside looking in.

And when it comes to Kubiak, the Panthers would be wise to look in a different direction.

Carolina Panthers should look beyond Klint Kubiak as OC.

Kubiak is the son of former Super Bowl-winning coach Gary Kubiak and replaced his father on the Vikings in 2021. However, considering the embarrassment of riches at his disposal, what transpired throughout the season was a major disappointment.

Consider what Kubiak had to work with. A veteran quarterback performing at a high level in Kirk Cousins, two exceptional wide receivers in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, a stud running back in Dalvin Cook, and a much-improved offensive line for good measure.

Here’s what Kubiak managed to conjure up with such talent:

  • Points per game: 14th
  • Touchdowns per game: 16th
  • Red zone attempts per game: 18th
  • Passing yards per game: 11th
  • Rushing yards per game: 17th

Not exactly “rock star” standard.

Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

With Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman fired on Black Monday, Kubiak’s head is also expected to roll once a new coach comes into Minnesota this offseason. He does have NFL play-calling experience – which is a must in the circumstances – but Rhule would be taking a huge risk if he picks him out of the potential candidates.

This is a critical moment for Carolina. Another false move could set the franchise back years and considering the strength of schedule in 2022, there is much work to do before competitive action begins.

Kubiak does have a similar mindset to Rhule when it comes to running the football. But one could not say with any great confidence he could turn things around in Carolina.

After all, he had Pro Bowlers aplenty in Minnesota and couldn’t take advantage. And one could even argue that the Vikings’ talent on offense is far superior to the Panthers.