NFL News of January 25, 2004

When Nebraska struck a deal with Callahan, it never needed to follow up with the Broncos regarding Kubiak, the next candidate on the Big Red’s list.

“I didn’t know that,” Kubiak said last week, two weeks after he nearly got the call to be Frank Solich’s successor. “I got the second-place trophy, huh?”

That’s the problem these days. Kubiak has got way too many second-place trophies. Or no trophies at all.

Five years ago, Kubiak was one of the hottest head coaching candidates out there – that year’s Nick Saban or Romeo Crennel.

The Cleveland Browns called. The New Orleans Saints called. The Houston Texans called. The New England Patriots called. The University of Colorado called. Just about anyone with a head coach opening did.

Kubiak lost out to Butch Davis in Cleveland, Jim Haslett with the Saints and Dom Capers with the Texans, and declined to interview with the Patriots.

He backed out of the Colorado deal at the last moment, uneasy with going to work for a college at a time he was trying to help the Broncos win their second straight Super Bowl. Smart move on Kubiak’s part. A considerate move.

Yet we now see what it was worth. Not much.

Since then, interest in Kubiak has waned. Calls have stopped. Kubiak is the trend, like Rainforest Cafe, that no longer is in.

This year there were seven NFL head coach openings. No one contacted Kubiak, who was ready, willing and able for any of the jobs that were available.

—Adam Schefter, The Denver Post “Kubiak ripe, ready to be picked as coach”

Kubiak left the Broncos to become the head coach of the Houston Texans beginning in 2006. He was let go with three games remaining in the 2013 season.

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