If the Steelers go outside the organization with their next offensive coordinator hire, which seems increasingly likely, people will naturally want them to go the fruitful trees across the NFL. That means the McVay and Shanahan trees will be plentiful with candidates. One of those is Klint Kubiak, the son of former NFL head coach Gary Kubiak, who works as the 49ers’ passing game coordinator.
Peter King threw out Kubiak’s name as someone he wants to see the Steelers go after once they turn over a new leaf after the 2023 season.
“Think about the quarterback coach who’s really young or even the assistant quarterback coach or think about whatever, who’s got a commanding presence, who can command a room,” King said while appearing as a guest on The Cook & Joe Show on December 12. “Find a guy, and also find the guy who Sean McVay doesn’t want to lose. Find the guy who Kyle Shanahan doesn’t wanna lose. I am a fan of Klint Kubiak. I think he’s really smart, I think he has a lot of his father in him, and I think he’s got a lot of cutting edge in him as well.”
Former Steelers offensive lineman Trai Essex had a similar thought but went with 49ers quarterbacks coach Brian Griese instead. Griese is a big part of what the 49ers do on offense and is critical to aiding Brock Purdy’s development. Despite his lack of play-calling experience, Essex believes that Griese could be a name that rings a bell for Mike Tomlin, who could add something to the coaching staff.
Kubiak holds the title of Passing Game Coordinator for the 49ers, who have created one of the most explosive passing games in the entire NFL. But they have done so through different means than most offenses. It is primarily oriented in the middle of the field attack like most teams, but Purdy’s average depth of target on passes that go for over twenty yards is 15.8 yards. That’s an anomaly, but the 49ers staff and Griese have done a fantastic job of working the offense around him.
The Shanahan tree has produced coaches like Mike McDaniel, Bobby Slowik, and others, lighting the NFL world on fire. Tomlin has a connection with Shanahan if he needs a reference, too. The 49ers head coach worked on the same Buccaneers staff as Tomlin in the mid-2000s. So, these guys know each other, which could be a connection that gets Tomlin to dip into that tree.