The New Orleans Saints appear to be using their head start in interviewing San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak to their advantage. New Orleans is working to hire Kubiak for their offensive coordinator vacancy, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Kubiak did a virtual interview with the Saints just days after the Steelers were eliminated from the 2023 NFL Playoffs in Buffalo on Jan. 15. Because Kubiak interviewed with the Saints earlier in the process, they can remain in contact with Kubiak, who is coaching in the Super Bowl next week. The hire cannot be made official until after the game.
The Steelers, on the other hand, could not even speak to Kubiak until the end of his season, since they missed the early interview window while playing in their playoff game.
Uncertainty about Kubiak’s availability and the Saints’ head start, along with potential competition for Arthur Smith, caused Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to pull the trigger on hiring Smith earlier this week without waiting to interview Kubiak or Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
Kubiak comes from a football-rich family as he is the son of Super Bowl 50-winning head coach Gary Kubiak. Currently serving as the 49ers passing game coordinator, Kubiak has offensive playcalling experience as he served that role for the Minnesota Vikings in 2021.
During his lone season as an offensive coordinator, Kubiak guided the Vikings to the 12th-ranked offense in regards to total yardage and the 14th-ranked unit in terms of points scored.
In New Orleans, Kubiak will work under Dennis Allen and replace Pete Carmichael, who was fired after 14 seasons as the playcaller in New Orleans.
The Saints hiring Kubiak also means that Steelers quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan will not land an offensive coordinator job in this cycle. Sullivan interviewed with the Saints and Raiders, but did not get either job. The Steelers have not made an announcement regarding his future with the team.