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Vonta Leach: Gary Kubiak Hiring Is 'Home Run'


As soon as Jim Caldwell was hired by the Detroit Lions, Ravens fullback Vonta Leach re-tweeted this message:

"Good for Caldwell. Now bring in Gary Kubiak please."

Leach and wide receiver Jacoby Jones both played for Kubiak in Houston, and they both reached out to Head Coach John Harbaugh early on to recommend hiring their former head coach.

Now Leach is a happy man with the announcement that Kubiak will again be his offensive coordinator.

"I think it's the perfect fit," Leach told "I think it's a home run.

"I'm happy that Coach Kubiak got another job *and *it's with the Ravens. He's known around the league as one of the gurus when it comes to offense."

Leach played for Kubiak for five years in Houston. Leach first became a Pro Bowler (2010) as part of Kubiak's stretch-zone offensive scheme before departing for Baltimore via free agency.

Leach believes that Kubiak's system fits the personnel the Ravens currently have on the roster, and what they like to do in the passing game as well.

Running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce can run to the outside and be one-cut backs. Pierce has been compared favorably to Texans running back Arian* *Foster.

Quarterback Joe Flacco works well off of play-action, and has the arm to launch passes down the field after slow developing plays.

"You have to start looking at what kind of backs we have, the type of offensive linemen we have and the type of receivers we have. All of that correlates with the zone running scheme," Leach said.

"Not only do we run the zone blocking scheme, a lot of the passing stuff we throw down the field comes off the zone run scheme."

Leach said the Ravens ran a "partial" zone running scheme last year, and he expects it to go fully in that direction under Kubiak. The Ravens ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense and last in average yards per carry (2.9 ) last year.

"I think it will be 100 percent better, I can guarantee that," Leach said of the run game. "You've got the full zone scheme. It makes disguising things a whole lot easier and opens things up in the passing game."

In terms of Kubiak as a man, Leach also had a glowing endorsement. The Ravens will have their third offensive coordinator in the past 13 months, and Kubiak will have the job of winning over the locker room.

"He's a great guy, a players' coach, a family man," Leach said. "He lets guys be men out there, but he holds players accountable."

Jones got his start with the Texans, and played for Kubiak for five seasons before coming to Baltimore. The Texans chose not to re-sign him and Jones had a messy ending with Houston fans. But Kubiak says he and Jones have a great relationship.

Kubiak said he called Jones after he won Super Bowl XLVII to congratulate him and tell him how proud he is of the man he has become.

"I don't want to say I was like a father figure to him, but he was like one of my children – I can tell you that and I've got three boys," Kubiak said.

New Quarterbacks Coach Rick Dennison was both players' offensive coordinator in 2010, and with Jones in 2011.

"They're team guys, they play hard, they do what they're told, and they listen," Dennison said. "We had Vonta over in the Pro Bowl and we tried to get him to be the MVP. We kept giving him the ball, which he always wanted. I love them both."

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