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Gary Kubiak says a year as an assistant made him a better head coach

Gary Kubiak

Gary Kubiak spent eight seasons as head coach of the Houston Texans, leading the club to its first two AFC South championships. Like having a child of your own should permanently get you out of sitting at the kids' table at grandma's house, lasting the better part of a decade in an NFL head job should buy you the ability, should you desire, to never have to work on someone else's staff ever again.

But new Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak says he's better prepared for his new job by having spent a year as John Harbaugh's offensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens.

"After being a head coach for so long in this league, I got to sit in the back of that room instead of being the guy up front in the meetings, and it gave me a chance to watch John Harbaugh handle situations," Kubiak told the Denver Post. "You sit there and say to yourself, 'You know I like that idea, and if I'm a head coach again, I'd probably do this the same way.' I learned watching him each and every day."

Those who knew him in Houston and now Denver agree.

"Koob has evolved as a coach, evolved a lot," said defensive lineman Antonio Smith, who played for Kubiak in Houston and now Denver. "We used to call him the master of the Jedi mind trick. But now he gives players more free reign. He trusts his players to take care of business, to run the locker room and to take care of stuff on the field ... He lets his players be men."

Kubiak's testimony is another reminder that a job's value is not drawn from its title, but the value it can bring you.