The Value Of Dave Toub


When special teams coach Dave Toub was hired back in January, he instantly became one of the most valuable members of Andy Reid’s coaching staff. Toub’s days in Chicago cemented him as one of the very best at what he does in the league. The hope was that his presence would help turn things around for the Kansas City Chiefs. Halfway through the preseason, their special teams has returns of 52, 55, 79, and 104 yards (one of the four went for a touchdown last Friday night in Arrowhead Stadium). Special teams has arguably been the most effective and consistent phase of this football team thus far.

It’s still early, but the preseason success for the Chiefs is quite the departure from the returns famine of the recent past. Devon Wylie’s 52-yard punt return is the longest return, of any kind, since Dexter McCluster’s 94-yard punt return for a touchdown in the 2010 season opener with the San Diego Chargers. To have had four returns of at least 52 yards just during the month of August says something significant about the progress they’ve made under Toub.

Quintin Demps believes this is a special group and I think he’s right. His 104-yard return for a touchdown was part of a 265-yard day for the return teams on Friday night. In just two games, the Chiefs have four players with a return of at least 52 yards. That’s a testament to Toub’s scheming. The same system previously produced four Pro Bowl appearances between Devin Hester and Johnny Knox. Fortunately for Chiefs Kingdom, it doesn’t end there.

Dave Toub is a well-rounded special teams coordinator. He’s partially responsible for another six trips to Honolulu for special teams coverage, kicking, and long-snapping (between Brendon Ayanbadejo, Corey Graham, David Akers, Robbie Gould, and Chad Lewis). If you’re scoring at home, Toub’s special teams have produced ten Pro Bowlers since the 2001 season. He’s as decorated a special teams coach as you’ll find in the NFL.
 
There’ve been other small victories for Kansas City’s special teams this offseason. Kicker Ryan Succop is perfect through four attempts and punter Dustin Colquitt helped pin San Francisco inside their 20-yard line four times on Friday. Toub didn’t come alone. He brought assistant special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea with him from Chicago. O’Dea did a masterful job with Bears kicker Robbie Gould in 2011. Gould set new franchise records in two categories under his tutelage (six field goals made from 50 yards or more and longest field goad in franchise history).
 
Head coach Andy Reid is heaping high praise on both Toub and O’Dea:
 
They are putting guys in the right position to make plays and the guys are making the plays. They’ve got good schemes. Dave is a good teacher, a great teacher. He keeps it where the guys can play fast and efficient. You need to know your players and make sure you’re putting them in situations where they can be successful.
 
If this continues into the regular season, the Chiefs could steal a game or two on the play of their special teams units. Remember the 2003 Chiefs team that began the year with 9 straight wins? Dante Hall and the return game was a big part of their success. Hall scored on a special teams return in four of those games (four consecutive games). Getting that kind of lift from your return teams can swing the momentum of a game. Alex Smith and the Chiefs’ offense will also be beneficiaries of a productive return group. As a team that will need time to get comfortable with the new offensive system, they could definitely benefit from having a short field here and there.
 
Chiefs Kingdom should be excited about the special teams possibilities under Dave Toub. The progress Kansas City has made hasn’t been tied to any one player. The Chiefs have experimented with personnel in the return game and still haven’t missed a beat. This unit could well become one of the elites in the NFL. Hopefully they’ll continue to play well through the final two games of the preseason.
 
What say you, Chiefs fans? Will special teams be vital to having success in 2013?
Use the comment section below to weigh in and as always we appreciate your support!
 
Until next time, Addicts!
 
 

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  • Montez K.

    I’d have to say that is probably the aspect of the new Chiefs that I appreciate the most…I believe that if this unit keeps playing at this high of a level–is it out of the question to think we may be top 5 in special teams? Our punter is arguably the best in the league…kicker is getting there…someone please cross reference special teams play with wins per season. I’m willing to bet that superb special teams play–leads to wins! Go Chiefs! Thanks for the positive article Stacy

  • RepOurChiefs

    Nice and having more than one option in ST means the opposition cant key in in just one as they did with Hall. They targeted Hall with extreme prejudice! Using him in the slot didnt help matters much either. But I digress, ,these guys will be game changes just as Mr Xfactor was. And those blocks! Wow. #chiefsnation #youaintseennothingyet

    • RepOurChiefs

      Oops.. on* on*..sorry, im excited

    • RepOurChiefs

      changers*

  • Calchiefsfan

    I’m glad you did a post on this Stacy. Special teams play for the Chiefs this year could make the difference between being mediocre at 8-8 or going to the playoffs at 10-6. That’s how important they are. The blocking on these returns has been phenomenal, giving our returners the opportunity to make the plays. Couple that with better coverage and an improved Succop and I expect this to be one of the top 3 special teams units in the NFL. I didn’t mention Colquitt cause he already is the man, if he gets any better-WOW!

    • Stacy D. Smith

      The blocking on that Demps return was INCREDIBLE. He was completely untouched.

  • Chuck Burrell

    You’re spot on

  • Michael Shaw

    Nice Mr. Smith!!!

  • ArrowFan

    My thoughts exactly. I also think the D has been impressive so far as well I want a starting D line of Pow Powe and Jackson, with are LB’s I don’t think Peterson would go anywhere.

  • PunjabiPete

    Every time I see Toub on the sidelines, I get this feeling that he wants to run out and show his special teams players how to lay a lick on someone… he gets me hyped up for every kickoff, punt return… all that

  • Miles Yi

    Great post, Reach! I think Edgar Jones, Jalil Brown and the Energizer Bunny, Terrance Copper, have continued to stand out for Toub. Jones has been great at backup outside linebacker, but it may be safe to say that Brown and Copper make this 2013 roster solely based on their special teams play!

  • KCMikeG

    Thanks for mentioning the kick coverage too! They have been very good. Our ST’s will definitely be Special this year!

  • chiefridgy

    Great article. It’s nice having Toub on board. Go Chiefs!!!!!

  • clay simester

    Very good article. People should pay more attention to special teams, they make a big difference. If they’re going to be opening up alleyways like that consistently, I might consider sticking K Davis back there to return a few. He seems to hit holes well and has breakaway straight-line speed. Hell, try Jenkins back there! He runs like a 4.37 in the 40, and if the ball hits him in the chest and he drops it, he can still pick it back up and run!!!

  • Jim Harper

    Nice post Stacy. What really impresses me is that every aspect of special teams is top shelf. The blocking schemes he is teaching are awesome.

  • berttheclock

    When, the final 53 is put together, I’m sure Toub will have a large part in the selections due to his usage of many players on special teams. The new TE from Cincy would have made the team anyway, but, I believe I saw him out there on coverage. What I enjoyed watching was the way Toub kept going up and down the field trying to see every detail and when the players came off the field, he was front and center with them, giving kudos and teaching, teaching, teaching.

  • berttheclock

    Two of last season’s assistant coaches for the Bears got very lucky after their HC was released. Toub ended up in KC, so, both Toub and the Chiefs are part and parcel of that luck. The other assistant was Mike Tice, who decided to take time off from coaching. He and his wife went to Del Mar Race Track for three days. While there, Mike, who is an avid horse racing fan, hit a Pick 6 for 4 grand. He had to fly back to Seattle, but, his wife stayed at Del Mar. Mike asked her to put in a $128 ticket on a Pick 6 and he ended up being the only winner for $100,000. I have had the pleasure of meeting Mike Tice in conjunction with horse racing and he is really a stand up guy. So, great hit, Mike. Great to see a real horse player hit and not just someone who played their social security card numbers. BTW, one of his winners was named Tebowing.

  • obrien5

    Reminds me of the days Dante Hall was returning everything, great to see the ST unit returning”no pun intended”to the glory days of kick and punt returns being one of the most excited plays for chiefs fans, hope it continues.