There are a few key elements in place that make it seem like Dave Toub might finally get the head coaching opportunity he deserves in 2019.
We’ve gazed into this crystal ball before. We’ve also been wrong.
Predicting Dave Toub’s future isn’t a straightforward venture. Typically being in Andy Reid’s shadow is a good thing for future head coaching opportunities. The same can be said of being excellent at your job. Unfortunately, Toub is also a special teams coach—an odd spot from which to leap into a head coaching opportunity. It’s been done before but it’s a short list of not only successes but even attempts.
But this feels like Dave Toub’s last year with the Chiefs. It needs to be (and we’ll get there in a second). Of course, if Toub does not want such a gig, there’s not a person in Chiefs Kingdom who wouldn’t give him a lifetime pass to Arrowhead to work as long as he wants for Clark Hunt. But if he’s an ambitious man, this is likely his last go-around with K.C.
Let’s dive into the reasons why.
Assistant Head Coach
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Let’s start with Toub’s immediate job title, one that was changed this past offseason. The team lost a considerable amount of coaching experience last winter and spring. Brad Childress retired and then unretired only to follow Matt Nagy to the Chicago Bears. On the offensive side, it was the loss of a former head coach and confidante for Reid along with one of the game’s most promising coordinators.
In response, the Chiefs appointed Toub with an amended job title to include “assistant head coach.” There’s no way for any of us plebeians to know what officially changed in terms of workflow for Toub, but it’s likely safe to assume that Reid tasked Toub with more than his special teams role this winter, spring and summer. It was likely a one-year on-ramp to something bigger, allowing Toub all the way inside (if he was not already there).
Being an assistant head coach sounds like the title you give a man before either appointing him as HC for the first time or for a former one (a la Childress).
Vegas Thinks So
The other day, an interesting NFL prop bet appeared at BetDSI listing odds of who will be the Dallas Cowboys coach next season. Guess who is No. 6 on the list? Dave Toub.
Being ranked sixth for something doesn’t make you the odds-on favorite, but Toub’s presence at all shows that Vegas thinks he’s going to be a general favorite for some job out there this offseason. Toub has no ties to the Dallas Cowboys (he did graduate from the University of Texas-El Paso) that would merit this sort of high ranking, except to say that Toub should be a hot offseason commodity in general.
Chiefs are Red Hot
Needy teams reach out not-so-needy teams, so the fact that the Chiefs are running all over the AFC should make them a popular destination for teams shopping this winter.
It’s here that Toub’s own work will stand out. Once again, the Chiefs are a model of excellence when it comes to special teams. It’s a common maxim that special teams can win games, oftentimes providing the lone difference between walking away victors or going home defeated. Toub has been living in that margin for years and has come out the victor far more often than not.
Special teams are all about coaching guys up to be contributors. The work is also in the details. Toub is likely quite ready to take over the bigger picture as a man who is very familiar with every step involved from the bottom to the top of an organization. That’s the sort of grounded head coach who will make a very solid hire.
Andy Reid Coaching Tree
Here’s the interesting part of it all: Andy Reid has no one else who looks like a decent coaching candidate at this point. The Chiefs offense is highly celebrated but Childress and Nagy walked last year. Eric Bieniemy is in his very first season as an offensive coordinator after heading up the run game for years before that. He will get his chance one day but it won’t come after year one.
The same can be said of other positional coaches. Everyone is simply too inexperienced and young. Quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka hasn’t been entrusted with enough to take over a whole team. Running backs coach Deland McCullough just arrived from Southern Cal. Wide receivers coach Greg Lewis joined the staff two years ago. Maybe Andy Heck is ready but we’ve never once heard Heck’s name bandied about in years past. That would be a quick leap to the spotlight.
That leaves Toub as the last man standing.
Toub has been here before. The San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos both gave him head coaching interviews before deciding to go with Anthony Lynn and Vance Joseph, respectively, two offseasons ago. He had previous chances with the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears in years past. Just last year, he was rumored for the Indianapolis Colts although an interview never materialized.
Taken together, it just feels like the right year for Toub, a man who has been waiting for quite some time. It will take a team with the right vision to hire a special teams coach, but Toub has not only proved his excellence over time, but he’s studied under one of the best for numerous years now, adding “assistant head coach” to his list of responsibilities.
We’ve been wrong before, but this truly feels right. Dave Toub certainly deserves the chance.