Dave Toub, Eric Bieniemy give glimpses into Chiefs healthy culture

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: Dave Toub, assistant head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, looks on from the sidelines against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: Dave Toub, assistant head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, looks on from the sidelines against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Recent interviews of Eric Bieniemy and Dave Toub give glimpses into the Chiefs championship culture.

Legend has it Dave Toub and Andy Reid first met in “some diner” in El Paso, Texas. Sounds about right. Together they coached and University of Missouri where Toub specifically credits much of his coaching growth.

“I was a strength coach for most of my college coaching career… so I worked with the whole team all of the time,” said Toub on a recent episode of Chiefs podcast In The Trenches. “What I do now is very similar to what I was doing then”

Toub was forced to interact with every type of player—every size, every personality and every skill set. This wide focus in his early coaching career prepared him for his current role as special teams coordinator. Long snappers, gunners, punters—special teams incorporate nearly every position group on the team.

“Offensive guys are different than defensive guys, wideouts are different than DBs,” he says, “it teaches you to treat each guy separately and figure out what pushes his buttons.”

His awareness of the players shows up on the field. Charvarius Ward, arguably the Chiefs best starting corner, played 50 snaps on the punt return team last year. Toub says “Ward is such a good blocker on the outside, usually I can leave him alone on a gunner.” This type of buy-in from players of this caliber creates a championship culture.

Toub is not wrong about Ward either. Last season he posted a 90 special teams grade from Pro Football Focus. This is incredible harmony between a dedicated player and a coach who has the tools to put him in the best place to succeed. Beyond the immediate contribution on the field this sets an example for every other player—a willingness to do what is necessary knowing the staff behind you has your back.

Later in a segment with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy,  we’re shown more of the same. “When we win, we all win” he claims. Bieniemy is the epitome of a selfless person. During his playing career, after four years with the Cincinnati Bengals, Bieniemy was offered a three-year deal that he turned down in favor of a one-year, league-minimum contract with the Reid-led Eagles. He has no issue with the Bengals organization, but he was seeking a change.

“I wanted to be on a team where everyone could see the big picture, knowing that sacrifices were going to be made along the way,” he said.

We hear this coach speak everywhere but Bieniemy embodies it. He turned down more money in Cincinnati to be apart of the unique Reid culture. It was Reid’s player-first mindset that encouraged Bieniemy to go back to school—again turning down more money to do what he felt was right.

“I never played football for money, and I have never coached for it,” said Bieniemy. “I do it because I love it and if I stop loving it, I will quit.”

The Chiefs are filled with team-first players and the culture is clearly reinforced from the very top. This is precisely why players like Frank Clark and Tyrann “Honey Badger/Landlord” Mathieu fit in so well. According to Bieniemy, “With the addition Frank and Honey Badger added that hot sauce…that Louisiana hot sauce to bring in the essence, to spice up the gumbo.”

The team was already well-positioned both in terms of talent and culture but these two provided that little extra fire. But, true to his nature, Bieniemy knows the team is more important than any single player.

This all adds up to a group of extremely talented human beings that have the capability to respect the talent of those around them. As proven over the course of his long NFL career, Andy Reid has the uncanny ability to develop these relationships and surround himself with positive energy. Toub and Bieniemy are just more examples of this feat. In Philadelphia, Reid created an entire position to bring Toub on board, knowing exactly what he was capable off. Years later, Toub is leading the highest graded special teams unit for a championship winner.

We are lucky to have all these individuals in the Chiefs family and the future is undoubtedly bright.

Next. Jamaal Charles and the need to rethink greatness. dark