Chicago Bears: What Dave Toub's Loss Means
Despite interviewing for the Bears' vacant head coaching position, longtime special teams coordinator Dave Toub is expected to join the Kansas City Chiefs and new head coach Andy Reid in the same role for the 2013 season (h/t Chicago Tribune).
An original hire of Lovie Smith in 2004, Toub became one of the most well-respected special teams coaches in the NFL, consistently ranking in the top-10 in special teams statistics in eight of his nine seasons in Chicago.
Having Devin Hester as his return man certainly made his job easier, but not all of Hester's success can be contributed solely on his own abilities Toub's scheming and ability to find consistency in a special teams group that would typically change on a weekly basis highlighted his ability to get the best out of his players.
Hester has regressed in recent seasons, but much of the blame can be on the organization's desire to turn him from All-Pro return man to wide receiver. Even when it wasn't Hester returning, both Johnny Knox and Danieal Manning made splashes as return men, combining to average 27 yards on kickoffs and two touchdowns during their time with Toub.
Hester, Knox, Robbie Gould, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Corey Graham all made the Pro Bowl under Toub, and his group finished with the No. 1 overall ranking in both 2007 and 2008.
His ability to get the best of players on the back end of the roster made him a candidate for some head coaching jobs, as he interviewed last season with the Miami Dolphins and also interviewed with general manager Phil Emery for the vacant Bears position.
With Marc Trestman, Darrell Bevell and Bruce Arians announced as finalists for the head coaching position (h/t Chicago Tribune) a return to the organization likely would of a been a difficult one for Toub, resulting in him joining Reid, who gave him his first job in the NFL in 2001.
Former Chicago Bear and current radio analyst for WBBM-AM radio in Chicago, Jay Hilgenberg took to twitter early on Tuesday in regards to Toub, saying:
Could a new special teams coordinator continue the trend of impressive special teams in Chicago? Probably. But few have displayed the consistency that Dave Toub has in the last nine seasons. Whoever is hired as his replacement will have a tough time showing that he too can prevent the Soldier Field faithful from getting that quick start to the restroom.
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