The first official move by Browns' head coach, Hue Jackson, is one that has been mirrored by the trio of coaches that came before him.
Chris Tabor, who has been Cleveland's special teams coordinator since 2011, will return to the same position for the 2016 season, the Browns announced on Friday.
This is the third time Tabor has been retained by a new regime, starting with Rob Chudzinski in 2013, before Mike Pettine kept him aboard in 2014.
Tabor was initially brought aboard by Pat Shurmur in 2011.
“I’m excited to be able to retain Chris Tabor as our special teams coordinator,” Jackson said. “Chris is an outstanding coach. He is incredibly knowledgeable and possesses the passion necessary to motivate his unit. They play hard and tough while paying attention to all the details and nuances that make the huge impact needed to win on special teams. Obviously, I’ve seen the success he’s had with the Browns special teams unit first hand in my time in this division. It’s a blessing to have him as a member of this high-quality staff we are in the process of building.”
While Jackson is thrilled to keep Tabor with the Browns, the coach is just as excited to maintain his home, and his job, in Cleveland.
“My family and I really love it here in Cleveland,” Tabor said. “It’s great to be able to stay in one place for such a long period of time, keep your system in place and continue to coach some the same players. This is a great place to coach and I’m excited about working with Hue.”
Amidst his five seasons with the Browns, Tabor has helped the team to lead the league in punt return average and to finish fifth in the NFL in kick return average against, while also coaching Pro Bowlers such as Josh Cribbs, Phil Dawson and Johnson Bademosi, who leads the NFL in special-teams tackles from 2012 to 2015.
In 2015, Tabor's special teams unit ranked in the top five in the NFL in punt return average, kickoff return yards and total kick return yards, while kicker Travis Coons broke an NFL record, making the first 18 kicks of his NFL career.
Travis Benjamin, who is Cleveland's primary punt returner, finished third in the league in punt return average in 2015 under Tabor's tutelage, after enduring a rough 2014 season at the position.
Before he joined the Browns, Tabor was an assistant special teams coach with the Chicago Bears for three seasons and spent the two seasons prior as the special teams coordinator for the Western Michigan Broncos.
Jackson said in his introductory press conference on Wednesday that his first task as head coach was to acquire the best staff possible and while Tabor was the first of the coaches to officially join his staff, Jackson has reportedly been working on bringing in a defensive coordinator.
The two names that have been mentioned in reports thus far are former Browns defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, and former Minnesota Vikings head coach, Leslie Frazier.
It has also been reported that Vikings running backs coach, Kirby Wilson, will be Cleveland' running game coordinator, should Minnesota grant him permission to leave the team.
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