The Mastery of Dave Toub

With Kansas City Chiefs special teams coordinator, Dave Toub, the red and gold possess one of the best coaches in the NFL, regardless of title. Yet the pink elephant question remains, why isn’t Toub a Head Coach at the NFL level?

Despite a career filled with success, various achievements, not o mention Special Teams Coach of the Year awards, or being well-known for turning, Devin Hester, into one of the games premier touchdown machines. Yet despite all those accomplishment, there is one blatant omission to his resume, Toub isn’t calling the shots as a head coach.

For some time, that singular item has bothered me. After all, it’s hard to argue the fact Toub is a NFL deserving candidate. At 53-years old, he’s young enough to be considered a hot NFL head-coaching commodity. Especially when you consider, Andy Reid, opened the door for John Harbaugh. He began his career as a special teams coach on Reid’s staff with the Eagles, and now he has parlayed that training ground into head coaching success.

Ever since he left the Chicago Bears to join the Kansas City Chiefs, Toub’s name has been speculated by various media outlets, he might be considered for one of the elite 32 NFL jobs. In fact, former Chicago Bears player, Tommie Harris, was quoted on a local radio show in reference to rumblings Toub might be considered a dark horse for the Bears gig, he was a certainly a fan of the idea.

"If Dave Toub is the head coach wow," Tommie Harris said. "That may give Mike Ditka a run for his money. Dave Toub is a tough guy. I'm not messing around. You're talking about a man's man. Dave Toub helped me put up my dog in cage in my backyard. He's like the man's man. I was always a fan of it. He came right over and put it together. The way he talks in meetings, guys don't play with coach Toub.”

In regards to character Harris is correct about his former coach. It shows when Chiefs fans listen to Toub talk about the mindset his players need to display on his special teams, that he’s understands what has to be done on the filed with his players.

“We need to have a lot of pride in what we do,” Toub said recently. , “I think our guys do that, there’s no question. Coach Reid gives us a lot of time and emphasizes it, so that’s the first step, and the guys; they’re really into it, they want to be good, they want to make a difference on special teams. We want to win games on special teams, and that’s kind of our mindset, once you have that going, it really takes a life of its own and guys start buying in and want to be a part of it.”

It’s fascinating hearing Toub talk about his side of the ball. He doesn’t say the type of things you picture a special teams coach chattering about in regards to his overall approach. He’s not talking solely about speed or blocking, or even the obvious, like getting the ball to De’Anthony Thomas or Knile Davis and hammering holes; he’s clearly saying the first thing Chiefs players need to do is take pride in what they do.

This method speaks to the soul of Taub. It’s clear he understands the Chiefs use special teams to win football games. Toub doesn’t say that lightly, he fulfills his duties with pride and he means what he says about his players. It comes off in his interviews and the way he carries himself on the field, Toub wants to be the best.

Hypothetically, if Toub were to become a head coach, I’d have zero doubt he’d be up to the challenge. He lives and breathes every aspect of his chosen profession and works relentlessly on his craft. To that light, NFL teams may think Toub lacks the range and experience to broaden his detailed-horizon to an entire football organization vs. being the special teams guru.

It’s sort of like if you managed a restaurant, and you had a star waiter, but you wouldn’t necessarily want your star waiter running the whole restaurant, at least, not until the star waiter is ready to be the star manager.

That’s probably why Toub is still running the Chiefs special team and perhaps not quite in the mindset of those in charge of hiring head coaches as a leader of an NFL franchise.

It’s probably not because Toub can’t do it, but because Toub is the best special teams coach in the NFL and perhaps he’s just to valuable as the best at his craft. Until the opportunity arises, he’s totally focused, dialed and tuned-in on continuing that notion he has to work on being the league’s best head coach.

Photos: Mark J. Rebilas & Steve Mitchell USA Today Sports


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