The Kansas City Chiefs special teams, particularly the return units, had a terrific 2013 season. Much of the credit was given to new special teams coach Dave Toub, who will have his work cut out for him in 2014. The Chiefs are possibly losing both of their starting kick and punt returners in Quintin Demps and Dexter McCluster, who are both scheduled for free agency on March 11.
Part of the reason the Chiefs should make an attempt at bringing McCluster back -- at the right price, of course --is for his work on special teams. McCluster had 101 punt return yards last season than the next closest player. He had more 20+ yard returns than anyone. Dave Toub said before training camp even started that McCluster was his guy, which shows a high level of confidence in a player who set team records. The Chiefs won last year partially because they were very good on special teams. That's my thinking when it comes to McCluster's value to the Chiefs.
It's not just McCluster though. It's the NFL record for kickoff return average. It's scoring five total touchdowns (including Knile Davis) on returns. Just as important, it's not giving up a touchdown return either. There were occasions the Chiefs needed one of those big returns to stay in or win a game and they got it.
As for Demps' kick returner job, I wouldn't mind seeing Knile Davis take that over. He made plays in his limited opportunities last season. (Also, Herbie Teope recently spoke with Demps.)
The good news is that kicker Ryan Succop and punter Dustin Colquitt are under contract.
Special teams units have lots of turnover every year anyway because some are bottom-of-the-roster players but I'm curious to see what kind of effect those changes could have on the Chiefs next season. Dave Toub could be put to the test again in 2014 if the Chiefs lose Demps, McCluster, Akeem Jordan, Husain Abullah and other special teams players.