The Kansas City Chiefs are loaded at returner. I was disappointed to see that Tyreek Hill will no longer be doing kickoff returns because of his work on offense. However, I’m excited to see what De’Anthony Thomas can do now.
Before Tyreek, we were all pretty pumped about DAT’s return ability. Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub sounded very happy he was getting DAT on kick returns.
“I am so happy,” Toub said. “I mean last year De’Anthony ended up becoming one of my best special teams players. He ended up making a whole bunch of tackles. He is a solid catcher. He is tough. Pound for pound he is the toughest player we got.”
That’s a big compliment for a football player, especially someone like DAT who you may not associate toughness with. (He’s a 64 toughness on Madden, far behind Eric Berry who is a 92. I am full of useless information).
Toub said it’s not just about returns; it’s his overall body of work on special teams.
“He is not afraid,” Toub said. “He is 176 pounds. He plays like a 200 pounder. He is not afraid to stick his head in there on kickoff and make tackles. He is real tough as a gunner. He has quickness and top speed so he makes plays there. Then he brings a lot in the return game, both kick return and punt return.”
This is a nice consolation prize to have at kick returner. He returned 14 in 2014, six in 2015 and 15 last year so it’s not like he ever really stopped returning kicks. He hasn’t done as many returns as I would have liked to see from him at this point in his career (I’m saying he’s fun to watch and I want to see more). That’s partially because Tyreek was a revelation and partially because you can down it in the end zone and take it at the 25 now.
Toub was asked about other kick returners and mentioned Demarcus Robinson, Jehu Chesson, Chris Conley and Kareem Hunt.