One of the best parts of working for Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is the opportunities that come with it. Including himself, Reid is indirectly responsible for one-fourth of the NFL’s head coaches.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, Jets head coach Todd Bowles, Bills head coach Sean McDermott, Bears head coach Matt Nagy and Giants head coach Pat Shurmur all come from the Reid tree.
John Harbaugh, who will bring his Baltimore Ravens to Arrowhead Sunday, is the eighth member of that tree.
That brings us to special teams coordinator Dave Toub, who has gone on a number of head-coaching interviews over the years but has remained with the Chiefs as a special teams coordinator when they didn’t work out.
Toub recently talked about Reid’s coaching development on a podcast with NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.
“I think that’s one of the things he does the best,” Toub said of Reid on the podcast. “He allows us to blossom and he allows us to do our job. He trusts us and he’s not over our shoulder all the time worrying about what’s getting done. He puts us out in front. He lets us talk to the media. He lets us do things like this right now, what I’m doing with you. It’s awesome. It gets you prepared. He wants you to be successful. He doesn’t hold you back, and that’s what makes all of his assistants great. Plus, he’s a great leader. You follow what he does and you do it the way he does it, it’s a proven system. That’s what makes it great.”
Rapoport noted that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick once said that special teams coordinators make for the best head coaches.
Toub, who has been a special teams coordinator for the past 14 seasons with the Chiefs and Bears (of course) agreed.
“You’re in touch with everybody,” he said. “Offensive line, with field goals, defensive line with field-goal block, the defensive backs on punt return and all the linebackers ... It’s all-encompassing. I’m out in front of the team every day. I talk to the whole team every day and you’re dealing with all types of different personalities, and you have to motivate. It’s all about motivation and getting guys to trust you and trust your system. When they trust you and they know they’re going to get better and they know it’s going to make them get more money, it’s going to help them win, that’s what it’s all about.”
Rapoport then asked Toub about how he and Reid come up with the 46-man roster each week. Teams are required to deem seven players on the 53-man roster inactive prior to games.
Based upon Reid’s weekly press conferences, Toub’s answer may surprise you.
“That’s really decided on a Monday, Tuesday of the week,” Toub revealed. “We go over the injury report, we see who’s going to be up, who’s going to be down as far as guys that are playing, which makes all the difference in the world. If you lose a guy due to an injury, it changes everything on special teams. Everybody else moves up and then you have guys possibly coming off the practice squad who might be up, but those decisions are made earlier in the week so we can practice—we can practice with those guys and we practice with them all week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and then by Saturday, when we make the decision, the final decision, it’s pretty much done already.
“But I’m a big part in that with Andy. We talk about it early in the week and sometimes we’ll have a guy that will go right down to the wire, but it’s very rare if that happens. We usually know ahead of time what’s going to happen.”
As usual, Toub should be in the mix for open head-coaching positions at the end of this season. Here is to hoping Uncle Dave finally gets his well-deserved opportunity.
Toub also talks to Rapoport about how Reid is handling the Kareem Hunt situation, his assistant head coach title, offseason conversations that led to special teams rule changes across the league and his son Shane’s coaching career. Listen to the full interview here.