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Dave Toub on rookie defensive back Chamarri Conner: ‘He keeps getting better and better’

The special teams coordinator discusses what he is seeing from the Chiefs’ fourth-round rookie and provides a breakdown of the Bills’ special teams ahead of their Week 14 matchup.

NFL: NOV 20 Eagles at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs are looking to improve all facets of their game after last week’s loss against the Green Bay Packers. Their best chances of doing so, similar to last season, will be through the progression of their younger players.

In the case of Kansas City’s special teams unit, assistant head coach Dave Toub highlighted rookie defensive back Chamarri Conner as potentially being one of those late-blooming players for the Chiefs.

“He keeps getting better and better,” Toub said before Thursday’s practice. “I mean, that’s two games in a row that he made beautiful tackles on punt and open field tackles, so it tells you a lot about his football abilities.”

The Chiefs selected Conner in the fourth round of this year’s draft. He was highly regarded by Kansas City for his versatility on defense and willingness to play on special teams. While a majority of his snaps this season have been on special teams, Conner’s performance on the field has Toub confident that he will be a key player for the Chiefs’ defense in the future.

“He’s going to be a great one down the road,” Toub said. “I’m enjoying the fact that I have him right now, and I know eventually he’s going to end up being in depth as [he gets] more and more reps on defense. He’s already getting a lot now, but he’s going to get more and more as we go forward. He’s a player that you should be excited about.”

As for the rest of the special teams unit, Toub says he was satisfied with their overall performance during last week’s game in Green Bay. He also explained how the cold weather prevented more kicks from returning than usual.

“The cold weather obviously affects the football,” Toub explained. “You can’t kick them as high; you don’t get the hangtime, so it gives you an opportunity to get returns. You get the ball in your hands; coverage is not right on top of you, so you take a shot. Every week is different. It depends on who you’re playing, what their coverage teams look like, how high they hang the ball and weather – all those things come into play every week, so we were able to get a couple last week.”

Looking ahead

With the Packers’ game now behind them, Toub is focused on this week’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills. He praised the Bills for their continuity, experience, and coaching on special teams as he prepared his unit for the challenge up ahead.

“They’re very good,” Toub said about Buffalo’s special teams. “Same personnel as they had last year, they’re all back. They have one rookie on their special teams, that’s it. The rest of them are all guys that have played there last year, and they fly around, very very good on kickoff coverage and punt coverage.”

“I think that’s where they excel. They fly around, they play hard. It’s a testament to their special teams coach [Bills special teams coordinator Matthew Smiley] and [Bills head coach] Sean McDermott. You can tell that it’s real important to him, and he puts a lot of emphasis on it. The kicker (Tyler Bass), you know obviously he’s missed a couple, but he’s still a quality kicker, and the punter is 11-year vet, Sam Martin, who is a great directional punter.

“They’re all good, its going to be a good challenge for us.”

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