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Dave Toub on Lions’ fake punt: ‘They made a play; we didn’t’

Kansas City’s special teams coordinator spoke to reporters on Thursday.

NFL: SEP 07 Lions at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs’ special teams unit was presented with an unexpected play-call from the Detroit Lions during the season opener at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

On the second drive — after the Chiefs had forced a three-and-out — Lions’ head coach Dan Campbell made a very unusual move: calling a fake punt on a fourth-and-2 from his own 17-yard line. Kansas City’s special teams coordinator Dave Toub was frustrated by the way Campbell’s “gutsy” call caught his unit off-guard.

“I was really disappointed with the fake,” lamented Toub, “just because we worked so hard and we invested a lot of time on it. They made a play. We didn’t. It was a gutsy call — [a] good call. It is what it is.”

Toub said that his players must continue to be prepared for these unexpected play-calls.

“We know when people play us, [they’ve] got to try to steal possessions.” he noted, “and that’s one way to do it — whether it’s an onside kick or a fake punt or [any of] those different scenarios we have to be ready for.”

On the plus side from the Week 1 loss, Toub thinks punter Tommy Townsend played a big role.

“There [were] a lot of times our offense [wasn’t] clicking on all cylinders,” he recalled, “so we had to flip the field. We had five punts. Four of them were outstanding — with great hang time [and] great coverage. [The] gunners did a good job and we were able to flip the field.

“We had one bad punt. It was the last one. But Tommy was definitely a factor in that game.”

Toub is also impressed with undrafted rookie linebacker Cam Jones, saying that the team’s scouting department “did a great job” in finding him.

“He was a guy that was in camp and he did a good job and made plays in preseason,” said the coach. “I’m pleased with the way he’s developing.”

The Chiefs hope to get their first win of the season on Sunday against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that is also not afraid to use an unexpected play. Toub believes that his players need to stay true to who they are — but be ready for anything.

“Make plays when they’re there,” said Toub, “get back to practicing with great effort and being exact in what we do — and just be us. That’s really what the message was this week.”

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