Top Chiefs Assistant Named ‘Dark Horse’ Head Coach Candidate

Dave Toub Chiefs

Getty Images Kansas City Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub

With their prolonged success and Super Bowl LIV title under Andy Reid over the last five-plus seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs have a target on their backs on and off the field. While championship-caliber rosters are always in danger of being dismantled by its competitors, the same principle applies to NFL front offices and coaching staffs.

Heading into the new year, a handful of Reid’s top assistants, including headliner Eric Bieniemy, the Chiefs’ third-year offensive coordinator, are currently viewed as flight risks to depart Kansas City for a head coaching gig on a rebuilding team.

Now it appears yet another Chiefs coordinator is considered deserving of a promotion.

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Chiefs’ Dave Toub Drawing Interest?

In a recent CBS Sports roundup of “dark horse” NFL head coaching candidates for 2021, another one of Andy Reid’s right-hand men, Chiefs assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Dave Toub, garnered some attention as a potential “outside-the-box” hire.

The one coordinator on Andy Reid’s staff who gets no run whatsoever, despite having a stellar pedigree. With the Giants hiring Pats special teams coach Joe Judge a year ago, maybe someone will give a serious look at Toub, who has more experience and a deeper knowledge of the game. Dudes are all about playing for him. Got a few sniffs a few years ago, but deserving of more.

Toub, 58, was originally brought on by Reid to oversee the Chiefs’ special teams efforts upon his arrival in 2013, before adding the role of assistant head coach to his title back in 2017. His 2020 unit has been middling by most traditional measurements, though has benefited over the years from the consistency of kicker Harrison Butker and the transition at punter from two-time Pro Bowler Dustin Colquitt to Tommy Townsend, who has pinned 20 of his 50 punts inside opponents’ 20-yard-lines as a rookie.

Previously, Toub spent nine seasons as the Chicago Bears special teams coordinator (2004-12) after three years alongside Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles as a special teams & quality control coach (2001-03).

The former offensive lineman also had a brief stint with the Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams as a player between 1985-86, though he never saw action in a regular season game. Soon after, Toub worked his way up through the college ranks from a graduate assistant at the University of Texas at El Paso (1986) to the eventual defensive line coach at the University of Missouri (1998-2000).

Steve Spagnuolo Opens up on Potential HC Role

The hiring process just wouldn’t be complete without all three of Reid’s coordinators (and others) getting buzz as future head coaches. In addition to Bieniemy and Toub, Chiefs passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo are also considered viable candidates in 2021.

With one week left to play before Kansas City enjoys its first-round bye, the latter, who replaced predecessor Bob Sutton in 2019, addressed the topic of becoming a head coach during his New Year’s Eve media availability.

“The fire burns in me for that,” Spagnuolo said Thursday, via The Kansas City Star.

The long-time defensive coach, now 61 years old, has already had one not-so-successful go-around in the head chair with the then-St. Louis Rams from 2009-11. In three seasons, Spagnuolo’s club played to a dismal 10-39 record, with seven of those wins coming in 2010 alone between 1-15 and 2-14 campaigns in the seasons before and after.

“I had that one opportunity … things didn’t work out,” Spagnuolo continued.

Now a two-time Super Bowl champion with a shot to win a third in the coming weeks, Spagnuolo’s resume is highlighted by various defensive roles with the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens and two stints with the New York Giants, during which he also served in an interim capacity for three weeks to close out the 2017 season, bringing his all-time head coaching mark to 11-41.

Besides these past two seasons in Kansas City, Spagnuolo’s relationship with Reid also dates back to the early 2000s with the Eagles, when he held roles as a defensive assistant, defensive backs coach and linebackers coach on Big Red’s staff for eight seasons (1999-06). While the man affectionately known as “Spags” is eager for another chance to prove himself, he also made sure to reiterate that he is content winning right where he is.

“Listen, I want to say this: I’m really happy with the job I’ve got,” Spagnuolo said. “So, I’m good there.”


Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!

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