Bobby April calls Dave Toub one of best coaches in NFL
Bobby April, the Philadelphia Eagles special teams coach, was asked a pretty broad question in his press conference today.
What makes Dave Toub, his counterpart with the Chicago Bears, so successful? There were plenty of ways April, one of the league’s best on special teams, could have gone with his answer. He sprayed to all fields in a long answer, calling Toub one of the best coaches in the league, regardless of position. It was high praise for Toub, who got his start in the NFL in 2001 on Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia. Toub previously worked with Reid at the University of Missouri and UTEP.
“I’ve never coached with him, but he obviously brings a tremendous toughness and he’s brought a real culture of intensity in their team,” April said. “I mean, it’s not just (Devin) Hester that returns the ball well, all of their guys fly around, they hustle as much as anybody I’ve seen and their kickers are good. So this guy’s one of the top five coaches in the league and I don’t mean just special teams coaches because you can’t put any coordinators record against his. I mean, there is no offensive or defensive coordinator – well I may be wrong. Maybe (Pittsburgh Steeler defensive coordinator) Dick LeBeau is up there where every single year they’re in the top three or four. Maybe Lebeau would be an exception.
“Aside of that, I challenge anybody to say, ‘Well, you’ve gone five, six, seven consecutive years.’ It’s just the culture we live in. And I’m saying, maybe I shouldn’t say and somebody else should (because) I can talk about the Catholics, but if you’re Protestant you can’t really talk. …You know, just the culture is that those guys don’t get recognized, those special teams coaches don’t get recognized like somebody else. You know, whoever, ‘They have a really good year on offense and this guy’s one of the greatest coaches in the league (and) he should be a head coach. Why isn’t he?’ (I think) Toub should have that consideration I think because that’s what he’s done. So I can’t compliment him anymore than that. But I think he’s just unbelievable.”
April went on to say his praise for Toub goes well beyond Hester, the most decorated return man in NFL history.
“It’s not just Hester,” April said. “A lot of it is his talent. Those guys were playing and they have good schemes. That play they scored the touchdown (with Johnny Knox on a punt return) against Green Bay that was called back, that was the greatest special teams play I’ve ever seen. It takes creativity to do that, and it takes motivation, and it takes a lot to convince your guys that you can actually do that, ‘Well, when they punt over here, we’re going to send everybody over there and they’re going to go with us.’ I mean, just to convince them to execute it would be a tough challenge.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune