Meet Chris Tabor and Brock Olivo, the Chicago Bears' Special Teams Coaches

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Meet Chris Tabor and Brock Olivo, the Chicago Bears’ Special Teams Coaches

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears kick things off in 2018 with an appearance in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. Earlier in the offseason, we got to know Matt Nagy the head coach candidate – and eventually – the head coach. And after boning up on the players and their respective groups, we figured now would be a good time to get to know the coaches who will be working under Nagy and with different positions around the gridiron. 

Previous: Mark Helfrich and the offensive assistants, Vic Fangio and the defensive assistants.

Today: Special teams coaches

Special Teams Coordinator

Chris Tabor

Tabor’s NFL Coaching Experience

  • 2011-17 Cleveland Browns (Special Teams)
  • 2008-10 Chicago Bears (Assistant Special Teams)

Notable Coaches Worked For…

  • 2008-10 Lovie Smith; Dave Toub
  • 2011-12 Pat Shurmur
  • 2014-15 Mike Pettine
  • 2016-17 Hue Jackson

Why He’s Here

The Bears’ special teams units have been unquestionably underwhelming since Dave Toub left after the 2012 season. Maybe Toub left too big of shoes to fill for Joe DeCamillis (2013-14) and Jeff Rodgers (2015-17). Perhaps GM Ryan Pace didn’t cultivate enough talent to give the special teams unit a fighting chance to be successful. It’s possible both statements are true. It’s probably that there is more to Chicago’s special teams woes beyond who is coaching them up. In the end, tapping into the Bears’ past could ultimately bring a better future to this group.

Things haven’t been great for the Cleveland Browns in recent years, but don’t blame the special teams. Tabor’s unit was highly regarded throughout his tenure with the team. In fact, the Browns were the only team in the league to have at least one Special Teams Player of the Week award winner in each season from 2011 through 2016. At least someone was doing their job in Cleveland, and that someone often was a contributor on the special teams. The Browns even had Pro Bowl contributors in place kicker Phil Dawson and return specialist Joshua Cribbs back in 2012, which is impressive considering we’re talking about the freaking Browns!

But I digress.

If Tabor can turn the Bears’ rag-tag group of special teamers into something that’s greater than the sum of its parts, then we’ll see this much-maligned group as headed in the right direction.

Meet His Assistant

Brock Olivo

Olivo’s Coaching Experience

  • 2017 Denver Broncos (Special Teams Coordinator)
  • 2014-16 Kansas City Chiefs (Assistant Special Teams Coordinator)
  • 2012-13 Coastal Carolina University (Running Backs, Special Teams Assistant)
  • 2011 Omaha Nighthawks (United Football League) (Running Backs)
  • 2011 Italian National American Football Team (Head Coach)

Notable Coaches Worked For…

  • 2014-16 Dave Toub, Andy Reid
  • 2017 Vance Joseph

Why He’s Here

If one ex-Toub assistant is good, then two must be better … right?

Olivo coached under Toub in Kansas City for three years, a stretch in which the Chiefs were one of four teams that didn’t allow a punt or kick return touchdown. In the same span of years, the Chiefs actually scored five touchdowns on returns. I suppose having Tyreek Hill helped a little bit, but Tarik Cohen is absolutely electric with the ball in his hands and Benny Cunningham is a capable return man.

The road to this moment has been an interesting one for Olivo. He played his college ball at Missouri and completed his playing career as the school’s all-time leading rusher. After that, he played for the Detroit Lions from 1998-2002. Beyond his unique playing and coaching experiences that include time in the college ranks and overseas in Italy, Olivo actually ran for Congress in 2008 … but was ultimately defeated in his quest for the 9th congressional district seat in the Republican primary. So, that’s certainly different.

While Olivo’s time running his own show on special teams was short-lived (as he was part of Denver’s house cleaning of its assistant coaching staff), perhaps he simply needs some more time working under an established special teams coach before getting back on that horse and operating his own ship once again.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.