The Bears May Be Taking a Page Out of Dave Toub's Playbook in Their Big Search for a Kicker

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The Bears May Be Taking a Page Out of Dave Toub’s Playbook in Their Big Search for a Kicker

Chicago Bears

Before Bears GM Ryan Pace goes on an exhaustive journey to find his team’s next kicker, maybe he should consult an expert in the field. Talking shop with someone who knows what it’s like to scout and develop a kicker who can make it at Soldier Field would make sense. Perhaps an old friend such as Dave Toub would fit the bill here.

Prior to the Chiefs’ AFC Championship Game showdown with the Patriots, Toub spoke with ESPN’s Kevin Seifert on a wide-range of topics including how to properly build a successful special teams unit, his dreams of being an NFL head coach, and what it takes to make it as a kicker. And while Pace placed an emphasis on having a powerful leg, Toub believes the most important thing a good kicker has happens to sit between his ears.

“Personality is important to me there,” Toub said. “It’s such a head game. You see guys that have confidence in college, then all of a sudden, they get to the NFL and, boom, they lose it. You’ve got to try to sift through it.”

Later in the interview, Toub makes reference to ex-Bear Roberto Aguayo. Before he biffed on his shot at kicking in Chicago, Aguayo was hailed as a can’t-miss prospect out of Florida State. He was an All-American in college who hasn’t shown he has what it takes to make it in the NFL despite being a second-round pick. Aguayo is now the top cautionary tale for teams that draft kickers, especially in early rounds.

Elsewhere in the ESPN piece, Toub came off pretty adamant about not drafting a kicker or punter. But what would be the alternative? “Every kicker or punter I’ve had have always been free agents, guys that came up the hard way, guys that had to fight they way, earned their way,” Toub said. “Those are the guys I want.”

That sounds exactly like what the Bears are creating right now. Because while Chris Blewitt and Redford Jones aren’t household names, they are set up to engage in a true winner-take-all competition in training camp. Competition tends to breed excellence, so maybe the Bears have something here. Further, if any team is well-positioned to follow Toub’s directions it’s the Bears, right?

Special Teams Coach Chris Tabor and his top assistant Brock Olivo were Toub assistants at different points in their respective careers. Tabor worked under Toub from 2008-10, a three-year stretch in which Robbie Gould was successful on 86.2 percent of his field goals and didn’t miss an extra point. Olivo served as Toub’s assistant between 2014 and 2017 while in Kansas City. And in that four-year run, the Chiefs unearthed Cairo Santos (84.8 FG% before suffering an injury) and Harrison Butker (who has been successful on 89.9 percent of his tries since being signed in September 2017).

If Bears GM Ryan Pace passes on using available cap dollars on a free agent kicker in free agency and instead decides to go on an exhaustive journey to create a full-blown kicking competition that will net the team’s next kicker, then he will be that much closer to doing something that should have been done (and would have been applauded) long ago. And the 2019 Bears figure to be better for it.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


Author: Luis Medina

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