John Harbaugh is reportedly finished as the Ravens coach after 2018 and the connections, talent and even an opening could be in place in Kansas City with the Chiefs.
The raid will happen. It always does to the teams most successful in the National Football League.
Given that the Kansas City is currently 8-1 heading into a Week 10 showdown against the Arizona Cardinals, the Chiefs look like they are a decent lock to be among the final teams left standing at season’s end in the postseason. Even beyond that, the way the offense looks under head coach Andy Reid makes them a popular Super Bowl pick as well—certainly a roster that will go farther than any recent Chiefs team has gone.
Because of the success, not-so-successful NFL teams will likely come calling this offseason, trying to hire away some staff member or front office executive who can help that team sort out its problems. Last year the Chiefs lost Matt Nagy to the Chicago Bears as their new head coach. Before that, it was Doug Pederson to the Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, Andy Reid’s coaching tree covers several franchises these days and his run of success in 2018 should only help further branches grow.
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This year, however, the cupboard is pretty barren when it comes to head coaching candidates, at least among the normal positions. Eric Bieniemy is the offensive coordinator, but he’s only held the title for a matter of months after being promoted from running backs coach. The same can be said for Bieniemy’s replacement, Deland McCullough, and the quarterbacks coach, Mike Kafka. Perhaps someone could like Andy Heck, the longtime offensive line coach, but by and large, the well needs time to refill.
However, there is one name that has been interviewed a few times over on special teams in Dave Toub. Toub has been interviewed in years past by the Denver Broncos and L.A. Chargers in recent years and was even considered years ago by the Miami Dolphins in 2012 and the Chicago Bears in 2013. We’ve already made the case that this could be Toub’s last year in Kansas City. It should be. He deserves any and every chance to lead a team of his own (if that’s what he would like).
Toub’s name is going to be mentioned with many coaching searches this winter and the lack of other Chiefs candidates might help him get the job this time. Most teams are reticent to pick a special teams coach to make the leap to head coach, but it’s been done before with John Harbaugh from the Baltimore Ravens and Toub was named assistant head coach this offseason for good reason.
So what would the Chiefs do if they were to lose a tremendous coach like Dave Toub? How about hiring the only other special teams coach to make the same jump?
Consider this: the latest rumors out of Baltimore say that John Harbaugh and the Ravens are heading toward a “mutual parting” after this calendar year. Harbaugh, a former special teams coordinator, last worked for, you guessed it, Andy Reid in Philadelphia. Harbaugh coached special teams and the secondary back with the Eagles from 1998 to 2007, a full decade under Reid’s tutelage.
If Harbaugh wanted to take a year out of the spotlight, survey his future options yet stay close to the game, what better place to do that from than under your trusted mentor at a position of need on a team that’s becoming the young class of the AFC?
If the Chiefs have to lose Toub, replacing him with a longtime head coach who has won a Super Bowl isn’t a bad addition to a team’s staff. It could give Harbaugh some solid ground to change course in his career while providing some immediate dividends on a young Chiefs team.
Perhaps then the thought of losing Toub wouldn’t sting so bad for a fan base that’s gotten used to having the best special teams in the NFL year after year.