Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid has filled out his staff by hiring Andy Heck, Dave Toub, and Eugene Chung this week. Reid also retained linebackers’ coach Gary Gibbs and defensive back coach, Pro Football Hall of Fame member Emmitt Thomas, from the previous regime.
A 12-year veteran NFL offensive lineman, Andy Heck played for three teams before coaching for three years at the University of Virginia. He spent the last nine years in Jacksonville, the past seven as the offensive line coach. Heck brings plenty of experience to the Chiefs as well as a history of success. While the Jaguars have struggled overall the past few years, Jacksonville has had a very successful running game for many years and Heck’s big fellows up front opened the holes forMaurice Jones-Drew. It will be interesting to watch Heck’s new charges opening holes for a quick, darting back like Jamaal Charles. If Heck can help Charles maintain the successes he has enjoyed as a Chief, local fans will be thrilled as Charles remains the most exciting part of an otherwise sup par offense.
Dave Toub has headed the very successful special teams unit in Chicago for the past nine seasons. Toub witnessed players from his special team units garner eight Pro Bowl berths and over the past nine years, the Bears have topped the league return yardage and kick return touchdowns. Much of that success is due to the superlative Devin Hester but Hester doesn’t have that kind of success by himself, no matter how talented he is. The Chiefs special team play, outside of punter Dustin Colquitt, has been mediocre at best, so a big improvement in this area will be expected. The Chiefs have drafted a number of players who were supposed to be top notch returners but there has been little success in this part of the game. Hopefully Toub will be able to turn that around.
Eugene Chung, like Dave Toub, is familiar with Andy Reid. Before taking the Chicago job, Toub spent three seasons under Reid in Philadelphia. Chung, who played in the league for five years, has spent the last three seasons as the assistant offensive line coach with Reid in Philly, the same job title he will hold in Kansas City.
Gary Gibbs and Emmitt Thomas will continue in the roles they had under the previous two Chiefs’ head coaches. The Chiefs linebacker core is the most successful unit on the team. If anyone was going to be retained from the previous coaching staff, Gibbs was clearly the first choice. There has been improvement from this group every season. Thomas, a long time Chief as a player, has gotten the most out of his defensive backs over the years considering the total lack of consistent pressure applied to opposing quarterbacks in recent seasons. There has been improvement in this unit as well, as Thomas has had to use less talented back-ups much of his tenure here due to injuries, especially over the past two seasons.
Reid has been very aggressive pursuing coaches for his staff. It is obvious he is not wasting any time getting settled into his new position. As a whole, his new staff is experienced and just about all of his coaches and solid, respected, NFL reputations. Things continue to look up for Chiefs fans this off season.