Last week the Browns lost special teams coordinator Brad Seely to the San Francisco 49ers. Yesterday they filled the vacancy with Chris Tabor, who was the assistant special teams coach for the Chicago Bears for the last three seasons.
The Browns have had one of the premiere special teams units over the past few years under Seely’s tenure. It goes beyond the touchdowns and explosive returns of Josh Cribbs. The coverage units have been excellent. The punting game and field goal units have been well above average. Fortunately for the Browns, they were able to find someone associated with the same kind of success.
Chicago’s special teams ranked in the top five in nine categories during Tabor’s tenure. The Bears led the NFL in total return yards (6,570) and kickoff return yards (5,415), posted the second-best kickoff return average (25.1), ranked third in punt return coverage (7.1) and had the fifth-best punt return average (10.4).
The Bears totaled six kick returns for touchdowns, tied for second in the league. Tabor worked with Pro Bowlers Hester and Johnny Knox, and Danieal Manning, who led the league with a 29.7 kickoff return average in 2008.
In 2010, the Bears ranked first in punt return average (17.1), second in kickoff return average (25.4), second in average drive start after kickoffs (31.5) and ninth in punt return coverage (7.8).
Special teams aren’t the glory units of a football team, but Cleveland fans who were nervous after Seely’s departure should probably be comforted by the hiring of Tabor.