Browns Hire Special Teams Coach

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.

The Chicago Bears have had tremendous success with their units-

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.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

  • The Conductor

    The Browns special teams unit in Tecmo Bowl was probably the worst video game sports team of all time. However, Eric Metcalf was a golden God.

    Mr. Tabor, you are no golden God.

  • humboldt

    @Conductor – Metcalf was more of a demi-god. Bo Jackson and Walter Peyton were the golden gods. Let’s not get carried away here…

  • eldaveablo

    Did anyone else chuckle a little bit after reading the line, “The Chicago Bears have had tremendous success with their units”?

    Maturity is not my strength.

  • NJ

    “Comforted”? No.

    Seely’s departure was a big lose. Realistically, anyone we brought in was going to be a step down. While I like the fact that Tabor comes from a successful special teams unit, I can’t overlook that he’s an assistant who hasn’t proven himself at the position we hired him for.

    Like every coaching hire this offseason, I’m trying not to be negative. I’ll wait to see how it works out.

  • Anthony

    @4

    “Like every coaching hire this offseason, I’m trying not to be negative. I’ll wait to see how it works out.”

    Agreed.

  • bobby

    All im gonna say… if the failures or successes of this team come down to whom the ST coordinator is, or rather the ST in general then its not a good year.

    Just a quick refresher… how many TDs did we run back last season? How about we had RACs regime? Does anyone know the name of that ST coordinator? The impact of the loss of Seely is very exaggerated in my opinion.

  • EZ

    “Just a quick refresher… how many TDs did we run back last season? How about we had RACs regime? Does anyone know the name of that ST coordinator? The impact of the loss of Seely is very exaggerated in my opinion.”

    To me what matter the most about our STs from last year is that we generally put the other team in the worst possible field position after kickoffs and punts. Our coverage teams were fantastic on top of Hodges having a great year.

  • Bernie Quasar

    as long as I see one more RUN REGGIE RUN! play next year, i’ll be happy.

  • NJ

    “All im gonna say… if the failures or successes of this team come down to whom the ST coordinator is, or rather the ST in general then its not a good year.”

    I disagree somewhat. Every team, good and bad, needs to worry about special teams. I will agree that the Browns have bigger issues, but it’d be nice to have one squad that won’t be a total question mark in ’11.

    By my mental math – out of sixteen games, fourteen are decided by offense/defense and two by special teams. Two doesn’t seem like a lot, but look at the Chargers & Eagles to see the difference it can make.

  • bobby

    Sure it can make a difference, but we still have Cribbs returning. Maybe bringing in a new scheme will get him going again… that and not having him as a top WR.

  • Omega King

    @ eldaveablo – no, you’re no the only one that got a kick out of that line. That was my first thought.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    I’m not terribly worried about ST. Mangini brought in a lot of ST players he’d had success with in the past, like Costanzo, Trusnik, and Ventrone, so it’s possible that we just have really good special teams players.

    On the other hand, if Phil Dawson leaves, I might start panicking.

  • mike

    If you are going to pick a special teams coach from any team, Chicago would be it. I think we will be fine. The only special teams unit I would take before Cleveland, would be the Bears.