Dave Toub, one of the originals on coach Lovie Smiths staff, will be on that staff for at least another year as the widely respected special teams coach has signed a two-year deal with the Bears.
Toub interviewed with the Miami Dolphins for their head coaching vacancy and is considered a likely head coach at some point.
Toub has fashioned arguably the top special teams units in the NFL over his time at Halas Hall. Eight times a Bear has gone to the Pro Bowl under Toub, most recently top cover man Corey Graham this season.
Toub has overseen the emergence, sometimes erratic, of Devin Hester as the NFLs greatest returner, and Robbie Gould, one of three special teams Pro Bowl selections in 2006, has become the fifth most accurate kicker in NFL history.
Bears special teams finished third in the NFL in 2011 based on a ranking system designed by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. Chicagos special teams has now ranked in the top third of the league for eight straight seasons under Toub, including finishing No. 1 overall in 2006 and 2007 and in the top six in five of the last six seasons (fourth in 2010 and sixth in 2009).
During Toubs tenure, the Bears have an NFL-high 22 kick return touchdowns compiled by six different players, which does not include two missed field goals returned for touchdowns or Hesters 92-yard kickoff return touchdown in Super Bowl XLI.
The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.
It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.
Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.
Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.
Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.
On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.
Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.
Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams.
Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs?
The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD.
Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week?
You can take a look here and see where they landed.