KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub took a moment Thursday to address De’Anthony Thomas’ 81-yard punt return for a touchdown in Week 15.
“It was really blocked well and De’Anthony did what he had to do,” Toub said. “He turned on the jets right up the sideline.”
Toub complimented the way blockers set up Thomas down the sideline, and pointed out wide receiver Junior Hemingway’s block on Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King.
“That was critical,” Toub said. “The punter, I don’t know if you remember the last game, he tackled Frankie (Hammond Jr.). He was the last guy to tackle Frankie on pretty much the same return.”
King previously made a touchdown-saving tackle on Hammond in Week 12 after Hammond returned a punt 28 yards.
Toub, who said last week he felt his special teams unit was close to busting a punt return for a touchdown, took Thomas’ effort in stride.
“It was nice to see,” Toub said.
LOW KEY PLAY
Potentially lost in the euphoria of De’Anthony Thomas’ 81-yard punt return for a touchdown is the block that arguably started it all.
Backup free safety Kelcie McCray keyed on Raiders gunner Neiko Thorpe, who had responsibility for outside containment down the left sideline.
“At the time, I wasn’t really thinking about it,” McCray said. “Any time De’Anthony gets the ball in his hands, he has the ability to make a big play. So, everybody is always excited every time there’s a punt return or kick return because we all know what he can do with the ball in his hands. At that time, all I was thinking is I got to get this guy blocked.”
McCray engaged Thorpe around the 26-yard line after Thomas fielded the punt at the 19-yard line. McCray stayed with the block, eventually driving Thorpe to the left of Thomas to open the lane.
The interior blocking was set with backup running back Charcandrick West and fullback Anthony Sherman to establish the wall, and the rest is history with Thomas streaking for the touchdown.
Thomas’ effort earned him the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, as announced Wednesday by the NFL.
And that recognition is a source of satisfaction for the entire special teams unit as the Chiefs prepare for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“We take a lot of pride in that,” McCray said. “There’s a lot of momentum going into the next game as well as the rest of the season knowing we did that. It is a team game and he was rewarded with the Special Teams Player of the Week award. We are all proud of him.”
FAKE PUNT PLOT
Punter Dustin Colquitt fielded a snap on fourth-and-2 midway through the second quarter in Week 15. But he made an action like he was looking to pass the ball instead of punting.
He quickly looked for receiver before pulling the ball down and punting to the Raiders’ 6-yard line.
Thursday finally offered an explanation of the play.
“Without getting into the details – I don’t want to tell you exactly what we are trying to do there – but it was a look,” special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. “We felt we had a look, not everybody felt like we had the look. It was one of those deals. Obviously Dustin thought we had the look, comes up knowing.”
Not all the players were on the same page, however, and credit Colquitt for making an on-the-spot decision to punt it away.
“To make a long story short, but I’m going to tell you one thing, he’s experienced,” Toub said. “He was able to see it, boom, get the ball down and get it out and still get the ball on the 6-yard line. Pretty impressive.”
MIZZOU HALL OF FAME
Chiefs backup quarterback Chase Daniel was selected for induction to Missouri’s Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, the school announced Thursday.
Daniel joins current Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, current Tennessee Titans tight end Chase Coffman, former Tigers pitcher John Dettmer, middle distance runner Ashley Patten and gymnast Alisha Robinson as the inductees.
The ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2014.