Notebook: Chiefs special teams going through return TD drought

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs have gone 11 games over the last two seasons without a punt or kickoff return for touchdown, the longest drought since Andy Reid and his staff took over in 2013.

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub won’t admit to getting antsy or frustrated by the wait; he’s been there before.

“When I was in Chicago, we had Devin Hester in 2006, 2007 and he set all types of records,” Toub said of Hester’s 11 return scores in those two seasons. “Then in 2008, 2009, he did not have one touchdown for two years straight. We’ve got a long way to go before we get to that point.

“Touchdowns are hard to get; they don’t just come. When you get one, it’s a special thing. I think we are getting closer. We have a lot of season left.”

Last Sunday’s against Denver , the Chiefs may have had their best game on special teams this season, even though they did not get into the end zone.

“Any time you can recover three onside kicks that’s a good day,” Toub said. “Those are high stress situations and the guys handled them well and made big plays.”


The sight of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin streaking down the field in Week 10 to throw a block on Broncos safety T.J. Ward at the end of running back Charcandrick West’s 80-yard touchdown catch certainly turned heads.

But the block shouldn’t come as a surprise since Chiefs wide receivers are often found engaged with defenders on any given play.

“We ask them to do a lot in the run game and it just kind of carries over,” offensive coordinator Doug Pederson told reporters Thursday. “That’s just an extension of the run game in our minds.

“We ask our receivers to do a lot of that and I think you’ve seen it here lately. You’ve seen Jeremy down the field on certain blocks, allowing our backs and receivers to make longer runs. We’re going to continue to ask them to do that, it’s a pride thing with them and they welcome it. I think it just opens up a lot more in your passing game.”

Pederson adds Maclin and Jason Avant set the tone for the wide receiver corps.

“I think you just watch what Jeremy’s done in the last couple of weeks on the blocks he’s made downfield,” Pederson said. “I think it feeds to the younger players, to Albert (Wilson), to Chris (Conley), the guys that are in there playing. Jason can do it because we ask Jason to do it quite a bit in the run game, especially in tight situations. It just feeds to the younger player. Jeremy has done a nice job there.”

Beat writer Herbie Teope contributed to this report.


Bob Gretz is the senior editor for Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @BobGretzcom.