Saturday, September 18, 2010
A moment of levity for special teams coach
By Jeff Dickerson
Bears punter Brad Maynard sees a tempting target in Cowboys Stadium's video screens.
DALLAS -- The pair of 100-inch video screens hanging above the field at Cowboys Stadium was a topic of conversation this week between Bears special teams coach Dave Toub and punter Brad Maynard.
"I asked him that the other day, I was like are you going to try and hit it?" Toub said. "He was like, ‘hell yeah’. I think every punter will try when they go to that stadium. Can he do it? I don't know, I don't know.
"You need a strong leg to do it. Maybe in his younger years, but not now."
That may have been one of few light-hearted moments this week for Toub.
Only one game into the regular season, the special teams coach is already down one key contributor, and may be without another when the Bears face Dallas on Sunday.
The Bears decision to place Hunter Hillenmeyer on injured reserve not only hurts the defense, it also affects special teams, where the veteran linebacker played a large role.
"He was a four-phase starter for us, so we have to get him replaced," Toub said of Hillenmeyer. "A guy like Rod Wilson, the fact he was able to play special teams a few years ago for us in basically the same spots, he's going to come in and do that for us in this game."
Wilson's arrival should ease some concerns, but such a quick fix doesn't exist if a hamstring injury forces Nick Roach to miss the Cowboys game. Roach, a fellow four-phase starter, is listed as questionable, but did have limited participation in practice Friday.
"There is no one guy who can do that," Toub said. "We'll have to replace him with two or three guys if Roach is down [this week]. But we're still holding out hope for him."
The Bears need to pay particular attention to their coverage units this weekend, because, like the Bears, Dallas boasts a talented group of return men, including rookie Dez Bryant.
"He's an outstanding athlete with great speed," Toub said. "He had one punt return last week where he hit it north and south. We're prepared for anything he can give us."