NFL

Bears sign Toub to 2-year deal

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP)

The Chicago Bears signed special teams coordinator Dave Toub to a two-year contract on Tuesday.

Toub had an expiring deal and was reportedly in the running for the Miami Dolphins' head coaching job.

The Bears' special teams have consistently ranked among the league's best since Toub arrived in 2004 as part of coach Lovie Smith's first staff. He's helped Devin Hester develop into one of the greatest kick returners of all time and seen Robbie Gould establish himself as one of the league's most accurate kickers. Five players have combined for eight Pro Bowl selections under Toub, with Hester making it in 2006, 2007 and 2010.

Former Bear Brendon Ayanbadejo was a two-time pick (2006 and 2007), with Gould (2006) and returner Johnny Knox (2009) making one apiece and gunner Corey Graham being selected for the first time this season.

The Bears have league-leading 22 kick return touchdowns by six different players during Toub's tenure, and that does not include two missed field-goal returns or Hester's 92-yard kickoff return in the Super Bowl.

Leading that parade of touchdowns is Hester, of course. He is the NFL's all-time leader with 17 kick-return touchdowns, but the Bears' special teams have been successful in just about every area.

Gould is the fifth-most accurate field-goal kicker in league history at 85.8 percent, and the Bears set a franchise record with a 40.4 net punting average last season after signing Adam Podlesh to replace Brad Maynard.

Since 2004, the Bears lead the NFL in punt return yards (3,810), punt return average (11.7), punt return touchdowns (15) and blocked kicks (22). They rank second during that span in punts landed inside the 20 (223), third in punt coverage (7.1 yards per return allowed) and are tied for third in kickoff return touchdowns (seven).

Although they've locked in Toub, the Bears still have some openings to fill.

They're looking for a general manager to replace the fired Jerry Angelo along with a passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach and offensive line coach to work under new offensive coordinator Mike Tice.

Tagged: Bears, Robbie Gould, Devin Hester

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