Dave Toub: We’re gunner be fine on special teams
BY JOSH MCGHEE firstname.lastname@example.org August 7, 2012 8:48PM
Chicago Bears corner back D.J. Moore (30) works with coaching staff during NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., Sunday, July 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: September 9, 2012 6:22AM
BOURBONNAIS — With Pro Bowler Corey Graham gone to the Ravens and Devin Thomas having retired, special-teams coordinator Dave Toub is looking for D.J. Moore and Rashied Davis to step up.
“You don’t replace [Graham] with one guy, not initially,’’ Toub said. ‘‘It’s going to take a couple. We have to find out who our gunners will be.’’
Toub said Moore is the favorite to become a gunner.
“I believe he can do it,’’ Toub said. ‘‘He’s got great quickness. He’s got great ball skills. We think he can possibly be that guy.’’
Graham’s stature is “hard to live up to,” but Moore, a four-year veteran at cornerback, is undaunted.
“Hopefully I can do it as well as Corey Graham,’’ Moore said. ‘‘I have the skill set to do so. I [will put forth] the effort to get it done. Most of his plays were 120 percent effort. I believe it can be done.”
A good special-teams player, Thomas surprised everyone with his retirement. Davis’ addition will be a big help, Toub said.
“We’re expecting Davis to do the same thing [Thomas] did,’’ Toub said. ‘‘He’s been in that role before. He’s still playing at a high level.’’
Davis, who was watching TV at home when he got the call from the Bears, is excited to be in Chicago again.
“[We’re going to] pick up where he left off and work together to make plays as a unit,” Davis said. “You can’t replace a Corey Graham, but as a team, you can pick each other up and make plays.”
Davis said the special-teams unit can be expected to bring “the same lock-down punt and kickoff coverage.”
“Right now, on paper, we look pretty good, but you don’t really know about personality until you get in the games,” Toub said. “By the end of preseason, we’ll know more.’’