DeCamillis gets ringing endorsements from Podlesh, Gould
BY KALYN KAHLER firstname.lastname@example.org July 8, 2013 9:28PM
The Chicago Bears Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis during practice at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill., on Wednesday, April 18, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 10, 2013 6:29AM
Dave Toub’s tenure with the Bears is over, but the strong emphasis on special teams won’t change under new leadership.
Toub’s special teams ranked in the top 10 in eight of nine seasons. Following such a legacy might prove challenging, but players say the change from Toub to Joe DeCamillis has been smooth.
“There’s a reason why it has been a very fluid transition between having Dave and Joe D.,” punter Adam Podlesh said. “It’s because the ideologies and a lot of what they do are similar.”
DeCamillis’ strategies — which encompasses providing good, efficient coverage, creating manageable space and using directional punting and kicking — is familiar to the special teams and for Podlesh in particular. Podlesh played his first two seasons under DeCamillis at Jacksonville.
“He was a good part of the reason I got drafted to Jacksonville in the first place,” Podlesh said. “The ideology that he has for special teams is basically the ideology that I had my first two years in Jacksonville, which has built me up to where I am today. We’re both on the same plane.”
DeCamillis joined the Bears as special-teams coach and assistant head coach in January after also interviewing for the head-coaching job. Kicker Robbie Gould said he is excited to work with DeCamillis, who has more than two decades of coaching experience.
“We’re lucky to get a guy like Joe D., who has been around the league for a long time, who is very well respected,” Gould said. “Anytime you’re getting a special-teams coach or any coach that gets interviews for a head-coaching job, obviously he is a very good coach.”
Gould said he is 100 percent healthy after missing the final three games of last season with a ruptured tendon. Gould hopes to shorten the gap of 214 points between his total and Kevin Butler’s all-time Bears scoring record.
“I’d love to leave with every Bear record. Every competitor that plays football would tell you that,” Gould said. “Anytime somebody is going to mention Kevin and I in the same sentence, then I’m doing something right because in my opinion. Kevin was the best player who ever kicked for the Chicago Bears.”
Gould and Podlesh, along with a bevy of current and former Bears, PGA players and local celebrities, were at Barrington Hills Country Club on Monday for An Orphan’s Prayer Celebrity Invitational, which raised money for orphan care in Haiti.
Gould and Podlesh will head into training camp with competition. The Bears signed kicker Austin Signor and punter Tress Way this spring. Gould and Podlesh said they welcomed the competition as motivation to improve.
“My best seasons have come when somebody else has been in camp with me,” Gould said. “This is the first time in probably five years I’ve had somebody in camp.”
In 2007, kicker Nick Novak joined Gould in camp.