Whenever the Chiefs line up for a kick return, running back Knile Davis is often — but not always — the man back deep to field the kick. Occasionally, the Chiefs like to insert De’Anthony Thomas into the role, something that dates back to last year.
On Thursday, special teams coach Dave Toub was asked about the different factors that play a role in which guy fields the kick.
“It depends on the return, without giving too much away,” Toub said. “Each guy has a different style, and if we want to hit them straight up the field we might go with one guy, and the other guy is more of a bounce guy.”
Davis, who is 5 feet 10 and 227 pounds, blends power and speed, while the diminutive Thomas features quick-twitch moves and speed. Toub said Davis — who leads the Chiefs with a 25.1 average on 10 returns, while Thomas checks in at 20.3 on four returns — is the lead guy, though Davis has been getting additional work as a blocker on punt return lately.
“He’s going to continue to be our number one kick returner going forward,” Toub said. “He played a little bit of punt return for us last week. We might use Spencer Ware in that role a little bit more, we’ll see, but we have a number of guys that we could use there ... game-to-game it changes.”
Toub also has a plan if Davis, who appears to be the No. 2 back now that Jamaal Charles is out for the season, starts getting more work on offense.
“If he’s the hot hand and he’s getting a lot of touches, we’ll take him off some special teams during the game,” Toub said.
Colquitt’s shank explained
Chiefs veteran Dustin Colquitt has long established himself as one of the league’s best punters, which made his fourth-quarter shank on Sunday — it went 19 yards — one of the more surprising developments in the game.
Toub said the constant pressure from the Vikings was a factor.
“If you watch that whole game, they were coming after us,” Toub said. “Dustin’s having a great year, so their game plan was to come after us with rushes. They actually tipped one early … and when that happens to you, you have this sixth sense in your mind ‘Hey, I’ve got to get this ball off,’ and kind of rush that a little bit.”
Toub said the ball went off the side of Colquitt’s foot. Toub, though, was quick to heap praise Colquitt, who ranks second in the league with 14 punts inside the 20-yard line.
“That was probably the worst punt he had all year,” Toub said. “He’s been really outstanding for us if you go back and look at his punts. He’s been keeping us in good field position and getting us out of holes when we need it. And he’s been a leader for us.”
Rookie makes an impression
Chiefs rookie defensive end Rakeem Nunez-Roches was active for the first time in his professional career on Sunday.
Nunez-Roches, a sixth-round pick, logged five plays on special teams and apparently did a solid enough job.
“I saw an explosive guy,” Toub said. “I mean, we see an explosive guy in practice, that’s why we put him in there. We had a punt block that we put him in, and he shows real good explosiveness and he almost blocked that punt right at the end. As long as he’s up (on the 46-man gameday roster), we’re going to continue to use him little by little.”