Prior to Wednesday night, it seemed as though Chris Tabor would be the Cleveland Browns special teams coach for eternity. Joe Thomas may have been the first lineman in NFL history, but even he seemed to be the second-longest tenured Brown, behind one of the worst special teams coaches in the NFL.
Many believed that Tabor would never actually leave Cleveland, or Berea for that matter. But, with former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy taking the head coaching gig with the Chicago Bears, it looks as though the Browns will (finally) be in search of a new special teams coach. According to Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs, Tabor will head the Bears special teams unit. He will return to Chicago, where he was an assistant coach from 2008-10, prior to coming to the Browns.
Although it has seemed like much longer, he had only been with the Browns for seven seasons. Yes, that’s right, he first came to the Browns when they hired former head coach Pat Shurmur in 2011. Throughout plenty of turnover in both the front office and coaching staff, Tabor was the one constant, a constant that many seemed to wonder how he (somehow) stayed along for the ride, no matter how much turnover there was. Since his hiring, the Browns have had two owners, five general managers, and four head coaches, yet the special teams coordinator remained the same, the lone constant in an organization filled with turmoil.
After being let out of his contract in Cleveland by head coach Hue Jackson in order to nab the same position in Chicago, Tabor will have quite an offseason with the Bears. Although he will have Tarik Cohen as his returner, his punter, long snappers, and kicker are all scheduled to become free agents in March.
For the first time in seven years, Cleveland is now in search of a new special teams coordinator after letting go of their longest-tenured coach. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll think about bringing in former Brown and Northeast Ohio native Josh Cribbs. Now wouldn’t that be something?
Although the Browns have made plenty of changes in the front office, including bringing in general manager John Dorsey and assistant general manager Eliot Wolf, Tabor is the first coach to be let go. Now, who will be next?