Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera interviewed Chicago Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub this week for the same position with the Panthers, a league source said Thursday.
Toub spent the past nine seasons working for Bears coach Lovie Smith, who was fired last week. Toub is under contract with Chicago through 2013, although a source said the Bears gave Carolina consent to interview him.
The Chicago Tribune reported Toub also is scheduled to interview with new Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who hired Toub in Philadelphia after the two were together at Missouri and UTEP.
Rivera and Toub worked together for three years in Philadelphia before both joined Smith in Chicago in 2004.
Rivera fired special teams coordinator Brian Murphy in November, a day after the Panthers allowed a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown to Trindon Holliday in a 36-14 loss to Denver. Rivera promoted assistant special teams coach Richard Rodgers, Rivera’s teammate at Cal.
The Bears’ special teams have ranked among the league’s best under Toub, who twice has been named the league’s special teams coach of the year.
KUECHLY HONORED: The accolades keep rolling in for Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, who was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in voting by Pro Football Weekly and the Pro Football Writers Association.
Kuechly, the ninth overall pick last year from Boston College, had 165 tackles to become the first rookie to lead the league in tackles since Patrick Willis in 2007. He also broke the Panthers’ single-season mark for tackles.
Kuechly was the Rookie of the Month in December after averaging nearly 15 tackles a game as the Panthers went 4-1 during the month. The AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award will be announced Feb. 2 in New Orleans, the night before the Super Bowl.