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With or without Chris Ballard, Titans should ponder Dave Toub as coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans had a couple of surprises on their list of GM candidates. When the list of coaching candidates surfaces, will we find an unexpected guy or two?

The discussion of coordinators and college coaches has been pretty thorough.

One area we haven’t talked about is special teams coaches.

Baltimore’s John Harbaugh is the patron saint of the group. He’s the one guy with a primary background with NFL special teams to make the jump to head coach, and he rates as one of the league’s best.

Dallas assistant head coach/special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia’s name has surfaced for some jobs in the past. I wrote about him in 2011 before the Titans hired Mike Munchak, and he got strong endorsements from Jon Gruden, whom he worked for in Tampa Bay, and Derrick Brooks, the super linebacker who played for him.

Kansas City special teams coach Dave Toub is a long-time friend and confidant of Andy Reid and actually worked under Harbaugh in Reid’s staff in Philadelphia for a time. He and Titans GM candidate Chris Ballard worked together in Chicago and are now part of Chiefs, who play in New England in the divisional round of the playoffs Saturday afternoon.

In 2011 Toub interviewed for the open Miami Dolphins job and in 2012 he interviewed with the Bears.

“He can do everything,” Andy Reid told B.J. Kissel of the Chiefs' website. “I mean, he’s a guy that builds his own homes. He built his house in Columbia (Missouri) from scratch, and it was a phenomenal house too. He'd be good at anything.

“If he was a head coach, he'd be good at that. That’s just how he’s built.”

Harbaugh spent a year as the Eagles' secondary coach before making the jump to the big job. Per the Kansas City Star, not since Frank Gansz was promoted from Chiefs special-teams coach to head coach in 1987 has someone made that jump in the NFL.

A year ago, before the Chicago Bears hired Ryan Pace as their new GM and John Fox as their coach, Ballard was viewed as a favorite to return to the Bears and take over.

Early in that process, Chicago Tribune reporter David Haugh thought the Bears might hire Ballard, and that Ballard might hire Toub, who he wrote is “a tough-minded coach who embraces defense and special teams with the personality that commands respect in the locker room.”

If the Titans seriously look for alternatives to Mike Mularkey, perhaps Toub is the sort of outside-the-box guy they should consider.