The Bears replaced one of the NFL's best special teams coordinator with another Wednesday, hiring Joe DeCamillis one day after losing Dave Toub to the Chiefs.
DeCamillis has spent the past 25 years as an NFL special teams coach with the Broncos (1988-92), Giants (1993-96), Falcons (1997-2006), Jaguars (2007-08) and Cowboys (2009-12). During that time, his teams have returned 16 punts and 10 kickoffs for touchdowns.
|Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis makes his point during practice with the Dallas Cowboys.|
This season in Dallas DeCamillis coached kicker Dan Bailey, who tied for second in the NFL in field-goal accuracy at 93.5 percent (29 of 31); and Dwayne Harris, who ranked second in the league in punt return average at 16.1 yards with one touchdown.
In 2010, Cowboys punter Mat McBriar was voted to the Pro Bowl after leading the NFL in both gross (47.9) and net (41.7) average, and rookie Dez Bryant returned two punts for touchdowns.
In his first season in Dallas in 2009, DeCamillis led the Cowboys to a fourth-place finish on special teams after the unit ranked 27th the previous year. Patrick Crayton returned punts for touchdowns in back-to-back games and McBriar set a franchise record with 38 punts inside-the-20.
DeCamillis will reunite with punter Adam Podlesh in Chicago after the two worked together in Jacksonville in 2007-08. Podlesh was selected by the Jaguars in the fourth round of the 2007 draft.
During DeCamillis' 10 seasons with the Falcons, Atlanta led the NFL in punt coverage, allowing just 6.1 yards per return while ranking first overall four times and second twice. Five different Falcons players returned kicks for touchdowns under DeCamillis.