“There’s nothing going on there,” Reid said when asked directly if Sutton will return as defensive coordinator. “I know everybody has their opinion on everything, just like they did when they wanted me to bench Alex (Smith). That turned out pretty good.

“So (replacing Sutton) is not where I’m at or have ever been. I don’t listen to any of that. I do what I think is right for the Kansas City Chiefs.”

– Andy Reid.

Bob Sutton has coached in the NFL for 17 years, eight as a defensive coordinator with the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. Sutton has been in Kansas City since 2013 when Andy Reid became the head coach. Since then the Chiefs have reshaped their team and been to the playoffs multiple times. The Chiefs have always struggled with either a good offense or a good defense but hardly had both at the same time. Since Reid and Sutton came to town, the Chiefs have had both, in a way. Fans have been spoiled during the regular season but then had their hearts shredded in the playoffs.

We won’t talk about that too much though because we all love the Chiefs and as cliché as it sounds there is always next season. Sutton completely revamped the Chiefs defense and created them into a turnover machine. His defense was healthy, fast and very dominant. The Chiefs have faced several seasons with severe injuries. Justin Houston, Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, Dee Ford have all faced injuries that left them out for a whole season and sometimes into the following one as well. Yes, each team faces this challenge and finds a way through the adversity. What helps with injuries to your star players is having depth in the position.

When Eric Berry was battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma the Chiefs had true and solid depth at the safety position. This season, not so much as the Chiefs seemed to overuse Daniel Sorensen throughout the season. He was asked to do a lot, and with his particular skill set, he did not do too bad. He did have plenty of room to do better, as did the entire secondary. The Chiefs have specialized in playing physical man-to-man defense with the ‘bend don’t break’ mentality. At times that is a great strategy, but when you are dealing with a struggling number two cornerback it might be a good idea to change the scheme around. When your defensive line and linebackers are struggling against the run, it also might be a good idea to change the scheme around.

Sutton did change the scheme around for the defensive line to help with the run but did not budge with his pass scheme, leaving his guys in man coverage. He also called a very limited amount of blitzes and stunts with one of the leagues most feared pass rushers. These struggles have continued to grow throughout Sutton’s tenure with the Chiefs and have also become blatantly obvious.

Opposing quarterbacks did not fear the Chiefs this season and neither did their offensive coordinators. The Chiefs defensive scheme could be great with good physical corners that play man coverage well, but that is not something the Chiefs have outside of Marcus Peters. Changes need to be made immediately for the Chiefs to be successful on the defensive side of the football again.

I am not saying the Chiefs need to fire Sutton right now, but it is safe to say he may be on the hot seat. Reid tends to be a very loyal coach, he does not have immediate reactions to failure. Honestly, that is what makes Reid a great coach. He has been in a variety of situations, but remains calm and trusts his guys. He knows the team will figure it out and continue to do what is best. Nothing can be fixed overnight, but it can in the offseason. Hopefully, that is what the Chiefs and Sutton will do here in the next upcoming weeks.

Sutton needs players who fit in his scheme and will continue to play physical and be reliable. Ultimately the Chiefs need depth in their secondary, reliable depth. Sutton scheme does work and has proved to work time and time again. He needs players who fit his scheme, but the other side of that is Sutton needs to make changes to the scheme if the talent is not present.

Reid and Sutton have been at this a long time, a very long time. These guys will figure it out and Brett Veach will do his part this offseason to bring in the right talent to keep the Chiefs in contention for the title next season. The Chiefs will have a new look next season on defense, so do not count the Chiefs or Bob Sutton out just yet.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.


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