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Old 01-07-2018, 04:03 PM  
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Mellinger: Fire Sutton

Chiefs need change, and they should begin by firing defensive coordinator Bob Sutton
BY SAM MELLINGER

smellinger@kcstar.com


UPDATED 40 MINUTES AGO

Bob Sutton needs to be fired.

The Chiefs should be looking for a new defensive coordinator. There is no joy in calling for a manís job, but then, there is no joy in watching a defense underperform its talent and fair expectations over and over and over again.

This canít continue. That is plain. That is obvious.

Andy Reid isnít ready to talk about this yet and thatís fine, thatís understandable, thatís his right. Whatís more ó thatís smart.


The head coach lives this in a way that requires space for any major change. Emotional decisions are usually bad decisions, and Reid had to know the Will You Fire Your DC question was coming in the postmortem press conference the day after another embarrassing postseason collapse.

And he had to know he would answer it with a vague non-answer.

ďTime in this league has a funny way of working,Ē Reid said. ďYouíve gotta step back. Youíve gotta evaluate. Youíve gotta go through that process. Look at whatís real, and whatís not. You donít want to do it when youíre emotional or still tied into what happened obviously last night.

ďYouíve gotta fight that. A question like that, youíve gotta fight that. You step back and you evaluate it, and do whatís right for the Chiefs. If you always come back to that, youíre going to be OK.Ē

Thatís an 86-word excerpt from a longer answer that can be generally summarized: ďI just had my heart ripped out, again, and am not yet ready to make any decision more serious than lunch.Ē

Chiefs' Andy Reid reflects on Wild Card playoff loss: 'We've got to do better'
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid held a press conference a day after the Chiefsí 22-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans in an AFC Wild Card playoff game. It was the Chiefs' sixth straight home playoff loss, a NFL record.

Allison Long The Kansas City Star
Again, you can understand where heís coming from. Even if he somehow has already decided to move on from Sutton, he hasnít had a chance to tell his friend and longtime assistant yet, and taking some time comes with no downside.

Potential replacements arenít being hired, and in fact may still be working. More to the point, Reidís coaching philosophy centers around personal accountability.

After every loss, he says some form of, ďwe need to get better and that starts with me.Ē After the offense played dead in the second half against the Titans, Reid said he called the plays that didnít work and assistant Matt Nagy called the plays that did.

Firing his defensive coordinator the next day would reek of scapegoating.

But if he hasnít yet, Reid must soon come to the cold and unemotional conclusion that the Chiefs need a new voice for the defense.

That needs to be only part of the change. Alex Smith must be replaced by Patrick Mahomes, offensive line coach Andy Heck needs to make a convincing case to keep his job, and no position group on the team underperformed as much as the defensive line coached by Reidís son Britt.

Reid himself should wear the biggest chunk of this loss. He just finished his 19th season as a head coach and by now has earned a reputation for regular season success and postseason failure.

Seventy-eight teams have led by 18 or more at halftime of a playoff game. Only four have lost, and two have been coached by Reid in the last five seasons. He is tied for the third-most playoff losses of any coach in NFL history, and the two ahead of him won multiple Super Bowls.

Chiefs are on this list twice: Teams blowing an 18-point halftime lead in NFL playoffs
According to ESPN research, Andy Reid's Chiefs teams are responsible for two of the only four times in modern NFL playoff history a team has blown an 18-point or larger halftime lead.

Neil Nakahodo, David Eulitt, Shane Keyser, John Sleezer, Allison Long The Kansas City Star
Since 2001, he has won just one playoff game as the underdog, and lost seven as the favorite.

The loss to the Titans followed a familiar pattern: the offense went cold, the defense couldnít get off the field and the Chiefs had a chance to win at the end and failed.

The standard for this team was always postseason success, so the outcome is a failure, and any credible evaluation of another wasted opportunity must acknowledge Reidís share of this.

But heís not going anywhere, for better or worse. Chairman Clark Hunt values the stability Reid has created after the horror show Pioli years, Reid signed a contract extension last summer, and heíll oversee the quarterback transition to Patrick Mahomes.

Sutton has no excuse, and no cushion.

The Chiefs were 28th in total defense, and 27th in yards surrendered per play. They could not stop the run (24th in yards per carry, 202 given up in the playoff loss), which tended to overshadow the fact that they could not stop the pass (24th in yards per attempt).

Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson: 'If youíre good enough, you come out with that win'
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson called Saturday's playoff loss to the Titans one of the toughest of his career.

Sam Mcdowell The Kansas City Star
The advanced metrics, if anything, are worse. Football Outsidersí DVOA ranks the Chiefs dead last in the league in overall defense.

This fits what the eye sees, too. They could not get off the field on third down (23rd, and second worst among playoff teams), and could not adjust to opponentsí schemes. Sutton allowed Daniel Sorensen to be exposed against the run for far too long, didnít do enough to scheme pressure, and was far too easy to manipulate.

His scheme had Justin Houston rushing the passer or dropping into coverage based on what the offense showed, which meant the other side was controlling what the Chiefsí best player did on any given snap.

Sutton had enough to work with, too, even after losing Eric Berry for the season. The Chiefs spend more than half their salary cap on defense, and thatís with stars like Chris Jones and Marcus Peters still on rookie deals, and Reggie Ragland playing for relative peanuts.

If it was bad luck that Berry played just one game, it was good luck that Houston played 17. The injury excuse is a tired one, anyway. Every team has something. The Titans had two defensive starters on IR, and they managed.

Coaches are supposed to put their players in position to succeed, and far too often, Sutton was doing the opposite. The Patriots gave up an average of 32 points in their first four games (including a season-high 42 to the Chiefs in the opener) and then an average of just 14 the rest of the way.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick is an unrealistic standard for defensive scheme, but this is two years in a row the Chiefs have lost a playoff game at home as the betting favorite largely because they could not stop the run and get off the field on third down.

Against the Titans, a team with a struggling quarterback and dangerous running back, the Chiefs used far too much nickel and even dime personnel ó including on Derrick Henryís 35 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Whether that was because the Titans were able to influence the Chiefsí substitutions with their own personnel, or because Sutton made the decision on his own is irrelevant. This just canít continue.

Let us say it one more time: Sutton is not the only problem, and may not even be the biggest.

Reid is Suttonís boss, and couldíve better protected his defense and an 18-point lead with more carries for the leagueís leading rusher.

Even so, the offense couldíve won the game on its last possession, and this is a staggering fact: all but one of the Chiefsí losses this season couldíve been wins if the offense performed better on its last drive.

The Chiefs arenít giving the next defensive coordinator a fair shot if they donít improve the personnel, too, which is part of why the team needs to replace Smith with Mahomes. The change would create $17 million in cap space and whatever draft picks they can acquire in a trade, which is enough for a corner, edge rusher, and defensive lineman.

There can be no doubt, in any part of the organization, about whether change is needed. We can have lively and smart debates about how far that change needs to go.

But there is no question that it needs to include the defensive coordinator, whenever Reid is ready.

http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt...193446229.html
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:47 AM   #136
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Reid is probably going to just promote from within.
No way. Firing his buddy is the hard thing. Wouldn't do that just to promote from within.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:48 AM   #137
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Bet they blow up the whole defensive staff
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:50 AM   #138
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Anything else collaborating this?
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:51 AM   #139
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Would be nice if changes were made on BOTH sides of the ball.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:53 AM   #140
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Would be nice if changes were made on BOTH sides of the ball.
I wouldn't mind seeing Andy Heck go...
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:55 AM   #141
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With Mahomes taking over we need to keep things as consistent as possible on that side imo
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:56 AM   #142
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:59 AM   #143
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Ehhhhh calm down. I looked on Lombardi's twitter and don't see anything.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:02 AM   #144
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Maybe Nagy will do ya a favor and not keep Vic fangio
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:11 AM   #145
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I wouldn't mind seeing Andy Heck go...
He needs to be so gone...
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:12 AM   #146
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Nothing else on this is making my hate boner deflate.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:45 AM   #147
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Sutton has at least proven he is capable with more defensive talent. Berry getting hurt was a monumental kick to the groin. So if he gets rehired, ehh, I can live with it. The guy who needs to go is Andy Reid Jr., defensive line coach. Every single member of our defensive line has regressed. We got rid of Poe because Chris Jones was supposed to be dominant. He's just a guy now, practically expendable. Logan is the largest soft ass I've ever seen. It'll never happen but Daddy Reid needs to send his son to the unemployment line.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:46 AM   #148
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Sutton has at least proven he is capable with more defensive talent. Berry getting hurt was a monumental kick to the groin. So if he gets rehired, ehh, I can live with it. The guy who needs to go is Andy Reid Jr., defensive line coach. Every single member of our defensive line has regressed. We got rid of Poe because Chris Jones was supposed to be dominant. He's just a guy now, practically expendable. Logan is the largest soft ass I've ever seen. It'll never happen but Daddy Reid needs to send his son to the unemployment line.
How ****ing useless is a defensive coordinator who has to have top end talent to run sufficiently?
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:55 AM   #149
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"Rumor has it Bob Sutton's not coming back. I think there's going to be a lot of changes on the #Chiefs defensive staff." - Mike Lombardi on the GM Street Podcast. - @BKSportsTalk
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:30 PM   #150
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I donít like it that this mother****er is still employed. His ass should have been fired yesterday.
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