KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs have a new defensive coordinator, Bob Sutton, the team announced Friday.
Sutton joins the Chiefs after spending the past 13 years with the New York Jets as an assistant coach, the longest tenure for an assistant coach in franchise history.
Most recently, he served the Jets as an assistant head coach/linebackers coach in 2012. From 2009-11 he was the club’s senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach. Sutton was the club’s defensive coordinator from 2006-08 and originally joined the Jets as the linebackers coach (2000-05).
“Bob is a creative coach that is going to give our defense a variety of looks and packages,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
“He has a lot of experience and is well respected across the league. Bob has a high football IQ and knows how to get the most out of his players.”
The 2008 season was one of the best for the Jets defense. The team ranked near the top of the NFL in rushing defense (94.9) and yards per rush allowed (3.7), their best statistical showing since 1993. Five defensive touchdowns were a Jets franchise record and Sutton’s squad registered 41 sacks, seventh in NFL and 30 takeaways were tied for fifth in the NFL.
During his time with the Jets, Sutton has helped develop many players, including then-Jets LB Jonathan Vilma, who finished with an NFL-leading 187 tackles, earning his first Pro Bowl spot in 2005. Vilma became only the third Jet in Club history to be voted AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after finishing the 2004 season with 118 tackles, two sacks, three pressures and three INTs.
Sutton’s coaching also proved beneficial in 2001, when the Jets were the only team to place three linebackers in the NFL’s Top 25 in tackles, with all three starters over 100 tackles.
Breaking the 100-tackle mark in a season is what Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson has done the past two years, finishing 2012 with 125 tackles, to lead the team. Johnson, along with fellow Pro Bowlers Tamba Hali, Eric Berry, Justin Houston (alternate) and Brandon Flowers (alternate) and the entire team defense will implement the lessons taught by Sutton, beginning day one.
The former Army coach (1991-99), Sutton began his career in 1972-73 as a graduate assistant at Michigan for Bo Schembechler.
As coach Reid alluded, coach Sutton will develop the best defensive schemes possible that put his players in position to stop the run, defend the pass and attack the quarterback. After all, Sutton has no problem with change, he worked under four different head coaches while with the Jets.