Chiefs Defense Focus Of Training Camp So Far

Justin Houston
Kansas City Chiefs Edge Rusher Justin Houston. Photo Credit: Mike Morbeck - Under Creative Commons License

Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton briefed the media on day four of training camp. Sutton’s upbeat demeanor telegraphed his expectations to build a top-notch defense in the NFL. His primary focus is pairing talented new faces to the right defensive schemes and applying maximum pressure on the quarterback. The logic is elementary because disrupting a quarterback’s comfort and rhythm level can affect the outcome of a game.

Some of Sutton’s talking points discussed how well some rookies are stepping up their game to contribute this upcoming season. Also, he mentioned how rookies Dorian O’Daniel and Derrick Nnadi fit into the grand scheme of things for the first week of training camp.

Sutton’s defensive game plan embraces the strengths of in his own words “new dudes”. Due to the Chiefs success in the 2018 Draft, Sutton is transforming his defense from finesse to a total attack defense. His defensive style is reminiscent of the late legendary Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.

Johnson specialized packages kept Eagles opponents guessing and applied pressure to the quarterback from every angle. Sutton’s defense presents a high stakes chess match of deceptive looks and alignments. The result is to confuse the quarterback, and offensive line calls to alter play calls. The Chiefs defensive design is to apply pressure with a massive pass rush to hurry or sack the quarterback.

Chiefs defense still has unfinished business

Bob Sutton began coaching 46 years ago at The University Of Michigan in 1972. He served a short tenure as a graduate assistant under Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler. He went on to coach The U.S. Military Academy as head coach in 1991.

Sutton coached linebackers as the senior defensive assistant head coach for the New York Jets from 2009 to 2011. The Jets boasted the third-best defense in 2010 with Sutton as the linebackers coach. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid hired him in 2013 to lead the Chiefs defense back to prominence. Under Sutton’s supervision, the Chiefs’ defense has improved in many areas but the jury is still out.

When the regular season opens in September, all eyes will be on new Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the defense. Chiefs fans will be focused on how well the Chiefs defense performs against the rest of the AFC West and the conference. The Chiefs offense should pave the way for a playoff run, but there is still plenty of challenges ahead for the Chiefs defense.

Sutton will be relying on an unproven defense, but his vision is for rookies and veterans alike to take the Chiefs to the next level.