Finding qualified assistant coaches isn’t an easy task for any NFL head coach. With a plethora of jobs opening and closing around the league as fast as the wind blowing from one direction to another in our fickle Kansas City winter, Andy Reid knows if the Chiefs are indeed going to take a step forward beyond their dismal 2012 season, he needs a solid staff.
Earlier in the week, Reid already hit a home run luring, Brad Childress, to become part of his staff. And with that in hand, Reid charged ahead interviewing candidates that shared his philosophies.
So who are these men?
Offensive Coordinator (Doug Pederson)
The long time Philadelphia Eagles assistant spent the last four years as a member of Andy Reid’s coaching staff. Pederson began his career with the Eagles back in 2009 and became the teams Offensive Quality Control Coach. Two years later, he was promoted to Quarterbacks coach where he tutored, Michael Vick.
Pederson also had a lengthy career in the big show; he spent 12 seasons in the NFL and two with the WLAF. His longest tour of duty was his last stop as back-up and understudy to the great, Brett Favre, in Green Bay from 2001-2004.
That last fact, gives Pederson such a unique perspective sharing game preparation with a future Hall of Fame Quarterback. And that should serve him well in putting together an offense that tackles the talents of whomever quarterback the Chiefs put under center in 2013 and beyond.
Add that with the offensive experience and expertise of both Reid and Childress, suddenly the Chiefs coaching tree has a trio of masterminds that should be able to solve KC’s woes on that side of the ball the last two seasons.
And that will be Pederson’s biggest challenge this year. Granted, he’s never been an offensive coordinator in the NFL, but he has been around some great quarterbacks and having played the game as long as he did, it gives him a unique perspective that should serve KC’s offense well.
But one thing Chiefs fans should not worry about with this hire, Andy Reid would not have targeted Pederson had he felt his young protégé wasn’t ready for this step in Kansas City.
It’s critical for the Chiefs they develop three quarterbacks this season that can play NFL games on Sunday. With Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi, on the bubble to return, the fact Pederson has been an NFL quarterback, should be key into the evolution of the Chiefs next set of quarterbacks.
The Chiefs haven’t had a competent offensive coordinator on staff since current Kansas Jayhawks Head Football Coach, Charlie Weis, left after the 2010 season. With Pederson in tow, they have the opportunity to erase the stench of an under achieving offense that boasts one of the games premier running backs, Jamaal Charles.
And if Pederson can develop tight end Tony Moeaki, wide receivers Dwayne Bowe (provided the Chiefs retain his services long-term), Steve Breaston (should he be in their plans in 2013), former first round pick Jonathan Baldwin, speedsters, Devon Wiley and Dexter McCluster, then the Chiefs offense has the makings of becoming highly successful next year.
Of course fixing holes on the offensive line and getting a quarterback is key to that prediction. But Chiefs fans won’t have to worry about that, not with the combination of Reid, Childress and Pederson getting the most out of their talent and finding the right signal caller to execute the offense.
Defensive Coordinator (Bob Sutton)
With names such us Monte Kiffin and Lovie Smith being bantered about for the Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator position, Andy Reid, settled on a veteran coach, who handled both the DC role and served as Head Coach for Army's football team from 1983-1999.
Is Bob Sutton the right DC for the Chiefs?
USA Today Sports
This tough minded, passionate defensive mind learned a great many things in his tenure at Army that allowed him to make the jump to the NFL. That collegiate success led to a gig in the Big Apple to the New York Jets as their linebacker’s coach for six seasons. With that success, the organization promoted him to defensive coordinator in 2006. He remained in that capacity for three seasons.
But in 2009, when Rex Ryan took over as the Jets Head Coach, he kept Sutton on staff returning him to his original coaching position. However this past season, Sutton also served as Ryan’s Assistant Head Coach. So it was clear, he was a valuable member of the Jets coaching staff.
Sutton comes to Kansas City following one of the premier defensive minds in the game in former Defensive Coordinator/Head Coach, Romeo Crennel. And with a handful of defensive Pro Bowl players to work with such as linebackers Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, safety Eric Berry and cornerback Brandon Flowers, the cupboards are hardly bare in Kansas City.
This move makes a lot of sense for the Chiefs because Sutton has been a head coach on the collegiate level and he’s been a defensive coordinator in the NFL. Thus the soon to be 62-year old coach, has more than enough experience to bring his brand of football to the Chiefs. And this defense needs a new identity.
Sutton can be best described to Chiefs fans as an in your face, aggressive student of defense. He brings a similar intense attitude much like former Kansas City Defensive Coordinator, Gunther Cunningham, did during both his tenures for the Chiefs.
He likes to attack the line of scrimmage and is adept at both, the 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes. He likes strong physical corners that can push receivers off the line of scrimmage and Sutton likes to bring the pass rush from all angles on the field. And generally his defenses take the ball away from their opponents.
If the Chiefs had a weakness last year, they failed to react to the ball and make adjustments on the fly. With Sutton at the helm of the defense, that’s not going to be an issue. If it is, then before the Chiefs hit the field in the season opener in September, they’ll have some new bodies on the roster that will adhere to his personality and style.
Sutton may not be the flashy name that Chiefs fans thought would join the staff as the teams’ defensive coordinator. But with Kansas City contemplating switching defensive fronts defense based on their current personnel, you need someone that has experience in developing a new mindset no matter the way the front seven lines up.
They say defense wins championships. That may be true but unless you have playmakers on that side of the ball, which the Chiefs possess, you need someone that can maximize their abilities and get them to perform at the highest level.
Though the Chiefs defense made strides last year when Gary Gibbs was promoted from linebacker’s coach to defensive coordinator, it wasn’t enough to give him the job once Reid took over the head coaching reins in Kansas City.
So Reid felt it was important that Gibbs remain on the staff to assist the new defensive coordinator. That means Sutton won’t be coming into the job cold. And with, Emmitt Thomas likely remaining as the cornerback’s coach, the three of them together, brings a defensive mindset in their back pockets to rely upon in order to fix the woes of KC’s up and down defense the last couple of years.
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