The Chiefs problems Pt 3: The Leadership

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Bob Sutton

The defense is supposed to be the Chiefs strength, so the current performance is particularly disturbing. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not even sure how this is possible.  With the absolute loaded group that Sutton has to work with, he has been fully unable to generate anything on defense.  And I’m not going to lie, it’s the gameplan that is the big problem here.  Sutton seems content to play a shell defense that allows the opposing offense time to make decisions.  That’s just wrong.  Especially with the talented pass rushers on this team.  Sutton needs to be forcing the issue on every play.

The fact the Chiefs aren’t getting much pressure is just baffling.  We have pass rushers at every level of the defense.  Poe, Howard and Bailey on the defensive line.  Houston, Hali, Ford, and Johnson in the linebacking corps.  Branch, Berry, and Abdullah in the secondary.  All of these guys can get after the quarterback.  Some of them are even elite at it.  And that should mean that even more avenues are available because teams have to focus so much on guys like Houston and Poe/Howard.  But the Chiefs simply seem to refuse to take advantage of this.

To make matters worse…why are we playing so much off coverage?!  I thought the whole reason we were bringing in these larger cornerbacks was so that they could be utilized in press coverage that would slow down opposing receivers and work in conjunction with our pass rush.  Or at least that’s how we had been doing it the past two seasons, and it seemed to work out just fine.

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Continuing with the secondary, how about something more than your standard man and zone looks?  Where is the high-low trap coverage?  Where are the baiting techniques?  Where are the man-switch techniques on rub routes?  The Chiefs are playing vanilla coverages that allow receivers to create space with simple techniques.  There is no help, there is no disguise, there is no attempt at forcing turnovers.  You can’t win in the NFL without these things in this day and age.  Sutton is coaching like this is 10-20 years ago.

And finally, make some freaking adjustments.  Justin Houston getting stonewalled by the right tackle?  Move him to the left side.  Got a corner who is getting picked on?  Rotate some safety help to him!  Can’t get pressure up front?  Bring an extra blitzer, run a stunt, DO SOMETHING!!!  At some point you have to realize that what you are doing isn’t working…so do something else!!!

Next: What about the quiet men?