This choice week, we check out the arguments surrounding Bob Sutton — and talk about each side
Editor’s word: Of all the Chiefs-related subjects I see at Arrowhead Satisfaction, the Bob Sutton debate is no doubt the most reoccurring. With that being the case, I tasked Craig, who watches extra Chiefs defensive movie than anyone, at portray the image of each side. Please learn via Craig’s debate and forged your vote at the finish. Happy Election Day!
It’s election season, and meaning everyone seems to be readying themselves to forged an necessary vote that would have a probably giant impression on their lives.
No, I’m not speaking about the midterms. I’m speaking about Bob Sutton.
This week, I made a decision to place collectively the main arguments about Sutton, argue the execs and cons and provide help to to make an knowledgeable choice over whether or not you’d forged your vote to maintain Bob…or whether or not you’d like to observe him stroll into the sundown.
To assist me out this week, I’ve resurrected my cussed, youthful alter-ego to argue against. KaloPhoenix is again. Kalo needs to see Bob go.
The moderator has been seated, the candidates have taken their podiums, the time is right here.
Let’s debate Bob Sutton.
Matter 1 — The run protection
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports activities
KaloPhoenix (KP): The main target of this final Chiefs offseason was to construct the run protection. Basic supervisor Brett Veach made the strikes to acquire inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens and nostril deal with Xavier Williams. The whole 2018 draft was collegiate defensive gamers, and most have been touted as “good” run defenders. And but — this protection is lifeless final in run DVOA.
Sutton has routinely fielded poor run defenses in his Kansas Metropolis tenure, and current playoff losses to the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers stick out as important examples of the run protection serving to value the group a recreation. It looks like no matter the personnel, when the opposition strains up with an intent to run, Sutton’s defenses can’t do a lot to sluggish it down.
Craig Stout (CS): I feel it was a foregone conclusion this yr that the run protection can be higher. All the strikes Veach made would be capable of mix with a more healthy Reggie Ragland, Eric Berry, and Justin Houston to restrict the rush yardage early whereas the offense racked up factors and pressured the opposition to throw to maintain up. The staff moved on from older, slower gamers to get quicker and extra aggressive. Fairly merely, it seemed like they made the strikes essential to cease the run.
Berry obtained harm in the preseason. Houston has missed 4 video games. Ragland received harm in the preseason and got here again slower. Hitchens wasn’t the signing that we have been bought, and he’s nonetheless studying his keys in the run recreation at the place. The key gamers anticipated to cease the run both haven’t been on the subject or are struggling to do their jobs. The defensive position has struggled to carry their gaps, and the linebackers are hesitant. Throw in a few of the worst tackling in the league, and you’ve received an issue in your palms.
The run protection will get higher if all the items can get on the area collectively. It’s not going to be the drive that a few of us had hoped it might be in the offseason, however it could possibly solely get higher.
KP: Whereas returning personnel can’t harm the run protection, the issues will merely be hid moderately than fastened. Sutton and his employees are asking defensive linemen to routinely work throughout the face of inside offensive linemen, and once they can’t get there, they don’t perceive tips on how to forestall offensive linemen from attending to the second degree. The within linebackers don’t have any cavalry coming to repair it — and it’s simply the largest drawback with the run protection. Sutton is asking some sub-par gamers to play in a scheme that has proven a historical past of being unsuccessful, and till the scheme will get modified to assist these gamers, it will proceed to be a nasty run protection.
Matter 2 – The cross protection
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports activities
CS: Certainly one of the few shiny spots on the Chiefs protection this yr has been the cross rush and the move protection. Presently 13th on the yr in passing DVOA, the Chiefs have been capable of provide you with some well timed stops and turnovers in the passing recreation to assist shut out the recreation. Dee Ford is second in the league in sacks, and Chris Jones has notched a sack in the final 5 video games.
Sutton’s defenses have sometimes been capable of cease the cross in his time with the workforce. Whether or not by way of a stellar move rush from Houston and Tamba Hali, or superior secondary play from Berry, Ron Parker, Sean Smith, and Marcus Peters — Sutton has been capable of put collectively a cross protection that has completed in the prime 12 in DVOA on common. With groups having to throw to maintain up, and most of the league’s greatest groups getting it completed by means of the air, being an above-average move protection yr in and yr out has allowed this Chiefs group to compete regularly.
KP: Whereas the cornerbacks have been a constructive shock this season, the Chiefs are an abysmal 27th against tight ends and operating backs. Groups are nonetheless capable of transfer the ball at will by throwing throughout the center of the area and into the flats, and Sutton refuses to shift coverages or put the correct personnel on the subject to defend these gamers.
This season, particularly, it looks like everyone in the constructing is aware of when the ball goes to a operating again on third-and-medium, but Sutton has rookie Breeland Speaks — not recognized for his velocity or protection capacity — out in the flats chasing the again. Whereas I perceive that sometimes a Three-Four outdoors linebacker could have protection duties, the scheme ought to shift to keep away from a state of affairs like that as a lot as attainable.
CS: Sutton has at the least tried to treatment the protection in the center of the area and in the flats by putting in extra packages every week for rookie linebacker Dorian O’Daniel. The security play has been largely poor this season, however with Berry and Daniel Sorensen coming again, the center of the subject and deep coverages can be improved. If Sutton can hold getting O’Daniel snaps and get him extra snug, get Houston wholesome and again reverse Ford, and proceed to have Jones make the impression he’s dashing the passer, the 13th ranked DVOA cross protection may see a lift into the prime seven or eight.
Matter Three – Changes
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports activities
KP: One in every of the largest issues with Sutton is his lack of ability to regulate his protection, preferring to have a inflexible implementation of his scheme, no matter his personnel. His safeties are a main instance of this, with Sutton asking them to have the ability to play in the field, slot and deep. A few of the gamers he makes use of aren’t good at some parts of the scheme, but they’re requested to implement them anyway, relatively than adjusting and crafting to the personnel.
Groups can discover holes in the scheme, concentrating on gamers who’re caught in spots that they is probably not snug in, and Sutton is both sluggish to regulate or doesn’t in any respect. That provides an enormous schematic benefit to sensible offensive coordinators or quarterbacks who can decide what Sutton’s plan of assault is on a given night time — as a result of he’s sometimes not making a change to aim to repair a spot that’s being exploited.
CS: Sutton has undoubtedly been sluggish to make a change in the previous, however 2018 has proven extra deviation from that “stuck-in-his-ways” mentality. Sutton has been throughout the map together with his protection shells, press and off-man protection splits and rush numbers this season. In earlier years, we noticed minimal deviation from the norm, and the change in philosophy has caught the consideration of the groups they’ve performed. Sutton threw the Bengals offense for a loop — enjoying a bunch of Cowl 2 Man with bailing cornerbacks — and Cincinnati struggled to maneuver the ball.
At the half, Sutton has been rolling assist over the prime the place wanted, shifting his cross rushers round to seek out the matchup by which they’ve discovered the most success. The previous three weeks have proven a definite change in the second half of the recreation, forcing the opposition into extra lengthy down/distance conditions via sacks and unfavourable performs, and an uptick in pressured turnovers after the break.
KP: Whereas Sutton has undoubtedly discovered extra success in the second half in current weeks, he’s not been beating up on the cream of the crop so far as quarterback and offensive coordinator pairings go. We’ve seen what the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have executed to this protection in huge video games — for the whole recreation. Till Sutton can show a capability to return up huge against good groups when it actually issues, it’s not a lot comfort.
Matter Four – Motivator
Photograph by Christian Petersen/Getty Photographs
CS: Bob Sutton, briefly, seems to be a poor motivator. His gamers appear to lack a fireplace and depth, and that interprets to poor tackling and execution. There’s little accountability for gamers — Parker, Hitchens and Ragland are routinely poor and nonetheless maintain first selection spots on this protection each week, even when others have outplayed them. Thus far, the solely participant who left Kansas Metropolis in his prime and seems to have declined outdoors of Sutton’s system may be Marcus Peters, and it’s too early to inform.
Sutton routinely chooses his “safety blanket” gamers who’re enjoying at a mean or below-average degree — guys who “know the system” — over younger gamers with expertise that make comparable or fewer errors than the veterans. Fairly merely, he and his employees don’t develop gamers nicely, they actively suppress alternatives for younger gamers, and they don’t present the accountability in playtime when gamers do make errors.
From a fan’s perspective, we’re all genuinely excited to see this expertise that Veach and Andy Reid have accrued on the subject collectively. Nevertheless, once we’re in yet one more yr of Parker and Frank Zombo getting snaps over younger gamers like Jordan Lucas which were merely higher or Tanoh Kpassagnon who has proven good flashes, it’s a failing on Sutton and his employees. It’s a failure to get the greatest out of the gamers he places on the area, and a failure to develop the gamers that the group has spent belongings on.
KP: Um…yeah. I assumed I used to be the adverse one. I received nothing.
CS: I’ve spent 9 weeks watching this protection intently, Kalo. There’s no means in hell I might be that constructive.
So what’s it going to be, Chiefs followers? Which certainly one of these viewpoints are you siding with? Forged your vote right here, and ensure to forged your vote in the midterm elections on Tuesday!
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