DC Bob Sutton Fired by Chiefs After AFC Championship Loss to Patriots

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2019

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 02: Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on from the sideline during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 2, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Chiefs 43-14. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
George Gojkovich/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs announced they've fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton after a disappointing season on that side of the ball.

"Bob is a good football coach and a great person," head coach Andy Reid said in a statement released by the team. He continued:

"He played an integral role in the success of our team over the last six seasons. I've said before that change can be a good thing, for both parties, and I believe that is the case here for the Chiefs and Bob. This was not an easy decision, but one I feel is in the best interest of the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward."

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network provided details:

Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach and current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan is a "name to watch" for the vacancy, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Sutton has been with the Chiefs for as long as Reid and was hired in 2013 after 12 years with the New York Jets.

The 67-year-old found success early in his stint with top-five defenses in points allowed in each of his first three seasons with the team, but the unit has tapered off over the last few years. The struggles reached their peak in 2018 when the defense ranked 24th in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed.

While Patrick Mahomes and the league's No. 1 offense led the Chiefs to a 12-4 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC, the defense continually held the team back.

Sutton came under fire for the defense's struggles during the AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots:

The Patriots earned a 37-31 overtime win, scoring two easy go-ahead touchdowns in the fourth quarter and one more in the first possession of overtime to seal the victory.

Though it was the deepest playoff run for the franchise since 1993, it was still a disappointing finish.

This likely caused Sutton's firing after six years with the team. He has been involved in coaching since the 1970s, most notably serving as the head coach of Army for nine seasons, but this might have been his last stop.

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