The Atlanta Falcons will have a clock management coach after all.
Filling the void left behind when Kyle Flood departed for Alabama last month, the Falcons hired former Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton as a senior assistant on Monday morning.
Sutton and Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn coached together with the New York Jets from 2007-08.
The expectation is Sutton will help with in-game strategy, clock management, time-out usage and replay review for the Falcons in 2019. The Falcons promoted Flood to fill these duties this offseason, but he left to join the coaching staff at Alabama in January.
“Calling the defense, spending the extra time to get that right, and making sure our style and identity come across in the right way are exciting challenges,” Quinn said. “Adding someone with Bob’s knowledge and experience to assist with clock and game-management strategies will help us be the best version of the Falcons that we can be in 2019.”
Sutton is 68 years old and almost has 50 years of coaching experience. He served as head coach at Army from 1991-99 and then joined the NFL as the New York Jets linebackers coach in 2000. He worked his way up to defensive coordinator in 2006 and held that position for three years.
When the Jets hired Rex Ryan to replace Eric Mangini in 2009, Sutton stayed on the Jets' staff as a senior assistant and then became an assistant head coach in 2012. Sutton joined the Chiefs as defensive coordinator in 2013 and held that role for six years.
Sutton was unable to piece together a good enough defensive effort to get to the Super Bowl despite having a MVP quarterback, but his defense was often very good during his six seasons in Kansas City. Having him on staff to supply extra defensive ideas is great, and fans shouldn't have to worry about him ruining the unit because Quinn will ultimately have last say on everything.
At the end of the day, Sutton brings far more to the table than Flood does, and in the process of bringing on a more experienced coach, the Falcons fill the much-needed role of clock management on their staff.