No defensive position coach has survived the abomination that constituted the chiefs defense of 2018.
Without exception, every coach on the defensive side of the ball was chopped or moved less than a month after the leaders lost the AFC Championship in overtime to the hands of the New England Patriots.
Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton was not the only coach to take over the defense of the DVOA, ranked 26th in the league – a defense that may have cost the Chiefs the right to represent the AFC at the Super Bowl last season.
Mike Smith, Mark DeLeone, Emmitt Thomas and Al Harris no longer train the Chiefs. Even Britt Reid, who we all thought was in, was transferred to the position of linebacker / umpire coach under Matt House from his previous position as a defensive line coach. Reid's own son felt the consequences of a poorly performing defense in 2018.
Quite simply, Brett Veach and Andy Reid blamed the staff of the defensive coaches and cleaned the house.
Although the hiring of new defensive coordinator Steve Spagunolo required a change of staff, removing all defensive coaching staff and replacing him with all new coaches was not seen in the previous few defensive coordinator changes for Reid . In Philadelphia, supported coaches Sean McDermott, Bill Shuey and Mike Caldwell, as well as defensive coaches Dick Jauron and Mike Zordich, transitioned from one coordinator to another. Even when Reid arrived in Kansas City and hired Sutton, he kept Gary Gibbs and Emmitt Thomas on the previous regime's list. A complete coaching change from the defensive side of the ball is just not common for Reid-led teams.
So, what forced this radical change for the Chiefs' defense? The team certainly does not want to "lose" more years in Patrick Mahomes' rookie contract. Spagnuolo certainly wants a coaching staff who is "his own" and who is in tune with his vision of defense. And Reid does not look younger, chasing the ring that has so far escaped in his coaching career – and seeing an opportunity to hit while the iron is burning on the other side of the ball.
But I do not think we can ignore Veach's vision and state of mind for this defense as a main reason for the redesign.
Last season, the new CEO of the Chiefs wanted everyone to know he was ready to change the mindset of the defense. After signing with freelance linebacker Anthony Hitchens, Veach made sure to emphasize state of mind he brought to the defense.
"When we look at the defense and we try to put the different pieces in place – I do not think you'd be better off as long as you do not develop and do not have to have a state of mind, how do you go play … So when you turn on the band and watch Anthony Hitchens play, he plays with that harshness and that state of mind.So when you show up on the field, the opposing offense will know that It's one of the things we talked about as a staff, yes, we can have good players, but we need to develop that state of mind. . "
After an almost entirely defensive project, Veach again emphasized the state of mind he was trying to instil.
"Let's make ourselves younger. Deepen. Let the guys who are in the state think they come to work every day and bring hardness. They will bring this work ethic every day. This will be postponed to Sunday. "
Veach remained all-in last season trying to create a strong and irreproachable defense with his staff acquisitions. He preached to play hard for four quarters and not to have another disappointment like the Tennessee Titans game the year before. He wanted younger, faster and more athletic defenders who were ready to intervene and stop bleeding in the situations they had been in the previous two games.
Fast forward one year and this team is in a strangely similar situation. The Chiefs' defense allowed the Patriots offense to move the ball at will early in the game (jumping in the lead) and gave up a long, victorious strike in overtime without Mahomes and the offensive being able to see the balloon.
The defense had the worst DVOA in the league against the race and was 26th in scoring defense – despite the league's best pass.
Veach's statements about the "change of mentality" in defense did not materialize in 2018. In two adverse reasons, he tried to add tempo-setters and hardness on that side of the ball. In the two seasons that followed, the defense seemed worse.
There are many reasons to explain this set of radical changes as good as I am sure.
For me, it is Veach who is executing the position he has adopted since his arrival here. The addition of players with proven toughness and the state of mind he wanted did not come to the job of last season. He will certainly do the same thing this season as part of a continuous rebuilding, but it became apparent that the all The coaching staff could not be trusted to develop the players adequately. Bring Brendan Daly (three-time Super Bowl defensive line coach), House (a defensive coordinator's name from the university ranks) and Dave Merritt (a coach who makes the most of his safety, wherever he is). be gone) is not just a beginning return the situation, it is a whiplash propelled by a rocket for 2019.
You can argue that the season is still too late, argue about additions made or any case. On Tuesday, Reid and Veach showed they were not trying to repair this defense by building a group of coaches positioners.
I look forward to this series of results.