Atlanta fired DC Marquand Manuel earlier this offseason but doesn’t plan on hiring a new coordinator to replace him. Instead, head coach Dan Quinn will call defensive plays going forward. Sutton, who was relieved of his Kansas City duties following the Chiefs’ AFC Championship Game loss, will handle “in-game strategy, clock management, time-out usage and replay review,” per the Falcons’ press release.
Indeed, Sutton appears to be taking over game day responsibilities that were originally intended for Kyle Flood, Atlanta’s former assistant offensive line coach. Flood was supposed to be tasked with assisting Quinn with in-game management, but he’s since departed for Alabama’s offensive line coach job. Sutton, 68, is a former collegiate head coach at Army and has held multiple DC jobs in the NFL, so he’ll offer another set of eyes and ears for Quinn.
If Quinn at any point during the 2019 season decides to give up-play calling, Sutton would become a logical candidate to take over those obligations. The only other coach on the Falcons’ staff with defensive play-calling experience is Raheem Morris, and he’s been coaching on the offensive side of the ball since 2016.
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