October 18, 2021


Let's Get It!

Atlanta Falcons’ new in-game coach explains his approach

2 min read

This offseason, the Atlanta Falcons expressed an interest in hiring a coach specifically to help the team deal with certain in-game situations, hiring Bob Sutton to fill that role.

A veteran of coaching for the past 47 years and in the NFL for the past 19 seasons, Sutton says he has picked up a few general rules when it comes to dealing with problems in games.

“There’s not a lot of sure, in stone answers,” Sutton told ESPN.

“There’s guidelines, and so many of these [game situations] have to be applied to the circumstances that are surrounding this particular situation.

This same situation could happen to you three weeks later and you might do something different. Even though you did this last time, why wouldn’t [you do it this time]? Well, [for example] we’re not playing as good on defense as we were three weeks ago, or we’re having a tough game on offense: whatever it is, you gotta factor [it] in.

“That’s the human side of it. You have to have a pulse on this game. This is the game. All the other ones are going to help frame your decision, but this is how we’re trying to win this game right now.”

Sutton will be in charge of in game strategy, clock management, time out usage, and replay review for the Falcons. At the end of the season, Quinn said the team was going to establish a special coaching position precisely for these purposes in an effort to speed along their decision making processes during games.

“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.”

Originally, the Falcons were planning on hiring Kyle Flood to take this unique position, but since then, Flood has accepted the offensive line coach position at Alabama.

Sutton has been in the coaching ranks since 1972, when he first took a graduate assistant position at Michigan, and first entered the National Football League in the 2000 season.


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