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Chiefs vs. Bills: Rex Ryan and Bob Sutton Have a History Together

It all started in 2009 for the two coaches

Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton knows a little something about Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan.

That's because seven seasons and a team ago, Ryan and Sutton coached together with the New York Jets.

"I think the No. 1 thing is [Ryan] has a great passion for the game," Sutton said. "He loves coaching football and he brings a great energy daily. I think he's got a unique ability to inspire confidence in the players and the coaches around him."

Sutton spent 13 years with the Jets beginning in 2000 as a linebackers coach. When Ryan arrived as head coach in 2009, Sutton became the senior assistant and linebackers coach until he was promoted to assistant head coach and linebackers coach in 2012.

Ryan accepted the head coaching position for the Buffalo Bills in 2015. In his first season, Ryan's Bills are currently tied with the Chiefs in the race for one of the two AFC Wild Card positions at 5-5.

"There's nothing he loves more than competing on Sunday," Sutton said. "That's his nature. I learned a lot of X and O's stuff from him as well, but I think probably those are the things that stick out.

"His team believes in him, the team's going to go like crazy for him and I think that's because he brings out the best in them."

Top Performers

  • In three career games against the Bills, Chiefs QB Alex Smith has thrown 3 touchdowns with an average of 201.3 passing yards per game. He has also run for 81 yards on 11 rushes and 1 touchdown in the matchups. Smith is undefeated against Buffalo.
  • In two career games against the Bills, WR Jason Avant has 11 receptions on 12 targets for 169 yards, an average of 15.4 yards per catch.
  • S Eric Berry has 26 tackles (17 solo), 1 interception and 1 pass defended in the five times he has played against Buffalo. Berry grabbed his second career interception when the Bills visited Arrowhead in his rookie season.
  • LB Tamba Hali has 27 tackles (16 solo), 3.5 sacks, 7 quarterback hurries, 1 fumble recovery and 1 pass defended in seven career games against Buffalo.


  • Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy (2009-14) spent the first four seasons of his career playing for Kansas City head coach Andy Reid (1999-12) and numerous members of Reid's current coaching staff with the Chiefs, when Reid was the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Multiple members of the Chiefs and Bills' coaching staffs and rosters overlapped during the time they spent with the New York Jets in their careers. Members of the Bills coaching staff who spent time working with the New York Jets are head coach Rex Ryan (2009-14), defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman (2009-14), assistant head coach Anthony Lynn (2009-14), defensive line coach Karl Dunbar (2012-14), wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal (2012-14), defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson (2004-05) and tight ends coach Tony Sparano (2012-14). Chiefs coaches who overlapped with various members of the Bills staff were defensive coordinator Bob Sutton (2000-12) and assistant linebackers Coach Mark DeLeone (2012). Also, during the 2014 season, Bills linebackers coach Bobby April III (2013-14), defensive assistant D'Anton Lynn (2014), special teams assistant Eric Smith (2014), defensive backs coach Tim McDonald (2013-14), quarterbacks coach David Lee (2013-14) and LB IK Enemkpali (2014) overlapped with Chiefs DB Saalim Hakim (2013-14). Kansas City LB Josh Mauga (2009-13), and DE Mike DeVito (2007-12) also spent time with the Jets when TE Matthew Mulligan (2009-11) played.
  • Bills G Richie Incognito (2010-13), K Dan Carpenter (2008-12) and TE Charles Clay (2011-14) were on the Dolphins' roster with Chiefs CB Sean Smith (2009-12) and defensive assistant and secondary Al Harris (2010, '12) when Harris was a CB before beginning his coaching career as a coaching intern in 2012.
  • Chiefs QB Alex Smith (2005-12) and Bills RB Boobie Dixon (2010-13) were members of the 49ers offense for three seasons together. Additionally, Bills DE Manny Lawson (2006-10) and Smith were two of San Francisco's first round draft picks in back-to-back years, becoming teammates for five seasons together.
  • Bills S Corey Graham (2007-11) played a prominent role on the Bears' special teams while Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub (2004-12) was in the same position in Chicago. Additionally, Buffalo defensive line coach Karl Dunbar (2004) served as the defensive line coach for the Bears with Toub in Chicago.
  • Dunbar (2006-11) went on to become the defensive line coach in Minnesota when Chiefs spread game analyst and special projects Brad Childress (2006-10) was the head coach of the Vikings, Running backs coach Eric Bieniemy (2006-10) served in the same role and S Husain Abdullah (2008-11) played in Minneapolis for several seasons.
  • Bills S Corey Graham (2012-13) went on to play for the Baltimore Ravens, where he was a teammate of Chiefs OL Jah Reid (2011-14) and CB Jamell Fleming (2012-13). Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (2011-14) played with Chiefs G Ben Grubbs (2007-11) in Baltimore, as well as Reid and Fleming.
  • Additionally, Grubbs was on the Ravens' offensive line when Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman (2006-07) was the assistant offensive line coach, defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman (2004-07) was the secondary coach, defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson (1999-03) coached the secondary and head coach Rex Ryan (1999-08) was the defensive coordinator in 2007 under Brian Billick and then moved on to be assistant head coach and defensive coordinator in 2008 under John Harbaugh. Greg Roman (2011-14) also served as the offensive coordinator for San Francisco when Chiefs QB Alex Smith (2005-12) was under center for the 49ers.
  • Chiefs spread game analyst and special projects Brad Childress was the offensive coordinator with the Browns in 2012 while Bills QB Josh Johnson (2012-13) was on the Cleveland roster. Also, while in Cleveland, Chiefs director of football administration Trip MacCracken (1999-09) served in same role while Bills assistant head coach and running backs coach (2007-08) Anthony Lynn directed the Browns' running backs and senior offensive assistant Chris Palmer (1999-00) was the head coach.
  • Kansas City S Tyvon Branch (2008-14) and DB Ron Parker (2011) played for Oakland when Buffalo wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal (2007-11) served in several roles on the offensive side of the ball. Branch and Parker were also teammates of Bills WR Denarius Moore (2011-14) with the Raiders.
  • Chiefs head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder (1993-98) was on the Steelers' staff as an assistant athletic trainer while Bills general manager Doug Whaley (1995) held the title of pro personnel assistant for the Steelers.
  • Kansas City defensive line coach Tommy Brasher (1992-98) served in the same capacity in Seattle during Buffalo general manager Doug Whaley's (1996-98) time as pro scouting coordinator.
  • Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck (2004-12) served in the same role for the Jaguars when Bills defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson (2008) was the defensive backs coach. Heck also overlapped with Bills assistant head coach and running backs coach Anthony Lynn (2003-04) when Lynn was the running backs coach in Jacksonville in 2004.
  • Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer (2008-12) was the offensive line and running game coordinator for the Saints when Chiefs QB Chase Daniel (2009-12) and G Ben Grubbs (2012-14) played on the offensive side of the ball in New Orleans.
  • When Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee (2003-06) served as the offensive quality control and quarterbacks coach for the Cowboys, Chiefs linebackers coach Gary Gibbs (2002-05) had the same title and Bills assistant head coach and running backs coach Anthony Lynn (2005-06) was the running backs coach. Lee (2008-10) was also in Miami when Chiefs CB Sean Smith (2009-12) and defensive assistant and secondary coach Al Harris (2010) both played for the Dolphins
  • Buffalo senior offensive assistant Chris Palmer (1993-96) was the wide receivers coach from 1993-95 and quarterbacks coach for the Patriots in 1996 when Chiefs assistant offensive line Coach Eugene Chung (1992-94) played and director of college scouting Marvin Allen (1996-08) served in the New England front office.


  • Chiefs FB-RB Spencer Ware (2010-12) and Bills CB Ron Brooks (2008-11) were teammates at LSU, where the two were members of the 2011 SEC Championship team.
  • Bills WR Marcus Easley (2007-09), Chiefs FB Anthony Sherman (2007-10) and S Tyvon Branch (2004-07) were teammates with the UConn Huskies together.
  • Buffalo T Cordy Glenn (2009-11) and S Bacarri Rambo (2009-12) played at Georgia with all four Bulldogs on the Kansas City roster: LB Justin Houston (2007-10), QB Aaron Murray (2009-13), LB Ramik Wilson (2011-14) and WR Chris Conley (2011-14).
  • Chiefs RB Knile Davis (2009-12) was a member of the Arkansas Razorbacks offense with Bills TE Chris Gragg (2008-12).
  • Kansas City DL Allen Bailey (2007-10) and Buffalo T Seantrel Henderson (2010-13) were teammates together at the University of Miami.
  • Buffalo C Gabe Ikard 64 (2009-13) played at Oklahoma with each former Sooner on the Kansas City roster: OL Donald Stephenson 59 (2008-11), CB Jamell Fleming 32 (2007-11), DT David King 90 (2009-12) and LS James Winchester 86 (2010-11).
  • Chiefs S Eric Berry (2007-09) and OL Zach Fulton (2010-13) were teammates at Tennessee with Bills WR Denarius Moore (2007-10) when the three were members of the Volunteers.
  • Additionally, Bills head strength & conditioning coach Eric Ciano (2002-04) served as the associate head strength and conditioning coach at Tennessee when Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt (2000-04) was a Volunteer.
  • Bills TE Matthew Mulligan (2004-07) and Chiefs DE Mike DeVito (2003-06) were teammates at Maine for multiple seasons together.
  • Bills special teams coordinator Danny Crossman began his college career playing for the University of Kansas in 1985.
  • Chiefs assistant head coach and wide receivers coach David Culley (1973-77) played for Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee (1977) when Lee coached the same position for the Commodores.


  • Bills LB Preston Brown, C Eric Wood and Chiefs FB-RB Spencer Ware hail from Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Chiefs OL Jeff Allen, WR Jason Avant and Bills DT Corbin Bryant are all from Chicago, Ill.
  • Buffalo QB Josh Johnson and CB Marcus Peters are both from Oakland, Calif.
  • Chiefs QB Aaron Murray, LB Ramik Wilson and Bills LS Garrison Sanborn are from Tampa, Fla.
  • Chiefs president Mark Donovan and Bills general manager Doug Whaley share the hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and WR De'Anthony Thomas are all from Los Angeles, Calif.
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