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Tampa Two could be coming to Kansas City

Monte-Kiffin-Getty Getty Images

The Chiefs have in recent years employed a 3-4 defense.  With Andy Reid running the show, things could be changing.

Peter King of SI.com reports that former NFL assistant and, more recently, USC assistant Monte Kiffin is one of the leading candidates to run Reid’s defense in Kansas City.  Kiffin possibly would bring the Tampa Two approach that helped him win a Super Bowl 10 years ago with the Bucs.

Per King, another candidate for the job was Panthers coach Ron Rivera, but Rivera will be returning for a third year in Carolina.  Rivera has experience with both the 4-3 and the 3-4 defense.

If the Chiefs switch to a 4-3, they’d have to retool the personnel accordingly.  But it would be intriguing to see how safety Eric Berry would perform in a defense that places greater emphasis on the abilities of the folks who man the last line of the defense.

Either way, Reid needs a great defensive coordinator.  His Eagles teams weren’t the same after the passing of Jim Johnson.  The ability of his Chiefs teams to match what his Eagles teams did will likely hinge on whether Reid can field a defense that complements his offense.

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30 Responses to “Tampa Two could be coming to Kansas City”
  1. dalucks says: Jan 7, 2013 11:07 AM

    That makes sense. A great defense and a running game makes Andy Reid a better head coach.
    An owner willing to spend some money on an offensive line does not hurt either.

  2. blackandbluedivision says: Jan 7, 2013 11:09 AM

    No Lovie Smith?

  3. jjackwagon says: Jan 7, 2013 11:10 AM

    Isn’t Monte like 70-something. Has he still got the “it” factor that made him a great DC? I wonder, since his own son fired him.

  4. mthoover says: Jan 7, 2013 11:13 AM

    Kiffin was Berry’s defensive coordinator at Tennessee, Mike. He’s part of the reason Berry was so dominant in college and worthy of a Top 5 pick.

    Derrick Johnson is talented enough to fit in this scheme, and Brandon Flowers was drafted by Herm Edwards to play in it.

    Tamba Hali can put his hand back down on the ground and be just as effective.

    The question is what do you do with Justin Houston, the most promising young star on this defense?

    Other than that, if Dorsey is retained, he’d excel in this scheme, and Dontari Poe is athletic enough to convert as well.

  5. mazblast says: Jan 7, 2013 11:14 AM

    The Tampa Two was a great defense–ten years ago. With the right personnel.

  6. bobbyhoying says: Jan 7, 2013 11:14 AM

    After 60 years as an Eagles fan (well 52 if you start counting when I was 8 in 1960) I’m about to go buy some Chief’s t-shirts to wear to the gym. It makes me sick to see Andy Reid in KC but I’m happy for Clark Hunt and the KC fans. Who believes the Eagles will be better than the Chiefs next year? Obviously not coaching candidates targeted by Lurie and Roseman.

  7. bluebongzilla says: Jan 7, 2013 11:16 AM

    After “Andy Reid”, it doesn’t matter what else might come to Kansas City. Honestly, what coach treats defense as such an afterthought that he puts an offensive line coach in charge of it? Andy Reid, that’s who.

  8. bittersmuggs says: Jan 7, 2013 11:21 AM

    “But it would be intriguing to see how safety Eric Berry would perform in a defense that places greater emphasis on the abilities of the folks who man the last line of the defense.”

    Monte Kiffin was the DC at the University of Tennessee for Eric Berry’s last season. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that he’d be able to perform just fine in the cover 2.

  9. bluebongzilla says: Jan 7, 2013 11:25 AM

    “Who believes the Eagles will be better than the Chiefs next year?”

    Well they got rid of Reid and will probably get rid of Vick, so the Eagles will have a great chance to improve on that terrible 4-12 record. On the other hand, Reid is now with a team that’s going to require him to reach way down into his convoluted bag of coaching tricks, and nobody wants to see that mess. Maybe he’ll trade for Kevin Kolb and let him run the defense.

  10. mdac1012 says: Jan 7, 2013 11:44 AM

    The Tampa-2 was designed to deal with the West Coast offense that almost everyone was incorporating into their offenses back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Now everyone is incorporating some spread elements in one form or another. The Tampa-2 is not really being used by many DCs in the NFL for a reason.

  11. lgwelsh1 says: Jan 7, 2013 12:14 PM

    The defense needs to be more in line with dealing with the spread option. Cover 2 works great against a west coast offense, but there is how many teams that actually run it? Green Bay, Phili (was) and I think ST. Louis primarily runs that style.

    None of those teams are in the AFC….

  12. joetoronto says: Jan 7, 2013 12:15 PM

    You need to get a lot of natural pressure from your front with the Tampa 2.

    Otherwise, you’re screwed.

  13. howmanyringsyourteamgot says: Jan 7, 2013 12:19 PM

    Tamba Hali was on the verge of bust status playing DE in the 4-3 and Houston would probably be miscast in the 4-3 as well. The Chiefs problem wasn’t on defense. Has Reid watched any film of USC? Kiffin’s defense was garbage and was the biggest detriment to the Trojans not named Matt Barkley and his penchant for throwing critical INTs. This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen and would be the lastest in a series of bad hires at DC by Reid since the passing of Jim Johnson.

  14. marcinhouston says: Jan 7, 2013 12:32 PM

    If I was going to hire the ancient old father of a Los Angeles college football coach as my defensive coordinator, I would go with Jim Mora Sr. USC looked aweful on defense despite top recruits. Kiffin used to be great but he seems to have totally lost it. But in general, KC has had too many geriatric coaches and should consider someone more up and coming.

  15. jp4120 says: Jan 7, 2013 12:41 PM

    Bad news for the Andy Reid fan club. He stinks and is not getting better. His early success with the eagles was a combination of luck and Jim Johnson. Pulling another cadaver out of retirement to run a defense is a typical fatso move.

  16. liner1900 says: Jan 7, 2013 12:46 PM

    In the Tampa 2, the emphasis is on the front 4 to put pressure on the QB without help from a blitz.

  17. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Jan 7, 2013 12:48 PM

    Not to be a jerk about his age but isn’t one of Kiffin’s much younger disciples available? Lovie Smith did pretty well running the Tampa Two as well as straight up defenses.

    Just a thought.

  18. andyreidisthegoat says: Jan 7, 2013 12:55 PM

    This is what ultimately helped get reid in trouble in philly. He lost touch with the pulse of the league and who the hot young coordinators were. He brought in the mudds and washburns of the world instead of the fraziers, harbaughs, and rivera’s like he did at the beginning of his time in philly. The one guy that was young was boles and he whiffed on him and that seemed like he was forced on him by management. I just don’t know how fresh a tampa 2 is anymore. these gimmick type def (wide 9) like gimmick off get figured out. You win with traditional football. running the ball and playing def. multiple formations and not just doing one thing that makes you predictable. I think reid will be a mess in KC.

  19. jimmysee says: Jan 7, 2013 12:57 PM

    If he wants to run Tampa 2 – hire Lovie Smith.

    He does that Tampa 2-step as well as anyone.

    And the Bears won 10 games this season!

  20. randyschwimmer7 says: Jan 7, 2013 12:57 PM

    Plus, he will have to face Peyton twice a year, and the defense was not ready in the base alignment they deployed this year.

  21. koolrepetoire says: Jan 7, 2013 12:58 PM

    Justin Houston is talented enough to do the Von Miller 4-3 OLB for run downs & LDE on passing downs, please believe. Ken Harvey used to do this. Also if Robert Mathis at 6-2 245 played a 4-3 LDE every down why can’t Justin Houston at 6-3 258? IJS

  22. damnsureis says: Jan 7, 2013 1:00 PM

    I’ve heard good things about the wide 9 defensive scheme. You just need to make sure that you have a good running backs coach that can call the plays for the defense.

  23. tjules21 says: Jan 7, 2013 1:00 PM

    What a novel idea – hiring an experienced defensive coordinator with a great resume of success! I can’t believe he didn’t think of this before appointing his former offensive line coach as defensive coordinator of the Eagles.

  24. rextraordinaire says: Jan 7, 2013 1:19 PM

    A pure Tampa-2 isn’t necessarily effective against a modern NFL offense anymore. Lovie Smith is aware of this, which is why he has evolved his scheme into more of a hybrid of the Tampa and a more aggressive variant of the base 4-3. Its evolved from the classic Tampa-2 to the point where you can almost call it the Chicago-2.

    Given how dominant the Bears defense was this season, especially in the takeaway department, Id say Lovie’s “Chicago-2″ works.

    Reid would be smart to at least take Lovie into consideration

  25. notoriousjebus says: Jan 7, 2013 1:22 PM

    The defense needs to be more in line with dealing with the spread option. Cover 2 works great against a west coast offense, but there is how many teams that actually run it? Green Bay, Phili (was) and I think ST. Louis primarily runs that style.

    None of those teams are in the AFC….
    ——————————————————–

    Last time I checked the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders, you know the other teams in the AFC West, didn’t do much with the spread option, seeing as how the AFC West holds the title of the “least mobile QB” division. I guess the Raiders might switch to it if they go with Pryor, but coaches in the AFC West will probably be more focused on beating Manning or Rivers for the next few seasons.

  26. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 7, 2013 4:25 PM

    Excellent. As a Detroit fan this encourages me greatly that the Chiefs will always be there fighting for the bottom to keep us from being the laughing stock of the league. Len Dawson#2 and a crappy flawed defense should combine nicely for a perennial losing team.

    Well done Coach Reid, you sure are a football genius. I’m surprised he didn’t say he was also going to outsource management to Asia to save on expenses and then not have to do any work. They run cookie cutter strategy plans off assembly lines over there and can mail out packages to the players by tomorrow.

  27. magnus129 says: Jan 7, 2013 9:04 PM

    I think they should also consider the man who’s beaten Belichick badly each of their last two matchups: Eric Mangini for DC. Wouldn’t have to scrap 3-4.

    You aren’t hiring for popularity;, good X’s and O’s coach.

  28. peterb21 says: Jan 7, 2013 9:14 PM

    Mangini would be a great fit I think.

  29. winstonpark says: Jan 8, 2013 1:57 AM

    Watch your mouth!! Talk about Reid all you want, but Kiffin is jesus in Tampa. The Tampa 2 still works; hence, Bears D wasn’t too shabby this year. He might be the 1st DC inducted into the HOF.

  30. michael713 says: Jan 8, 2013 2:33 PM

    From a longtime TampaBay fan.. We miss you Monte !!!! Our D was never the same after you left!!

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