KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If there's one person who knows Rex Ryan's defensive tricks, it's Bob Sutton.
Before the Chiefs hired Sutton to be their defensive coordinator in 2013, he spent 13 years in the Jets' organization and served as Ryan's assistant head coach and linebackers coach from 2009-11.
The similarities between both defenses are uncanny, and the Chiefs do "a lot of what we did in New York and what Rex brought to New York from Baltimore,'' Sutton said. But the Jets aren't worried about their opponent knowing the ingredients of their secret sauce, so to speak.
Coaching is like cooking, Jets defensive assistant coach Jeff Weeks said. "There's a certain way to bake a cake. But there's a Cake Boss in New Jersey that, I'm sure, cooks a whole lot better than I would,'' he said Thursday during a break from team meetings. "It's like anything. There's fundamental defensive philosophies and different guys put their spin on it.
" . . . Rex, he's special in that way. There isn't any secret to tackling and blitzing. The book's been out there. . . . But Rex is one of a kind, he's outside the box.''
Had Ryan not put his foot down, Chiefs coach Andy Reid might have gotten his hands on Sutton a lot earlier.
"Andy tried to get him every single year,'' Ryan said of Reid's request to interview Sutton. "I was like, 'No.' I kept sending in the papers, no, no, no. But at the end of the day, the best thing for Bob Sutton was for him to get the opportunity to run the defense.''
And the move has paid off for the Chiefs, who have the best passing defense in the league (195.6 yards per game) and are ranked third in points allowed (18.3).
Few coaches in the NFL are as structured, as disciplined and as detail-oriented as Sutton, and few are as caring, as good-natured and as concerned about the well-being of his players off the field. Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace said Sutton still checks in with him and teammate David Harris and wishes them good luck via text messages.
"The guy's relentless as far as teaching and organization skills,'' said Weeks, who worked under Sutton in 2010. "You learn so much from him as a coach and as a player because he is so organized, you know exactly what you're going to get from him every day. He's never up too high, he's never too low.
"He reminds me of that old science teacher. Very likable, though. He's going to teach you. He's going to teach you what you need to do. If you listen to him, you're going to do OK. If you don't, you're not.''