Skip to content

NFL Management Summit: Ranking the league's top coordinator duos


theScore evaluates the leadership positions within each NFL organization to determine which franchise possesses the best staff.

32. San Francisco 49ers

OC: Curtis Modkins
DC: Jim O'Neil

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
32nd 32nd 32nd 32nd

Even the most ardent football fans are hard-pressed to name Modkins and O'Neil's accomplishments. At least Chip Kelly won't try to take all the credi--- oh, wait. - Srinivasan

31. Miami Dolphins

OC: Clyde Christensen
DC: Vance Joseph

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
31st 29th 31st 31st

The Dolphins' new staff could conceivably work out quite well. For the time being, though, it's all uncertainty alongside a first-year head coach. - Wilkins

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

OC: Greg Olson
DC: Todd Wash

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
30th 27th 30th 29th

The Jaguars have been a laughing stock through most of their 21-year history, but a top-10 passing offense and 35 touchdown passes from Blake Bortles has this team slightly above last. - Sanderson

29. Los Angeles Rams

OC: Rob Boras
DC: Gregg Williams

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
26th 31st 28th 28th

Despite his past indiscretions, Williams is still a solid defensive mind. The Rams' real problems lie on offense, where Boras will try to ignite the attack with the help of new passing-game coordinator Mike Groh. - Boone

28. Indianapolis Colts

OC: Rob Chudzinski
DC: Ted Monachino

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
28th 28th 29th 27th

Chudzinski is at least an intriguing pairing with Andrew Luck. The former Panthers offensive coordinator oversaw the early career development of Cam Newton before earning a head coaching job and being ousted far too quickly in Cleveland. - Wilkins

27. Washington Redskins

OC: Sean McVay
DC: Joe Barry

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
29th 24th 27th 30th

The Washington coordinators need to get some credit for getting their team to the playoffs last season with a subpar roster, but coach Gruden has a ton of influence in McVay's work and a 28th-ranked finish by Barry's defense isn't going to garner much praise. - Sanderson

26. Tennessee Titans

OC: Terry Robiskie
DC: Dick LeBeau

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
27th 26th 26th 26th

With Robiskie having served as a receivers coach since his last coordinator job in 2004, there's no telling how he'll fare calling plays. LeBeau is one of the best defensive coaches in history, but it's been several years since he oversaw a top unit. - Wilkins

25. San Diego Chargers

OC: Ken Whisenhunt
DC: John Pagano

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
23rd 25th 25th 25th

Whisenhunt returns to the Chargers after a failed stint as the Titans' head coach. It's good news for both the Chargers and Whisenhunt, who helped them finish fifth in the NFL in yards per game in 2013. - Boone

24. New Orleans Saints

OC: Pete Carmichael Jr.
DC: Dennis Allen

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
24th 23rd 22nd 23rd

Allen was thrown onto a sinking ship last season, taking over a horrific Saints' defense midseason, but did his best to amend the unit. Carmichael Jr. has been running a strong offense for years, albeit one that's far too reliant on quarterback Drew Brees. - Srinivasan

23. New York Giants

OC: Mike Sullivan
DC: Steve Spagnuolo

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
25th 19th 23rd 22nd

Ben McAdoo did a good enough job as OC under Tom Coughlin that he got the head coaching job. If Sullivan just follows McAdoo's instructions, he should be fine. Spagnuolo struggled in his first year back in New York, but an influx of defensive free agents gives him no excuses for 2016. - Sanderson

22. Cleveland Browns

OC: Pep Hamilton
DC: Ray Horton

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
19th 30th 24th 15th

Hue Jackson put together a strong staff for his first year returning to a head coaching role. Hamilton should work with Jackson in putting together a creative offense, while Horton now returns to lead the defense he led to a 9th-ranked finish in 2013. - Wilkins

21. Oakland Raiders

OC: Bill Musgrave
DC: Ken Norton Jr.

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
22nd 21st 20th 20th

Norton Jr. saw the defense come alive under his watch and the unit is poised to have a breakout year. Musgrave did fine in his first year, but the duo will need to get the Raiders into the playoffs to bolster their rankings. - Srinivasan

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

OC: Todd Monken
DC: Mike Smith

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
20th 17th 19th 24th

After the team promoted Dirk Koetter to head coach, Monken will need to prove himself ready to commandeer a young, upcoming offense with plenty of talent at the skill positions. - Srinivasan

19. Cincinnati Bengals

OC: Ken Zampese
DC: Paul Guenther

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
21st 14th 17th 21st

Hue Jackson's departure to the Browns is a big loss for the Bengals, but Zampese is extremely familiar with the system after putting in 13 seasons as the team's quarterbacks coach. Guenther's unit is one of the league's most balanced, as long as he can keep its emotions under control. - Sanderson

18. Atlanta Falcons

OC: Kyle Shanahan
DC: Richard Smith

Shanahan continues to enjoy success wherever he lands. Unfortunately for the Falcons, Smith didn't have the same impact on the defensive side of the ball in his first season in Atlanta. - Boone

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
14th 16th 21st 19th

17. Detroit Lions

OC: Jim Bob Cooter
DC: Teryl Austin

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
17th 22nd 16th 14th

Detroit's offense took a significant step forward in the second half of 2015 after Cooter took over at coordinator. Austin, meanwhile, has long been considered a head coaching candidate for his work on the defensive side. - Wilkins

16. Buffalo Bills

OC: Greg Roman
DC: Dennis Thurman

The Bills' offense made major strides in Roman's first year, as he helped them establish the league's best rushing attack. Rex Ryan continues to call defensive plays, and the presence of his brother, Rob, could further limit Thurman's role. - Boone

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
12th 20th 18th 17th

15. Houston Texans

OC: George Godsey
DC: Romeo Crennel

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
18th 15th 15th 18th

This is a split decision. Crennel is among the best DCs around, proving his worth as the Texans had the NFL's third-best defensive unit in 2015, but offensive game planning by Godsey and coach O'Brien has been a mess. Remember when Ryan Mallett had 58 pass attempts? - Sanderson

14. Chicago Bears

OC: Dowell Loggains
DC: Vic Fangio

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
15th 18th 12th 16th

For years, Fangio has been one of the league's best defensive coordinators; Loggains doesn't inspire the same confidence on the other end, and it'll be compelling to see how they co-exist in 2016. - Srinivasan

13. Green Bay Packers

OC: Edgar Bennett
DC: Dom Capers

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
16th 12th 11th 12th

Bennett takes somewhat of a backseat to head coach Mike McCarthy, who will remain the offensive playcaller. Capers remains the unquestioned lead presence on the opposite side, however, as his defenses have only continued to make plays at a high level. - Wilkins

12. Philadelphia Eagles

OC: Frank Reich
DC: Jim Schwartz

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
11th 13th 13th 13th

Schwartz may have struggled as an NFL head coach, but he's proven himself as one of the league's best defensive bosses. The jury is still out on Reich after he produced mixed results over two seasons in San Diego. - Boone

11. New York Jets

OC: Chan Gailey
DC: Kacy Rodgers

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
10th 7th 14th 9th

With noodle-armed Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback last season, the Jets managed to build the 10th best offense in the league thanks to Gailey's system. Rodgers did even better in his first year, finishing with the NFL's fourth-ranked defense. - Sanderson

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

OC: Todd Haley
DC: Keith Butler

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
9th 11th 9th 10th

Haley wasn't cut out to be a head coach but he's one of the premier offensive coordinators in the NFL, adding plenty of balance and creativity to the team's playbook. Butler won two Super Bowls as the team's linebackers coach and extracted the maximum value out of the unit in 2015, succeeding Dick LeBeau without a hitch. - Srinivasan

9. Kansas City Chiefs

OC: Brad Childress
DC: Bob Sutton

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
13th 10th 7th 8th

Sutton is one of the brightest defensive minds in football, while Childress continues to prove that it's possible to succeed with a run-heavy offense in place. Both men complement one of the most well-rounded staffs in the NFL. - Srinivasan

8. Minnesota Vikings

OC: Norv Turner
DC: George Edwards

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
7th 9th 8th 11th

Turner's career may be winding down, but he's still a savvy offensive mind. Edwards rounds out the Vikings' veteran staff, but fails to get full marks here since head coach Mike Zimmer calls the defensive plays. - Boone

7. Baltimore Ravens

OC: Marc Trestman
DC: Dean Pees

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
6th 8th 10th 7th

Better luck with injuries will see the Ravens make better use of Trestman's quarterback-friendly attack. Pees has been the rare defensive coordinator not to bolt for a head coaching job, and the unit should only continue to benefit from the continuity. - Wilkins

6. Arizona Cardinals

OC: Harold Goodwin
DC: James Bettcher

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
8th 4th 5th 6th

While the true mastermind to the Cardinals' advanced schemes is Bruce Arians, each of his coordinators have shown exciting creativity with their units. Running the league's best offence and fifth-best defense is no small feat. - Sanderson

5. Dallas Cowboys

OC: Scott Linehan
DC: Rod Marinelli

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
3rd 6th 6th 5th

Jason Garrett has two of the game's best helping him in Dallas. The hard-nosed Marinelli always gets the most out of his players, and Linehan has wisely learned to adapt the offense to his personnel. - Boone

4. Denver Broncos

OC: Rick Dennison
DC: Wade Phillips

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
5th 5th 4th 4th

Dennison has long-found success working alongside Gary Kubiak, and some offensive-line upgrades should give him the opportunity to bring a stronger running game to Denver. As evidenced by the utter dominance of his unit en route to a Super Bowl 50 title, Phillips is arguably the NFL's premier defensive coordinator. - Wilkins

3. Seattle Seahawks

OC: Darrell Bevell
DC: Kris Richard

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
4th 2nd 2nd 3rd

Bevell takes flak for the end of Super Bowl XLIX but built one of the most balanced offenses in the NFL, while Richard helped the Seahawks lead the NFL in scoring defense during his first year as coordinator. Don't be surprised if both men get NFL head coaching jobs down the line. - Srinivasan

2. Carolina Panthers

OC: Mike Shula
DC: Sean McDermott

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
1st 3rd 3rd 2nd

Shula guided the Panthers' offense to the most points in the NFL in 2016 and McDermott's defense has been in the top 10 each of the last four years. It's only a matter of time before both Panthers coordinators find head coaching jobs elsewhere. - Boone

1. New England Patriots

OC: Josh McDaniels
DC: Matt Patricia

Boone Sanderson Srinivasan Wilkins
2nd 1st 1st 1st

McDaniels and Patricia are both among the best at their respective positions. Staying dedicated to their roles under Belichick has kept them in New England and kept the Patriots at the top of the NFL. - Sanderson

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox