"What the hell is this guy doing?"
- Every NFL Fan Ever, talking about his favorite team's offensive coordinator
As the saying goes, if the backup quarterback for an NFL team is always the most popular guy in town then the team's offensive coordinator has to be the most second-guessed and the most criticized guy in town.
Very rarely do you hear common fans complimenting their team's offensive coordinator. That's mainly because football is way too complicated a game for the average fan to understand offensive schemes, variations and executions. Just the names of NFL plays - flip right double-X jet 36 counter naked wagglet seven X quarter, for example - look more like surrealist poetry than they do anything a normal adult male can process.
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But offensive coordinators are critical to the success or failure of an NFL franchise. Talent can trump coaching. But having a great scheme, an exceptional play-caller, and a savvy coach manning the controls of an offense goes a long way.
Below is a ranking of 10 offensive coordinator hires this offseason. These rankings aren't an attempt to project how these offenses will perform this year. But instead it is just a reflection of who I think are the most capable coordinators and who were the best (and worst) hires relative to what their team needed.
Here is my ranking of this year's 10 offensive coordinator hires:
10. John DeFilippo (Cleveland) - DeFilippo is the biggest unknown on this list of new NFL offensive coordinators. This is his first OC position. DeFilippo has been a quarterbacks coach since 2007 in both college and the NFL. But if you look at the places where he's been a coach - Oakland, the New York Jets, and San Jose State - you don't see a track record that suggests that this guy has the faintest clue what he's doing. Cleveland's skill position talent is nil. So I would expect the Browns to once again have one of the worst offenses in football.
9. Greg Olson (Jacksonville) - If you are looking for the definition of a coaching retread, Olson is it. Apparently the Jaguars were so impressed with Oakland's offense last year (the Raiders were No. 31 in scoring and No. 32 in total offense) that they just HAD to have Olson. This is the same coordinator that took The Greatest Show on Turf and transformed it from the No. 6 offense to No. 24 in just one season. Olson has had other pathetic stops in Detroit and Tampa Bay as well, and in the nine years that he's been an offensive coordinator he's had exactly one Top 20 offense. I know the Jags offense has been a laughingstock the past four years (they haven't finished higher than No. 28 in points or yards). But anyone that thinks that Olson is the guy to turn it around is an idiot.
8. Chan Gailey (New York Jets) - I thought that naming Gailey as Jets OC was an odd choice by new head coach Todd Bowles. Gailey hasn't coached since 2012, and over the last 17 years his last two attempts at leading an offense (KC in 2008) and Miami (2000-01) have been pretty feeble. Gailey does have a lot of experience at both the pro and college level. But over the past 25 years he really hasn't developed a tangible "style". In fact, Gailey's "skill" as an OC has come from his ability to put together an attack that suits his personnel rather than finding personnel to plug into his system. The Jets have had just one Top 10 offense in the last 15 years, and that was with Brett Favre at the controls. So Gailey doesn't have a very high bar to clear.
7. Bill Musgrave (Oakland) - Musgrave and Jack Del Rio will team up for the second time in their NFL careers this season in Oakland. Del Rio fired Musgrave after two seasons together in Jacksonville (2003-04) in which the Jaguars never finished higher than No. 25 in scoring. Musgrave's history is dotted with big seasons from All-Pro running backs like Fred Taylor and Adrian Peterson. But his overall resume as an OC is flimsy, and this guy has bounced around to a lot of different jobs the past 17 years. Musgrave was Matt Ryan's first pro tutor and guided Ryan as Atlanta quarterback's coach for Ryan's first three seasons. Beyond that, Musgrave's offenses have been shackled with pathetic signal callers and have responded by being putrid aerial attacks. He has never led an offense that finished higher than No. 14 in points or No. 12 in yards. I'm sure Musgrave picked up some interesting tips as Philadelphia's quarterback's coach. But it remains to be seen whether Musgrave can actually guide an offense at this level.
6. Kyle Shanahan (Atlanta) - Long the beneficiary of nepotism, Shanahan is trying to resurrect his flailing coordinator career after back-to-back embarrassing seasons in Washington and Cleveland, respectively. Shanahan has proven to be an incompetent game manager. And his first season without the training wheels of either his father or his father's long-time disciple Gary Kubiak was a debacle. However, that being said, he does have some things working in his favor in Atlanta. And if he is ever going to prove that he can coach at this level, this is it. First, Shanahan has one of the Top 10 quarterbacks in the league in Matt Ryan. Ryan is by far the best quarterback Shanny has ever worked with. Second, Kyle still has working knowledge of his father's offensive system, which has been one of the most successful in the NFL for the past quarter-century. I think it will work well for him…until he has long enough time to prove how limited he really is.
6. Rick Dennison (Denver) - This year will mark Dennison's 25thwith the Denver Broncos, eight as a player and then 17 as a coach. This will be Dennison's second stint as offensive coordinator. His first (from 2006-2008) was kind of mess as the Broncos transitioned from Jake Plummer to rookie Jay Cutler. However, Dennison is a disciple of the Shanahan-Kubiak tree. He knows the ins and outs of Shanahan's zone blocking, misdirection and short rollout passing game. And with Kubiak as the Denver head coach - and Peyton Manning at quarterback - I think that Dennison's job title is more honorary rather than functional.
4. Adam Gase (Chicago) - Gase is being thrust from one extreme to the other in his third year as an NFL offensive coordinator. The past two seasons he has had the benefit of "coaching" Peyton Manning, one of the all-time great quarterbacks and a flawless decision maker. But now we will find out what Gase is really about as he is charged with "fixing" Jay Cutler, one of the worst decision-making quarterbacks in the league. Gase had the benefit of a dominating quarterback and a host of skill players in Denver. The cupboard is not bare on Chicago's offense. But Gase is the fifth offensive coordinator that Cutler has had in seven years, and one of the biggest questions surrounding Chicago's season is how the two of them will gel.
3. Marc Trestman (Baltimore) - Trestman was unceremoniously dumped as Chicago's head coach after completely losing control of his team last year. However, his knowledge and temperament suggest that he could be an outstanding offensive coordinator. He will be the fourth OC that Baltimore has employed in the last four seasons. And it could take some time to transition from Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking, rollout-heavy offense to Trestman's quirky approach. But when the Ravens do get on Trestman's page, I expect solid results.
2. Greg Roman (Buffalo) - Roman is the perfect offensive coordinator to work with new Bills head coach Rex Ryan. They both share the same philosophy: pound the opponent into submission. And Roman rode that train to three straight NFC Championship Games and very nearly a Super Bowl title. Roman loves inside traps and power off-tackle stuff. But he has also shown creativity with how he deploys his other skill players. And he was able to scheme around the limitations of both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. That's a positive since Roman doesn't have a quarterback to work with in Buffalo. But the Bills have everything else in place to be a successful attack. And you should expect Buffalo to be among the league leaders in rush attempts.
1. Dirk Koetter (Tampa Bay) - Last year's Bucs OC, Jeff Tedford, was forced off the job in the preseason due to cancer, and the Bucs attack never recovered. So simply having an offensive coordinator for training camp and 16 games will be an improvement for Tampa Bay this year. But Koetter isn't just a stand in. He is extremely accomplished and has orchestrated some of the most successful offenses in franchise history for both Jacksonville (where he was from 2007-2011) and Atlanta (2012-2014). Koetter has an aggressive approach and loves to attack opponents with the vertical passing game. He has a multitude of weapons to work with in Tampa. However, rookie quarterback Jameis Winston has "train wreck" written all over him. And Koetter's last attempt with a first-year signal callers (Blaine Gabbert in 2011) led to his worst season as an OC.
Robert Ferringo has been the top football handicapper in the country the past two years, earning nearly $13,000 in total football profit with back-to-back winning seasons. Robert has tallied over $20,000 in football profit the last four years and in 2013 he hit 62.1 percent for the entire NFL season (95-58). Robert has produced an incredible 12 of 16 winning football months. Going back further he has churned out 35 of 51 winning football months, four of five winning overall seasons, seven of eight winning preseasons and he is at nearly 60 percent winners over his last 600 football picks. Also, Robert's proprietary KING College Football Betting System has posted two of three winning seasons and is 101-71 over the last two years (58.7 percent).
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