Top five offensive play-callers in the NFL right now
Moving on from the players, I now want to look at the premiere offensive coordinators and play-calling head coaches in the league. To me what defines great coaches when it comes to that area is what they can do with what they have.
Everybody has to consider what they have at hand in terms of personnel and then game-plan according to the opposing defense. A lot of people can draw up all kinds of cool plays, but they also have to be able to teach those, adjust to who they face and string plays together. Here are my top five:
#1 Kyle Shanahan
At the top of the list right now has to be Kyle Shanahan. As an OC he made Matt Schaub a Pro Bowler in Houston, helped RG3 win Rookie of the Year in Washington and orchestrated a top ten scoring offense in NFL history with Matt Ryan earning MVP honors. Kyle has moved on to San Francisco and after two years of irrelevancy due to injury problems and a lack of offensive personnel, he has his team rolling with an 8-0 record.
Like I said already, nobody is better at keeping defenses off balance with all kinds of different run schemes of those zone looks. But it’s what he has built around that that makes this offense so tough to stop. All those bootlegs and waggles, tight-end screens, throwbacks to the running schemes and crossers he gets wide open off booting the other way forces defenses to defend the entire length and width of the field.
We have seen him just carve up opposing teams that use simple coverages, such as those cover-three based defenses, where he can manipulate responsibilities and creates open targets off deep crossers. He rotates his backs through and uses multiple receivers in ways that utilize their strengths.
The Niners only scored less than 20 points in that mudfest at Washington when nobody could do anything and they put a 50-burger on one of the best defenses out there in the Panthers. All that despite his quarterback playing mediocre for most of this strength and not having an established number one receiver, which he now has in Emmanuel Sanders, who has already made his presence felt.