The playcallers for all 32 teams and where their offenses rank

The playcallers for all 32 teams and where their offenses rank

Sean McVay has taken the Rams from last in scoring in 2016 to first in the league through 10 weeks. 

While some head coaches retain playcalling responsibilities, others delegate them to their coordinators. Who’s calling the shots for your team?

NFL Nation breaks down the playcallers for all 32 teams in order of offensive rankings, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).


Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels

The Patriots have a game-plan offense that morphs its attack each week to focus on an opponent’s weakness. The most recent example: McDaniels had full back James Develin on the field for a season-high 45 snaps last week because it helped create a matchup against the Broncos’ base defense, which the Patriots wanted to attack. To highlight the contrast, consider that Develin played only 13 snaps in the team’s Oct. 5 win over Tampa Bay. McDaniels is a master at his craft, and of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Tom Brady as the quarterback. But it goes well beyond Brady, as McDaniels has had two stints as the offensive coordinator in New England (from 2006 to 2008 and 2012 until now). His experience shows on a weekly basis. — Mike Reiss

Head coach Sean Payton

Payton has handed over playcalling duties to his longtime offensive coordinator, Pete Carmichael Jr., in the past, but he keeps being drawn back to the gig. “I think sometimes if I’m not calling plays, I just feel like I don’t have a microphone in my hand,” Payton said. The Saints have had one of the NFL’s all-time great passing attacks under Payton, who is known for his aggressiveness and for how many formations and personnel groupings he throws at teams until he finds mismatches to exploit. But he’s also showing off his versatility like never before this season, calling 50 percent run plays during the team’s seven-game win streak. — Mike Triplett

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan

Linehan has been the playcaller in Dallas since 2014, adopting the offense coach Jason Garrett has had in place since 2007. Linehan had immediate success with Tony Romo in 2014, who had his best season while Dez Bryant led the NFL in touchdown catches and DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing. But the offense fell apart in 2015, with Romo out for 12 games, before rebounding last year with Linehan leading rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys scored at least 28 points in five straight games before last week’s loss to Atlanta, their first game without Elliott. How they adapt in Elliott’s absence over the next five games will tell the story of their season. — Todd Archer

Head coach Doug Pederson

A disciple of Andy Reid, Pederson’s playbook — like Kansas City’s — blends West Coast principles with spread concepts from the college level. He gained some playcalling experience as offensive coordinator of the Chiefs from 2013 to 2015 but did not assume full duties until he became the Eagles’ head coach last season. Tight end Brent Celek described Pederson as “a freakin’ phenomenal playcaller” for his ability to keep opposing defenses off-balance. — Tim McManus

Head coach Andy Reid

Reid has called the plays for many of his 19 head-coaching seasons after learning the craft from Mike Holmgren when they were with the Packers. Reid generally does a solid job calling plays. When he joined the Chiefs in 2013, he wanted to shed the personnel duties he had taken on in his later seasons with the Eagles so he could spend more time on things such as playcalling. — Adam Teicher

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian

The former Washington and USC coach is a first-time NFL playcaller with the Falcons, though he called plays plenty at the collegiate level. Sarkisian played and coached under Norm Chow, the former BYU and USC playcaller who was the Titans’ offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2007. Sarkisian, who succeeded current 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta, inherited last season’s top scoring offense, at 33.8 points per game. The Falcons have dipped to 15th in scoring, at 21.9 points per contest, but Sarkisian still has some of the league’s best offensive personnel — when healthy — with All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones, reigning MVP Matt Ryan and two-time Pro Bowl running Devonta Freeman, among others. — Vaughn McClure

Offensive coordinator Todd Downing

The first-year offensive coordinator was promoted from quarterbacks coach and has had an uneven go of it thus far. The Raiders essentially let Bill Musgrave walk for fear of losing Downing, who said he would not fix what was not broken from the NFL’s sixth-ranked total offense of 2016. But Oakland is currently 22nd in the league, and Downing has been criticized for conservative playcalling. Still, Derek Carr has seemed content to throw quick out passes rather than take deep shots with aplomb. Silver chicken or black egg? Like I said, it has been … uneven. — Paul Gutierrez

Head coach Sean McVay

The first-year head coach began calling offensive plays for the Redskins in 2015, at 29 years old, and his track record is sterling. Over the past two years, McVay elevated Kirk Cousins into one of the game’s better quarterbacks while presiding over one of the NFL’s most efficient passing offenses. This year he has been a miracle-worker, taking the Rams from last to first in scoring through the first 10 weeks. McVay was heavily influenced by Jon and Jay Gruden as well as Mike and Kyle Shanahan. It’s evident in the way his offense functions. — Alden Gonzalez

Head coach Mike McCarthy

Except for 12 games during the 2015 season, the Packers head coach has called the offensive plays since he was hired in 2006. He gave the job up after the 2014 NFC title game in order to spend more time with the defense and special teams but decided to take it back, saying he would always call plays as long as he’s a head coach. McCarthy first called plays in 2000, when he was hired as the Saints’ offensive coordinator. — Rob Demovsky

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley

Haley is in his sixth season with the Steelers, who have been among the NFL’s most explosive offenses during his tenure. He comes from the Bill Parcells’ coaching tree and has head-coaching experience with the Chiefs from 2009 to 2011. Haley has helped Ben Roethlisberger become a quick-strike passer from the pocket, though the Steelers have struggled to execute in the red zone this season, ranking 19th in scoring offense at 20.8 points per game. — Jeremy Fowler

Head coach Jay Gruden

Gruden was hired because of his offensive prowess and planned to call plays his first season in Washington (2014). But he scrapped those plans and let then-offensive coordinator Sean McVay call the plays after having him do so that first preseason. But Gruden was always on the headset and shaped the game plan. He also called plays for three years in Cincinnati as the offensive coordinator, where he helped Andy Dalton have success his first three years in the NFL. Gruden returned to calling plays this season, with McVay now in L.A. with the Rams. Gruden has shown a stronger commitment to the run than McVay did the previous two years and would like more downfield shots. That’s why the Redskins made a late push to re-sign DeSean Jackson. Gruden’s playcalling, of course, was shaped by his brother Jon. — John Keim

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell

Bevell has been calling plays for the Seahawks since he was hired as the offensive coordinator in 2011, bringing to Seattle the experience from doing so in the same role for Minnesota from 2006 to 2010. Bevell is an indirect disciple of Mike Holmgren, having worked under Mike Sherman in Green Bay and Brad Childress in Minnesota. Bevell couldn’t win with Seahawks fans even before Seattle’s epic goal-line flub at the end of Super Bowl XLIX, but he has been much better than his harshest critics would suggest. Those continually calling for his job don’t seem to realize that three of the five highest-scoring seasons in franchise history — 2012, 2013 and 2015 — came under his watch. — Brady Henderson

Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur

The Vikings went from the bottom of the league to a top 10 offense since Shurmur took over coordinator duties following Norv Turner’s resignation last November. A product of the Bill Walsh-Mike Holmgren coaching tree, Shurmur inherited an offense built around a vertical attack and implemented principles of a West Coast scheme. He’s a tremendous playcaller and gets creative with the use of his extensive playbook to draw upon the strengths of his personnel. The Vikings rank ninth in yards and 10th in points per game. Shurmur has played a big role in rebuilding the O-line and its zone-blocking scheme and has been able to capitalize on Case Keenum‘s strengths to get the most out of the backup QB. Shurmur’s success this season raises the question of whether he’ll be offered another head-coaching opportunity soon. He was the Browns’ head coach from 2011 to 2012 and the Eagles’ interim coach in the 2015 season. — Courtney Cronin

Offensive coordinator Mike Shula

The son of legendary Dolphins coach Don Shula has been calling the plays since the start of the 2013 season, when he was promoted to offensive coordinator. He gets a lot of blame when things go badly because of his sometimes conservative approach, but how he has done in adjusting to the read-option of Cam Newton, a scheme he never experienced prior to coming to Carolina, shows what some at times call his “genius.” Under Shula’s guidance, the Panthers ranked No. 1 in the NFL in scoring in 2015 when they went to the Super Bowl. Shula helped Newton become the league MVP that season and Greg Olsen the first tight end in NFL history to have three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Now Shula is adjusting again to utilize the multi-faceted Christian McCaffrey. He’s highly underrated but excellent at getting the most out of what he’s given, something his dad was brilliant at doing. — David Newton

Head coach Dirk Koetter

Koetter arrived in Tampa Bay in 2015, when he came in as Lovie Smith’s offensive coordinator. Koetter’s offenses in Tampa have moved the ball well — they’re currently third in the league, with 262.4 passing yards per game — but they struggle to score, averaging 17.67 offensive points per game, 22nd in the league. That has been an issue for three seasons now. Koetter has been contemplating giving up playcalling duties to focus more on his role as a head coach. He’s part of the Jack Del Rio and Mike Smith coaching trees and has been influenced by Sean Payton, Brian Billick, longtime friend Andy Reid and his father, Jim Koetter. Koetter’s systems have evolved over the years, but in Tampa, it’s a run-first offense that uses multi-level routes and is predicated on play-action and explosive plays downfield. — Jenna Laine

Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt

Whisenhunt returned to the Chargers in 2016 after being let go as the Titans’ head coach, and he resumed the offensive coordinator duties he had in 2013 when Mike McCoy took over as the head coach. Whisenhunt chose to stay when the Bolts hired Anthony Lynn as the team’s head coach in January after letting McCoy go. Whisenhunt has a good relationship with quarterback Philip Rivers, but the Chargers have struggled to merge the previous regime’s passing game concepts with Lynn’s run-first approach. — Eric D. Williams

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett

Hackett is in his first full season calling plays for the Jaguars, but he has experience calling plays for two seasons under coach Doug Marrone in Buffalo from 2013 to 2014. He has brought more of a balance to the Jaguars’ offense — they rank first in rushing and sixth in total offense — and has been very good for QB Blake Bortles, who has been much better in terms of not forcing throws or throwing the ball away. Hackett also worked under Marrone at Syracuse for three seasons and called plays for two. He took over as the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator midway through last season after coach Gus Bradley fired Greg Olson. — Michael DiRocco

Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter

The Tom Moore-Jim Caldwell disciple has been calling plays since the middle of the 2015 season, when he was elevated from quarterbacks coach to coordinator after the firing of Joe Lombardi following a 1-6 start. Cooter has had mixed reviews throughout his tenure. His playcalling has helped turn Matthew Stafford into a top-10 quarterback, and he has shown bursts of innovation, creative play design and personnel usage. But the issues have come in a continually stagnant running game and predictability of run or pass — and where the ball is going — based on personnel that is in the game. At age 33, though, he’s one of the youngest coordinators in the game and is still learning. — Michael Rothstein

Offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie

The Titans’ offense largely draws from elements that offensive-minded coach Mike Mularkey picked up in Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Atlanta. Robiskie has received mixed reviews, with most of his critics citing the old-school, run-heavy nature of Tennessee’s offense. His offense has shown spurts of creativity with different formations, plays and use of diverse playmakers, such as cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, to exploit defenses. He received a shoutout from Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick on Sunday: “They were doing different s— the whole game. I’m going to tip my hat to their offensive coordinator. I thought Pittsburgh was bad, but those guys had a lot of plays, a lot of formations.” Robiskie has called the Titans plays the past two seasons. He also had a playcalling stint in 2004 with Cleveland. Robiskie coached under Mike Shanahan, Art Shell and Norv Turner. He played under John Madden, Tom Flores and Don Shula. — Cameron Wolfe

Head coach Bill O’Brien

After the offense struggled in 2016, the Texans’ coach took over offensive playcalling. With quarterback Deshaun Watson under center, O’Brien was able to unlock a new part of his playbook thanks to the rookie’s mobility. Several players noted how creative O’Brien’s playcalling became with Watson. Since the rookie tore his ACL in practice on Nov. 2, the Texans’ offense has gone back to its previous state and has scored only 14 points in two games with Tom Savage at quarterback. — Sarah Barshop

Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan

Sullivan took over playcalling duties from coach Ben McAdoo in Week 6. It was a big move, as McAdoo was reluctant to hand over the job until the Giants reached 0-5. The offense has been more diverse than it was in the past, but that’s in part because the Giants are short-handed at wide receiver, limiting what Sullivan can do with this group. Sullivan had past experience as the coordinator in Tampa Bay from 2012 to 2013. — Jordan Raanan

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison

This is Dennison’s first season with the Bills but his fourth stint as an offensive coordinator, having held that title for the Broncos (2006-08), Texans (2010-13) and Broncos (2015-16). This is the first time Dennison is primarily responsible for calling plays, having previously shared those duties with Jeremy Bates under Mike Shanahan during his first stint in Denver and then with Gary Kubiak with the Texans and again in Denver. Dennison has been the subject of some fans’ ire this season for using a zone-based blocking scheme that has been seen as part of the problem behind the Bills’ dropping from a league-leading 5.35 yards per carry last season to 3.79 this season, 24th in the NFL. Dennison and quarterback Tyrod Taylor have also yet to find much success in the passing game, where Buffalo ranks 30th in yards per game (180.4). In Dennison’s defense, he has been tasked with integrating two receivers — Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin — who were acquired via trades since August into the offense on the fly. — Mike Rodak

Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor

The former quarterbacks coach replaced Ken Zampese as offensive coordinator after the Bengals’ 0-2 start. The Bengals haven’t been the same offensively since former coordinator Hue Jackson left to be the Browns’ head coach last season. Lazor’s top priority was to get the ball to A.J. Green, who uncharacteristically expressed his unhappiness after a Week 2 loss. Initial success in that regard has been followed by inconsistencies and disappointment for an offense that has regressed. — ESPN.com staff

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg

Since replacing Marc Trestman in the middle of last season, Mornhinweg hasn’t been able to get Joe Flacco or the Ravens’ offense on track. In 20 games with Mornhinweg, Baltimore has scored one or no offensive touchdowns eight times. Coach John Harbaugh has refused to put all the blame on Mornhinweg. “I think anytime you try to pin the blame on any one person in a team sport like this, that’s always going to be a mistake. That’s nonsensical,” Harbaugh said last month. “It just doesn’t work that way. But I understand that’s how it works. We all understand that.” Mornhinweg has past experience as a coordinator, including stints with the 49ers (1997-2000), Eagles (2006-2012) and Jets (2013-2014). — Jamison Hensley

Head coach Adam Gase

Gase has called plays for three teams, beginning in 2013 as offensive coordinator for the Broncos. His best strength is his knack for adjusting his offense around varying quarterbacks. He has had success with Tim Tebow, future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler and Ryan Tannehill. Only Cutler hasn’t made the playoffs to date under Gase. Miami’s offense has been up-and-down this season, but much of that has to do with issues on the offensive line. — James Walker

Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy

McCoy is in his second stint as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator — he had the job from 2009 to 2012 — and since a 42-17 victory over the Cowboys in Week 2, Denver has averaged just 14.3 points per game in its past seven outings and is tied for the second-fewest touchdowns scored (17) in the league, with two of those coming from the Broncos’ defense. They had particular trouble working out of the three-wide-receiver set — their preferred look when they’ve been forced into pass-first mode — as defenses have turned their coverages toward Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders because the Broncos haven’t protected the QB well. — Jeff Legwold

Offensive coordinator John Morton

A disciple of Jon Gruden and Jim Harbaugh, Morton is a first-time coordinator at the NFL level. In fact, the Jets were the first team to show any interest in Morton, 48, who is doing a nice job under less-than-ideal circumstances. His short-passing scheme has been a huge plus for Josh McCown, who is having a career year. Despite not having any game-breakers at the skill positions, the Jets are 21st in points per game, better than many anticipated. Morton can get pass-happy at times, but his overall approach is sound. — Rich Cimini

Head coach Bruce Arians

Arians has been calling plays for most, if not all, of his adult life, including the five years he has been in Arizona, and he has had mixed results since 2013 with his vertical passing game that thrives on the deep ball. In 2015, the Cardinals set six franchise records while tallying the most yards in the NFL and second-most points. But over the past two seasons, Arians’ scheme has begun to falter and is on pace for the fewest points and second-fewest yards under Arians, in large part because of injuries to quarterback Carson Palmer and running back David Johnson, among others, but also because defenses began figuring out last season how to contain Arians’ down-field scheme. — Josh Weinfuss

Head coach Hue Jackson

The head coach called plays successfully in Oakland as a head coach in 2011 and in Cincinnati as an offensive coordinator from 2014 to 2015. Jackson’s issues haven’t been as much with the playcalling as with the players running the plays. The roster lacks not only playmakers but also the basic needs of a competitive team. — Pat McManamon

Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski

Chudzinski replaced Pep Hamilton as the offensive coordinator in Week 8 of the 2015 season. A former coordinator in Cleveland and Carolina — as well as a one-year head coach for the Browns in 2013 — Chudzinski likes to use two-tight-end or three-receiver sets. It isn’t surprising that he puts a heavy emphasis on tight ends because he played the position at the University of Miami and he has coached that position a number of different times in his career. The Colts aren’t the same offensive team without quarterback Andrew Luck, who will miss the entire season due to a right shoulder injury. They’re currently ranked 19th in the NFL in total offense with Jacoby Brissett at QB. The Colts were ranked 10th in that category last season when Luck started 15 of 16 games. — Mike Wells

Head coach Kyle Shanahan

Shanahan has been calling plays for NFL offenses since he became Houston’s offensive coordinator in 2008, though he’s now in his first year doing so as a head coach. He is known as one of the best offensive architects in the league, but sometimes it has taken a year or so for those units to get the hang of his scheme. The Niners are no exception, and in addition to their need for more understanding of Shanahan’s system, they’re in serious need of a talent infusion. Adding quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could be a big step in getting the offense going, though it will probably take at least another offseason of adding help on the interior of the line and at the skill positions before Shanahan’s group can take a big step forward. — Nick Wagoner

Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains

Loggains is in his second year as Bears offensive coordinator after spending parts of the 2012 and 2013 seasons calling plays in Tennessee. He isn’t nearly as accomplished as predecessor Adam Gase — now the head coach of the Dolphins — but Chicago doesn’t have many weapons on offense, particularly at wide receiver. Plus, Loggains is attempting to coach up rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who started just 13 games in college before the Bears selected him second overall in the 2017 draft. But the NFL is a performance-based business. The Bears rank 29th in points per game (16.7) and total offense (291.6). Loggains, along with coach John Fox, is definitely on the hot seat as Chicago approaches its final seven games of 2017. — Jeff Dickerson

Source: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page/32for32x17115/nfl-2017-playcallers-all-32-nfl-teams-how-their-offense-ranks

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