Top 5 Defensive Coordinators in the NFL 2014
Yes, the offense and the quarterbacks command the glamorous life. But in reality who doesn't love those nasty boys on the other side of the ball?
And even when the defense is loaded with talent, you need someone to direct, harangue, and diagram winning sets. You did see what defensive coordinator did to ruin the debut of Johnny Manziel? A good defensive coordinator can lead his team to victory. A great defensive coordinator makes sure his team dominates.
Here are five great defensive coordinators in the NFL today:
5. Jim Schwartz, Buffalo Bills
Let's for a moment forget the idiocy of having his team carry him off the field after the defeat of the Detroit Lions. That speaks more towards why he isn't a head coach than his defensive coordinator skills.
The defense is coming off two outstanding performances. They have held the NFL 's highest-scoring offense the Green Bay Packers to 13 points.
They are second in the NFL in third down defense at 33.3 percent.
They are fifth in turnover differential with 30 takeaways. They forced two Packers turnovers with the Packers coming into the game not having a turnover in four previous games.
They rank first against the pass and 11th against the run. And he is accomplishing this without linebacker Kiko Alonso. So a defense that can keep its team in the game, is always deserving of kudos to its coordinator.
4. Todd Boyles, Arizona Cardinals
He should be rated higher?
He is loaded with crazy talent, Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, Tyrann Mathieu and Rashad Johnson to name just a few that anchor a defense that keeps this team in games. Just think, the Cardinals have lost two quarterbacks and a starting running back throughout the season.
On the defensive side they have also suffered losses. They are without Karlos Dansby, Daryl Washington and Darnell Dockett on the defensive side. And are still headed to the playoffs. Coincidence? I think not.
The Cardinals are winning because of their defense. They have forced 14 takeways in the fourth quarter, leading the NFL. They are holding the opposing offenses to a field goal in the fourth, also leading the NFL. They rank third in points allowed. They are fourth in interceptions. And are sixth in yards per rush allowed. Yes, the players play, but this coach is coaching.
3. Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
Yes, he is head coach, but noone anywhere has ever doubted Zimmer's defensive chops. And now he has a defense that just last year was ranked 31st, ranking 11th this year. They have gone from allowing 397.6 yards per game to 339.9 yards per game.
The Vikings lost their best player on either side of the ball with the lost of Adrian Peterson. Coach Zimmer just altered the Vikings philosphy and carried on. While the Vikings used to be about the offense, they are now about the defense.
2. Jack Del Rio, Denver Broncos
It is hard to imagine anyone talking about the Broncos defense when you have an offense as prolific as the one the Broncos possess. But here it goes. After last year's Super Bowl lost, the Broncos realized they had to get tougher on the defensive side of the ball. They acquired pieces in free agency and the draft.
Mission accomplished. The Broncos rank fourth in total yards per game allowing 309.4. Thet are second in rushing yards allowed per game withe 71.6, and they are first in yards allowed per play with 4.75.
Yes they acquired some spectacular parts, but it takes a master technician to make the parts work.
1. Gregg Williams, St Louis Rams
His squad went two games without their opponent scoring a point. While the Cardinals are known for their impressive secondary, the Rams rely on their defensive line, and it's good.
Yes, they started slow. But we all know it's how you finish that matters and they are finishing with power. They have accumulated 36 sacks in their last nine games, which ranks them 10th in the NFL. Even with a bad start they are currently ranked 11th in yards allowed per game, giving up only 339.9. They are 12th in points allowed per game given up a miserly 21.2, and they went 12 quarters without allowing a touchdown. It helped to get defensive end Chris Long back, and Williams knows what to do when he has dynamic moving parts.
Dan Quinn, Seattle Seahawks: They are once again a dominate defense. But you expected that, right?
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