There tends to be a lot of focus, year in and year out, on head coaches. Naturally. They are steering the ship on every team. “Who is on the hot seat?” “Who is Coach of the Year material?” “Who was a bust?” But unless you follow the league closely, an NFL coordinator can sometimes be overlooked and often don’t get the credit they deserve.
Just like a proficient head coach, coordinators can be difference-makers throughout a season. See Philadelphia Eagles without Gannon and Steichen, Kansas City without EB (whatever, I know. They are still going to the Super Bowl, but their offense was not as clinical during the regular season).
Then, some NFL coordinators make an impact within one to two seasons. Guys like Bobby Slowik in Houston (OC), Frank Smith in Miami (OC), Mike Macdonald in Baltimore (DC), and many more. I want to discuss some key coordinator moves around the league.
The NFL Coordinator Roundup
Previously: Michigan DC
Now: Chargers DC
Being that Jim Harbaugh is now the Head Coach in LA, replacing Brandon Staley on the headset, this is one of the least shocking hires around the NFL. If you watched any Michigan football this past year, there is no surprise that they won the National Championship. A well-oiled machine on both sides of the ball. Harbaugh and Minter work well together so bringing him aboard to salvage this Chargers team is a great start.
Previously: Chargers OC
Now: Philadelphia OC
This could be fun to watch as it unfolds next season. Before his time in LA, Moore was in Dallas working with Dad Prescott and Co. He had some ups and downs along the way, but considering the offense he gets to coach now, it could be a lot of fun for all involved. That’s what Nick Sirianni is hoping for anyway; the Eagles will have had three coordinators in three years. He believes in Moore’s ability to scheme and call plays so we will have to see what sort of effect he has on an Eagles team that looked very mid this year in comparison to their 2022 Super Bowl run.
Previously: Lions OC
Now: Lions OC
After a second year of serious consideration for a head coaching gig, Johnson elected to return as Detroit’s OC after a brutal collapse in the NFC Championship game. Lions fans have to be ecstatic as he orchestrated back-to-back years as a top-5 offense. It is worth wondering if his asking price is too much for a head coach position. Maybe a third year as an offensive architect will up his worth even more and maybe he enjoys his role under Dan Campbell. I guess we will see in one year!
Previously: Dolphins DC
Now: Philadelphia DC
To me, this is a tricky one; and it appears that Fins Up Faithful is also split over Fangio’s departure after just one season. Despite one of the most injury-plagued units in the league, the Dolphins ended with pretty nice defensive numbers. So why get rid of him?
The wild thing about this day and age is we have access to a multitude of reports. Some of those reports don’t paint the veteran coach in the best of lights-and this dates back to his time in Denver also. Apparently, there have been personality clashes between Fangio and some of his players.
Defensive players from Miami were not hiding their excitement that Vic would be heading out of town. Was he not inspiring his players or were they not willing to work hard? That may be a question we will never know.
Heading north up I-95 lands him back in Philadelphia to try and revive a corps that is scarred by Matt Patricia. Fangio values experience and discipline to what we saw from Sean Desai’s first several weeks of the Eagles’ season. Before Fangio went to Miami, he was a consultant up in Philly so it will be a familiar reunion for all parties involved.
Previously: Rams QB Coach
Now: Falcons OC
This is a home run hire for the Atlanta Falcons. Robinson, who was in Los Angeles (Rams) as a McVay understudy since the 2019 season, worked his way up to a quarterbacks coach most recently. The Rams, and specifically, Matthew Stafford, had a marvelous year. They finished 7th overall in total offense after many folks wrote Stafford and this team off in the preseason.
Robinson heads to A-Town and will call plays for an arsenal that includes Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London. Given their young age, this has to be a dream come true. After the Falcons wildly underachieved under the guise of Arthur Smith (former HC), his replacement Raheem Morris is bringing Robinson along for this new journey.
The depth of target for Rams receivers was surprisingly low considering the personnel, but keep in mind Robinson was not the one calling plays as he was only the QB Coach. The NFC will be keeping a close eye on this union in the 2024 season as Arthur Smith was not cut out to run this offense. Many questioned his poor usage (or lack thereof) with one of the most talented backs we have seen in years. Smith had some strange thoughts on the matter:
I think everyone’s biggest question is who the Falcons Quarterback will be. Is Robinson a wizard who can revive a struggling Desmond Ridder? Will he trade for a veteran in the offseason? It will be fun to watch it all shake out.
This is not a comprehensive list, but the moves that deserved the spotlight. Who stands out as some of the notable coordinator hires around the league? Let us know @DraftCountdown on the X app!