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Old 07-08-2009, 06:48 AM   #1
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Default Arians #11 - Sporting News

Offensive coordinator rankings: Cam's the best
Real Scouts
By kilchuk.tsn
Created 06/02/2009 - 19:32

The battle between offensive and defensive coordinators is ongoing. Both must be smart, creative and adjust an entire week's worth of preparation on the fly as game conditions dictate. As more defenses use shifting 3-4 alignments, offensive coordinators must adjust game plans accordingly.
RealScouts, Sporting News' team of former NFL scouts, rank their top 20 offensive coordinators:

1. Cam Cameron, Ravens. Being innovative is only part of the job. Putting your best players in a position to be successful is another. Cameron, despite his reputation taking a beating in his one year in Miami, is a great coach who took a Division I-AA quarterback and turned him into a productive NFL starter as a rookie.

2. Chan Gailey, Chiefs. Gailey's shotgun-heavy attack is a perfect philosophical fit with new coach Todd Haley. It also will limit the learning curve of QB Matt Cassel, who played in a similar system last season in New England. The Chiefs will attack through the air and could have the NFL's most improved offense in '09.

3. Dan Henning, Dolphins. His system has stood the test of time, beginning with the Houston Oilers in 1972. Most recently, it has worked with Jake Delhomme in Carolina and Chad Pennington in Miami. Henning is an unsung hero of the Dolphins' turnaround. His scheme calls for a lot of runs and high-percentage passes.

4. Kevin Gilbride, Giants. He couples power runs with downfield passes. His philosophy relies on big, athletic man-blockers on the line to wear down defenses with the run and set up play-action passes. The Giants control the clock with a basic and conservative offense that capitalizes on defensive mistakes.

5. Mike Heimerdinger, Titans. He runs one of the NFL's most conservative offenses, but look for more balance this year. He will use RB Chris Johnson more as pass catcher and will take advantage of upgrades at wide receiver. Heimerdinger is a master at creating mismatches with formation changes.

6. Scott Linehan, Lions. He likes the downfield passing game and is more likely to call passes in the red zone. He was the man behind the scenes in Minnesota when QB Daunte Culpepper was playing his best ball. The Lions' problem is a poor offensive line and lack of depth at receiver.

7. Jason Garrett, Cowboys. With Terrell Owens gone, look for more balance -- a greater reliance on the run and passes spread around. Garrett, T.O.'s whipping boy last year, is one of the brighter young minds in the league. Garrett is great at combining elements of different schemes, making his offense tough to defend.

8. Bob Bratkowski, Bengals. Bratkowski's strength is in the details of the passing game. When all his players were healthy and happy, he had a juggernaut in Cincinnati. He now is using the run more often, which could make QB Carson Palmer more effective. With an improved line and a healthy Palmer, the Bengals could surprise in '09.

9. Dirk Koetter, Jaguars. He would prefer a more wide-open offense that incorporates downfield passes but plays to his team's strength -- a power run game. QB David Garrard must play smarter, though.

10. Mike Mularkey, Falcons. He is an old-school, smash-mouth guy who loves two-tight end sets with fullbacks leading power runs. He uses the run to set up play-action passes downfield. Mularkey has ideal tools in Atlanta: A great back, a smart young QB and some versatile playmakers.

11. Bruce Arians, Steelers. He likes to pass more than any coordinator in Steelers history but hasn't abandoned the run. If RBs Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall remain healthy, Arians could use them together at times in '09. Arians combines run sets with empty backfields and spread formations, making the Steelers tough to defend.

12. Russ Grimm, Cardinals. With Grimm replacing Todd Haley, the Cardinals will get a heavier dose of the running game -- a goal of coach Ken Whisenhunt since he first arrived two years ago. Still, the team's high-powered passing attack will remain the dominant feature. Expect to see more no-huddle attacks and shotgun formations, too.

13. Brian Schottenheimer, Jets. He quickly rose through the coaching ranks because of innovative ideas, but at the heart of his philosophy is a strong running game. That will be more evident if rookie Mark Sanchez wins the QB battle. Schottenheimer will be conservative but always looking for matchup advantages -- through the use of motion, no huddle or gimmick plays.

14. Greg Knapp, Seahawks. He will implement a one-cut, zone-running scheme in Seattle, setting up a conservative passing attack. Knapp has a proven system. He just has to overcome a lack of elite weapons in Seattle.

15. Marty Mornhinweg, Eagles. He runs a system with West Coast principles and plays. Traditionally, it's a 65/35 pass/run ratio, but the short passing game uses the backs, tight ends and receivers as a run substitute. QB Donovan McNabb must process a lot of information and throw quickly. The Eagles have upgraded the line and receiving corps, so look for them to rely a little less on RB Brian Westbrook.

16. Joe Philbin, Packers. Philbin uses a lot of multiple formations and has been fighting for more balance in the offense. Though conservative with in QB Aaron Rodgers' first season as a starter, Philbin will open up things in '09, working play-action passes off zone runs. As Rodgers matures, Philbin's name will become more recognizable.

17. Jeff Jagodzinski, Bucs. He had a nice NFL career developing when he left to be the Boston College head coach. He did develop NFL Rookie of the Year Matt Ryan in college. Another believer in the zone-blocking scheme, Jagodzinski also wants to open up the passing game and get away from ex-coach Jon Gruden's ball-control attack.

18. Ron Turner, Bears. An old-school, run-first guy, Turner will look to get more balance into the offense with the arrival of QB Jay Cutler and the emergence of WRs Devin Hester, Earl Bennett and Rashied Davis. Turner still will focus on the run but will be more aggressive in the passing game, using Cutler's skills and mobility to go downfield off play-action fakes.

19. Ted Tollner, Raiders. A long time NFL and college coach, Tollner has been brought into the fold to improve the Raiders' running game and make sure the team maximizes Darren McFadden. Tollner also is a former QB coach who could be instrumental in the development of JaMarcus Russell. If those two players emerge in '09, Tollner will get the credit.

Shanahan, 29, has done a good job of getting the talent to work together. He is the son of former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and has been around the game for a long time, but line coach Alex Gibbs gets the credit for the improved running game and head coach Gary Kubiak still insists on calling most of the plays.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Arians #11 - Sporting News

At least a couple of these guys ahead of Arians were available at one point to the Steelers, but they still went with Arians. Why? And why keep him if he's so ineffective?

I actually agree with this, more or less. I never said Arians was the greatest OC of all time, but he's respected and trusted by Ben, and obviously the FO thinks he's a good fit, and that's good enough for me.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Arians #11 - Sporting News

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
At least a couple of these guys ahead of Arians were available at one point to the Steelers, but they still went with Arians. Why? And why keep him if he's so ineffective?

I actually agree with this, more or less. I never said Arians was the greatest OC of all time, but he's respected and trusted by Ben, and obviously the FO thinks he's a good fit, and that's good enough for me.
Makes me feel a bit better. I figured him to be a bit lower on the list.

A new year cometh.... Chins up. On to the Super Bowl..
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Arians #11 - Sporting News

I would really like arians football if he added a little more of this to the game in substiute for the one back up the middle calls.

add a little of this from #10 Atlanta

smash-mouth guy who loves two-tight end sets with fullbacks leading power runs. He uses the run to set up play-action passes downfield

and a little of this from the Eagles #15

Traditionally, it's a 65/35 pass/run ratio, but the short passing game uses the backs, tight ends and receivers as a run substitute.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Arians #11 - Sporting News

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Originally Posted by mmalone View Post
and a little of this from the Eagles #15

Traditionally, it's a 65/35 pass/run ratio, but the short passing game uses the backs, tight ends and receivers as a run substitute.
No thanks to that friggin garbage

The most dangerous offense is one that has balance and can both run and pass the ball.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Arians #11 - Sporting News

Should be interesting to see how Grimm does.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Arians #11 - Sporting News

But I thought Arians was the worst OC in NFL history?
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Arians #11 - Sporting News

I can't believe I'm defending him...

The whole "He likes to pass more than any coordinator in Steelers history.." part is more a reflection of

A) the era...this is a league that now favors the pass moreso than the run.
B) the Steelers have a franchise QB for the first time since the early 80's...so it makes sense to feature your talent more.

I'd be throwing the ball more also if I had a top 5 QB.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Arians #11 - Sporting News

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Originally Posted by The_WARDen View Post
I can't believe I'm defending him...

The whole "He likes to pass more than any coordinator in Steelers history.." part is more a reflection of

A) the era...this is a league that now favors the pass moreso than the run.
B) the Steelers have a franchise QB for the first time since the early 80's...so it makes sense to feature your talent more.

I'd be throwing the ball more also if I had a top 5 QB.
it's mostly a reflection of us not being able to run the ball consistently at all
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Arians #11 - Sporting News

Oh boy...hear we go...what is this? Round 12 of the Arians depbate? LOL!
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