Who are the top-five defensive coaches in the NFL right now? By defensive coaches, I mean guys who actually are instrumental in designing the defensive game plan during the week. The defensive coordinator does it for some teams, but the head coach does it for other teams. When Bill Walsh was the 49ers’ head coach, he had various offensive coordinators but the offense was Walsh’s and he called the plays. Mike Holmgren was the same way when he was the head coach of the Packers and the Seahawks.
Here’s my list of the best defensive coaches in the NFL right now.
1. Pete Carroll — He’s really the defensive coordinator in Seattle, although Dan Quinn has the title. Carroll has developed one of the best defenses ever. The Seahawks’ defensive backfield is Carroll’s crown jewel.
2. Bill Belichick — Like Carroll, Belichick is the real defensive coordinator of the Patriots. No matter who he has on the his defense, the Patriots do not give up a lot of points. Their defense has ranked in the top-10 in points allowed seven-of-the-last-eight seasons.
3. Vic Fangio — He took a consistently middle-of-the-road 49ers defense and turned it into a consistently top-five defense in the league.
4. Rex Ryan — Ryan is behind the Jets’ defense even though he’s the head coach. Ryan has been their head coach for five seasons. Before that, he was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator for four seasons. During those nine seasons, six of Ryan’s defenses have ranked top-five in yards allowed.
5. Mike Zimmer — The Vikings recently hired him to be their head coach. The past six seasons, Zimmer was the Bengals’ defensive coordinator. Before the Bengals hired Zimmer in 2008, they had one of the worst defenses in the league. It took Zimmer just one year to turn the Bengals’ defense into one of the best in the NFL.
Who do you think are the top-five defensive coaches in the NFL?