At NFL.com, Bucky Brooks ranks the league’s top 20 coordinators, and three coaches from the AFC North make the list.
Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees is at No. 12, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson at No. 7 and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley at No. 5.
Brooks cites Pees for keeping the Ravens D among the NFL’s most effective where it counts — Baltimore ranked sixth last season in points allowed — despite shifting personnel. Pees will be challenged once again in 2015 with the departure of defensive line rock Haloti Ngata.
Jackson likes to talk, which means he may not get credit for how well he operates the Bengals offense. “It's a shame Jackson's swagger leads some observers to overlook his offensive ingenuity,” Brooks writes. Jackson pressures defenses to abandon their schemes because “few can rival Jackson's chess skills.”
Haley’s high rating may be surprising considering how he and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have clashed during the coach’s time in Pittsburgh. However, though Haley is known for being “volatile,” Brooks says, “there is no disputing his effectiveness as a play caller, scheme designer and talent developer.” The Steelers featured the league’s top passing attack last season and No. 3 overall offense.
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