The job of the football coordinator is to call the plays for their specific unit based on the game plan the head coach has provided to them and the players. Usually, the head coach will have the final say on any play call however sometimes, coordinators make the play calls instead of the head coach. This is because the coordinator may be more informed on one side of the ball than the head coach. For example, a defensive-minded head coach will call the plays for the defense while his offensive coordinator handles the plays on offense. In the NFL, Bill Belichick is known as a defensive-minded coach, while his former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was known as a much more offensive-minded coach.
Chain of Command
Every football team has a chain of command. Decisions go through a chain of key personnel before ultimately being executed by the players. In the NFL, players answer to their specific coordinator, and then those coordinators answer to their head coach.
There are also additional coaches for specific player positions. NFL teams have coaches for the offensive line, linebackers, quarterbacks, and more. These position coaches answer to their coordinators.
The football captain communicates orders from the coordinators to his fellow players. For the offense, the captain is typically the quarterback while on defense it can differ for every team. Linebacker is a position that is typically named a captain because they have roles all over the field defensively.
Great Coordinators in Football History
In many cases, great coordinators will be offered head coaching positions. Many forget that one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history, if not the greatest, Bill Belichick, was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants from 1985-1990. Belichick would go on to win Super Bowl XXI as well as XXV before becoming coach of the New England Patriots and going on to win six more titles.
Another great of the game, Wade Phillips is known for having one of the best defensive minds in football and has been a great defensive coordinator for many different NFL teams. He has made an impact defensively for the Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, and more. Phillips was the coordinator of the Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos as well as the most recent NFC champions the Los Angeles Rams, who lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. The Rams only allowed 13 points in the loss.