Sure, the head coach gets all the glory when his team is successful, but he also takes much of the heat when things aren't going as planned. Right behind him, however, offensive and defensive coordinators are the men pulling the strings in the NFL. Here's the short list of the most overrated assistant coaches in the NFL today.
Come on, we all saw this one coming. Since becoming the Jets' offensive coordinator in 2006, Schottenheimer's offenses have rarely been productive, and he was unable to make Mark Sanchez look like a serviceable franchise quarterback. Granted, Sanchez likely held him back as much as he held Sanchez back, but his body of work speaks for itself, and it's not that impressive.
I may catch some flak for this one. Koetter had the Falcons playing at a high level a season ago, but considering his work in Jacksonville prior to moving to Atlanta, I can't say he's an impressive coach. At most, we can safely say you'll get a level of play out of a team that is correspondent to that team's talent with Koetter, but he's not leading any overachievers.
Caldwell is one of the true stoics of the NFL. While he's credited with much of the playoff success of the Baltimore Ravens, it should be pointed out that Cam Cameron laid much of the foundation for the Ravens' playoff run. Caldwell did a great job getting the Ravens' offense ready for the tournament, but he had plenty of help in doing so. Let's wait and see what he does this year before we crown him as the next great offensive mind.
How Cunningham still has a job with the Detroit Lions is simply beyond me. His units are chronic underachievers, and fitting with the tendencies of the Lions, Detroit's defense is also an undisciplined group. Without a great showing from the defense, the Lions will be doomed again in 2013, and if that comes to pass, Cunningham and the rest of the coaching staff will be in the job market. After last year's debacle, there's no more second chances for the Lions.
Ryan has bounced around the NFL a lot over the past few years, and part of that can be attributed to his extremely aggressive style of coaching. Ryan may be an innovator, but an intellectual coach he is not. The answer is not always to send more men at the quarterback, and sometimes, you have to outwit an opponent instead of trying to overpower him. Ryan continues to land coordinator positions around the league, but there's a reason he hasn't been hired as a head coach.