Thursday, November 18, 2010
AFC North offensive coordinator rankings
By James Walker
It's everyone's favorite time again. Let's bring out the AFC North blog's latest offensive coordinator rankings.
These four coaches are lightning rods in the division. It often seems they don't get enough credit during successful times and too much blame for failures.
Here is where the AFC North's four offensive coordinators currently rank:
1. Cam Cameron, Baltimore Ravens
Previous ranking: No. 1
Analysis: Cameron is holding firm in the top spot. The Ravens aren't perfect offensively, but they are solid. Baltimore has the highest-rated offense in the AFC North and is No. 13 overall. I still believe the Ravens have the talent and potential to be a top-10 unit by the end of the season. Baltimore is averaging a respectable 27 points per game in its last five contests. Occasional red zone issues have prevented this team from being more explosive. But that will be a matter of improving focus and execution inside the 20.
2. Bruce Arians, Pittsburgh Steelers
Previous ranking: No. 2 (tie)
Analysis: Arians is struggling lately, but keep in mind we are counting his entire body of work through nine games. Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator managed the offense well during its 3-1 run without franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The offense has been inconsistent since, and that's where Arians is receiving the most criticism. Pittsburgh looks like an offense in transition. It doesn't know whether to be a running team or a passing team, and against good opponents the Steelers have trouble with both. Pittsburgh's banged-up offensive line is struggling mightily against the blitz. Arians needs to find a way to better scheme against pressure or it could be a long season offensively for Pittsburgh.
3. Brian Daboll, Cleveland Browns
Previous ranking: No. 4
Analysis: Daboll gets out of the basement with a recent string of solid performances. Since inserting rookie quarterback Colt McCoy into the starting lineup, Cleveland has been able to move the ball better and more consistently. The Browns have scored at least 20 points in three straight games for the first time this season, and McCoy is 2-2 in his four starts. The power running game behind Peyton Hillis is Daboll's foundation. But Daboll has also found some tricky and creative ways lately to get this unit going, despite not having nearly the same level of talent at skill positions as other AFC North offensive coordinators.
4. Bob Bratkowski, Cincinnati Bengals
Previous ranking: No. 2 (tie)
Analysis: The Bengals are middle of the pack (No. 16) when it comes to total offense. But their sloppiness and inconsistency puts Bratkowski at the bottom of our latest rankings. Cincinnati's offense hasn't put four solid quarters together all season, and it's baffling how this group can explode at any given time but cannot continue to play at a high level. It's Week 11 and Bratkowski hasn't found an identity for this offense, which abandoned the run this year and commits too many turnovers and penalties while passing. The Bengals are just 21st in scoring at 20.4 points per game, and that's underachieving for a unit with so many quality skill players.