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Monday, July 19, 2010
Best assistants in NFC South -- your take

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

While I was off, I asked you to weigh in with your thoughts on the best coordinator and best position coach in the NFC South. You filled up the mailbag with your responses and I’ve just sorted through them.

I’m going to give you my choices a bit later today, but let’s see what readers had to say.

Let’s start with coordinators. Your overwhelming choice was New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Here are a couple of samples from Williams’ supporters -- and there were many.

Marshall in New Orleans writes: Best Assistant in the NFC South: Without a doubt GREGG WILLIAMS. He turned New Orleans' defense from nothing into a turn over machine! Without Williams the Saints would not be Champions right now. He came in with essentially the same defense that Gary Gibbs (former d coordinator) and really turned it around. To quote Williams "This defense was always here they just needed someone to let the dogs out". That’s EXACTLY what he did!

John in New Orleans writes: Gregg Williams is definitely the best position coach in the league. He helped transform what was once a last ranked defense that forced no turnovers into a legitimate defense that forced the most turnovers in the league last year. Gregg Williams hands down.

Although Williams got most of the reader support, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Tampa Bay special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, who easily finished in second place in this category.

Stephen in Augusta, Ga., writes: It has to be Rich Bisaccia, he has changed the worst special teams unit in the league, that had never recorded a kickoff touchdown, into the one of the best return units in kickoff and punt, the best kick coverage units, and with the kicker and punter situation under control this those units are bound to improve as well.

Michael in Louisiana writes: I think the best coordinator in the division would have to be the underrated special teams coach of the Buccaneers, Rich Bisaccia. Look at how consistent his special teams units have been the past few years. In the horrible 2009 season for the Bucs, the special teams was the lone bright spot. They blocked kicks, returned one of those blocked kicks for a touchdown, and returned kicks for touchdowns with different guys. Even Connor Barth, the Bucs kicker, went into the history books with three 50+ yard field goals in a game.

When it came to position coaches, there were lots of nominees. But I think the consensus winner was New Orleans receivers coach Curtis Johnson.

Mitch in New Orleans writes: Best assistant: Curtis Johnson. WR Coach, N.O. Saints. The Saints have developed the best WR corps in the league under this guy. He made Devery Henderson clutch. That alone proves his worth.

Mark in Dallas writes: For the best position coach, I have to go with Curtis Johnson. The best evidence of how good of a coach he is is the depth of the Saints WRs. It definitely helps to have Drew Brees throwing the ball, but I think Curtis Johnson has helped Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, and Lance Moore become the best top to bottom WR corps in the NFL.

Some other position coaches who received strong support: Atlanta quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, Atlanta offensive line coach Paul Boudreau, Carolina defensive line coach Brian Baker, Carolina offensive line coach Dave Magazu and Carolina running backs coach Jim Skipper.