Best NFL Assistant Coaches Right Now

Who are the best NFL assistant coaches right now? Just how vital are assistant coaches to a team’s success? 

Assistant coaches aren’t given the limelight that the head coaches or the players do. However, they are the backbone of a team’s performance on the pitch, orchestrating and implementing the game plan along with the head coach.

So, in an attempt to bring the often underappreciated minds to the forefront, we present to you the “Best NFL Assistant Coaches Right Now.”

Eyes on the play, mind on the plan | Eric Bieniemy

With their expertise on the overall gameplay and, more so, their excellence in their respective niches, the current best assistant coaches have the potential to rise to become future head coaches as well.

So, without further delay, let’s take a look at the best NFL assistant coaches right now.

Best NFL Assistant Coaches Right Now

The list down below is gathered from trusted sources such as NFL.com and Sports Illustrated.

Before moving on, let’s quickly look at a brief overview of the best NFL assistant coaches right now.

NameCurrently Coaching
9. Nathaniel HackettGreen Bay Packers
8. Brian DabollBuffalo Bills
7. Patrick GrahamNew York Giants
6. Joe WoodsCleveland Browns
5. Raheem MorrisLos Angeles Rams
4. Mike McDanielSan Francisco 49ers
3. Matt EberflusIndianapolis Colts
2. Eric BieniemyKansas City Chiefs
1. Joe BradyCarolina Panthers

9. Nathaniel Hackett

  • Age: 41 years old (December 19, 1979)
  • Coaching: Offensive Coordinator

Starting off our list, Nathaniel Hackett is an intelligent offensive coordinator widely known for his ability to turn struggling teams into expressive title challengers.

During his time at the Syracuse, Hackett transformed a lackluster offense into a ruthless attacking unit. Furthermore, his efforts were monumental in developing quarterback Ryan Nassib as a draft prospect.

best nfl assistant coaches
Nathaniel Hackett. (Source: packers.com)

To jog down further, Hackett had the Midas touch during his stint with the Buffalo Bills. Despite a glaring lack of firepower in the lineup, Hackett diligently turned sub-.500 team into a 9–7 outfit.

Hackett is currently the offensive coordinator for the Packers, where his tactical outlook on the game has been crucial to their gameplay. Moreover, he makes the team tick with his expertise in the modern outside zone system, backed by his deep roots in the West Coast offense.

Not to mention, the Packers’ offense has been particularly dominant ever since his arrival.

8. Brian Daboll

  • Age: 46 years old (April 14,1975)
  • Coaching: Offensive Coordinator

Brian Daboll has consistently shown why he is regarded as the offensive mastermind on the field. With his rugged approach to the game, Daboll is famous for his ability to create mismatches across the field. 

Furthermore, Brian is fluent in a skill set that very few offensive coaches know the language of. Moreover, his innate ability to sense matchups that can transcend scheme is a rare sight in the NFL.

Despite being overlooked, Daboll was highly instrumental in developing Josh Allen into the phenomenal player he is today.

7. Patrick Graham

  • Age: 42 years old (January 24, 1979)
  • Coaching: Defensive Coordinator

In #8 is Patrick Graham, the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the New York Giants.

While Graham had the opportunity to interview for a Jets’ vacancy last year, he extended his contract with the New York Giants.

Widely known for making his teams punch above their weight, the Yale graduate previously coached the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots.

Graham has been pivotal in the Giants’ rigidity on the field. What’s more, he had an average mid-table unit playing top-tier football. Despite looking abysmal on paper, the Giants were 11th in net yards per passing attempt allowed.

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6. Joe Woods

  • Age: 51 years old (June 25, 1970)
  • Coaching: Defensive Coordinator

Joe Woods aims to make 2021 his year, especially given the ascent that the Cleveland Browns have been on for years.

The defensive coordinator for the Browns started coaching professionally in 1992. However, he stepped into the NFL only in 2004.

Best NFL Assistant Coaches Right Now
Joe Woods. (Source: clevelandbrowns.com)

Despite struggling with injuries the entirety of the 2020 year, Browns and the mastery of Woods finished top-10 in rushing defense and turnover percentage. Given the massive overhaul this offseason, Woods could lead the team to its expected heights this season. 

5. Raheem Morris

  • Age: 52 years old (August 15, 1969)
  • Coaching: Defensive Coordinator

After steering a rather difficult Falcons‘ ship last year, Raheem Morris established his credentials as one of the finest assistant coaches in the NFL.

With a horrid 0-5 start to the season, the Falcons called Morris to take the mantle. Avoiding a complete meltdown, Morris brought order to the disarrayed Falcons’ roster, leading them to a 4-7 record in the process. 

Stepping down the memory lane, Raheem Morris got his first chance in the NFL after taking over Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He led the team to a 3-13, 10-6, and 4-12 record before setting his sights on Washington, followed by Atlanta.

Currently appointed as the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams, Morris aims to emulate his tactical prowess along with his incredible man-management skills.

Also Read: Top 10 Fastest NFL Players of This Year

4. Mike McDaniel

  • Age: 38 years old (March 6, 1983)
  • Coaching: Offensive Coordinator

With the perpetual evolution of offensive gameplay over the last decade, Michael Lee McDaniel has been around to witness the most significant leaps the game has made for a very long time.

Mike McDaniel. (Source: 49ers.com)

The offensive coordinator has been integral for setting up the fast-flowing fluid playstyle of the San Francisco 49ers. Ever since his arrival, McDaniel has been the run-game coordinator for head coach Kyle Shanahan

McDaniels is widely known for his soft-spoken demeanor but is equally cerebral in his approach to the nitty-gritty details of the game. With years of experience under his belt, McDaniel hopes to become a head coach soon.

3. Matt Eberflus

  • Age: 51 years old (May 17, 1970)
  • Coaching: Defensive Coordinator

Featuring in number 6 on our list, Matt Eberflus is the defensive coordinator for Indianapolis Colts. Wanted for his defensive acumen, the Texans actively pursued to get Eberflus in the offseason.

Matt let the situation play on its own, letting other candidates push for the Texans’ job. Since his arrival as the Colts’ defensive coordinator in 2018, he has led an average defense to a couple of top-10 weighted DVOA seasons.

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Furthermore, banking on Eberflus’ defensive regimen, Colts finished in the top-10 in points allowed, yards allowed, and turnovers caused last season. Colts also went on to finish in the top-10 in first downs allowed, interceptions, rushing yards allowed, and rushing yards per attempt.

2. Eric Bieniemy

  • Age: 52 years old (August 15, 1969)
  • Coaching: Offensive Coordinator

If there ever was an assistant coach ready to become a head coach, it is Eric Bieniemy.

With glorious achievements under his belt already, it is anybody’s guess as to why he isn’t a head coach already. But despite his stellar records, Eric seems to be caught in the middle of the battle of racial disparity.

Moreover, Eric’s name always seems to be up there whenever there is a vacant head coach position but is usually followed by his drawbacks and why he wouldn’t be a good fit.

But, on the other hand, coaches of the white skin tone having the same perceived drawbacks seem to be appointed in a heartbeat. 

best nfl assistant coaches
Eric Bieniemy. (Source: bleacherreport.com)

So a more important question remains – when will the NFL ownership embrace the diverse makeup of the league and its coaches?

Regardless of the issue at hand, Eric strives to continue doing what he does best, i.e., bring out the best in his team. With emphatic recommendations from the likes of Andy Reid to his name, it is only a matter of time, and not if, he gets hired as a head coach in the NFL.

1. Joe Brady

  • Age: 32 years old (September 23, 1989)
  • Coaching: Offensive Coordinator

With the arduous task of saving Sam Darnold this season, Joseph Brady looks forward to an active, albeit challenging 2021. With a meaningful stint and offensive genius Sean Payton under his belt, Brady is more than capable of bringing out the best in any player.

While Brady interviewed a few teams last year, he aims to put his efforts into taking the next step into head coach management. Furthermore, with a stellar resume to his name, Brady can pull all the punches required for the same. 

His illustrious career includes transforming LSU’s passing game and developing future first-round pick, Joe Burrow. While his ambitions to move up the ladder may not sit right with the Panthers’ roster, he looks to focus his efforts on delivering the best that he can.

In light of his offensive acumen, Brady received interest from the Jets, Falcons, Chargers, Eagles, and Texans last year.

Conclusion

Assistant coaches have always been the backbone of any team. Despite not getting the deserved recognition, assistant coaches have consistently given their all to put the team and the players at the forefront.

With many coaches taking a step up from assistant coaches to head coaches, it won’t be of any surprise that the coaches mentioned above also lead towards the same path.

As for now, the same coaches round out our coverage on the best NFL assistant coaches right now.

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