Josh McDaniels doesn’t make Pro Football Focus’s short list of best NFL play callers

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Pro Football Focus has been busy ranking basically every aspect of the NFL this offseason. While they’re currently smack dab in the middle of ranking all the positions groups, they tossed out a short list of those who they deem to be the best play-callers in the league.

The list, collected by Eric Eager, is six coaches long. Why six? Who knows. But this is the list:

  1. Andy Reid, Chiefs head coach 4, 3

  2. Kellen Moore, Cowboys offensive coordinator 1, 1

  3. Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers offensive coordinator 2, 2

  4. Kyle Shanahan, 49ers head coach 13, 7

  5. Sean McVay, Rams head coach 7, 9

  6. Matt LaFleur, Packers head coach 10, 10

Looking at the ranking of each of these coaches’ offenses last season, you can see how they got here. The top offenses in terms of yards were, in this order, Cowboys (Moore), Buccaneers (Leftwich), and Chiefs (Reid). While the others all landed in the top ten.

Obviously not making the list is Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels who was the longtime offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. In case you’re wondering, the Patriots’ offense finished 15th in yards last season.

Though, if you’re going by points, McDaniels — whose offense finished sixth — might have an argument over Shanahan (13), and LaFleur (10).

McDaniels is getting his second chance at a head coaching job, despite a disastrous short stint in Denver a decade ago. He is getting that job in large part to the respect he carries as an offensive coordinator.

That’s not to say he deserves to be in this top six, I’ll leave that for others to judge. After all, he hasn’t commanded an offense that has finished in the top ten since 2018 and has only once in his 16-year career as a play caller called a top ten offense without Tom Brady behind center (2008).

It is to say that he is established enough that you would check the list to see if he was there and wouldn’t have been surprised if he was on it.