By HCR Staff | June 13, 2018
This is Part 2 of a five-part series breaking down each of the five factors that make up our exclusive Head Coach Ranking. This week’s focus: Personnel.
We grade how well each head coach utilizes the personnel available to him on the roster. For example, if a particular running back is not a good pass catcher, but a head coach runs a pass play to him on a key third-down situation, our conclusion would be the head coach did not do a good job with his personnel on that particular play. This could also apply to defense. If a head coach has his best pass rusher dropping into coverage too often, perhaps this may not be prudent given the context of a particular game.
Here are HCR’s top-ranked personnel utilizers from last season:
|1. Sean McVay, Rams||8.3|
|2. Bill Belichick, Patriots||8.1|
|3. Sean Payton, Saints||7.9|
|4. Mike Zimmer, Vikings||7.8|
|5. Doug Pederson, Eagles||7.6|
And here’s the complete 2017 ranking for Personnel Utilization
A perfect example of how coaches win with personnel utilization occurred during the Patriots’ 23-3 win at Buffalo in Week 13 last season. While the final score wasn’t that close, the outcome could easily have been different. The Bills threatened to score on the opening drive, but QB Tyrod Taylor was picked off at the goal line. The Patriot who intercepted that pass was linebacker Eric Lee – who had been on the Bills’ practice squad just over a week before this game. As we noted in the game post: “Good coaching by the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick made him useful on this day.”
Another good example came in Minnesota’s Week 1 victory over the Saints. Defensively, the Vikings let their front four dictate the game. The Saints had a rookie left tackle making his NFL debut and an injury to their right tackle. By constantly attacking those two spots, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer kept QB Drew Brees under pressure all night. The Vikings earned a 29-19 victory, and Zimmer earned a 9 for Personnel Utilization.