This week, I asked a few coaches what constituted a good playcaller. Balance was one consistent element, both in terms of run and pass calls as well as taking shots downfield. Creating and leveraging mismatches, finding space for playmakers, was another.
Another characteristic -- confidence -- was a bit more abstract. Coaches said a proper playcaller has to take control of a game rather than allowing a defensive coordinator to get the upper hand.
It’s a chess game in the gladiator arena, and one coach said “bravado” is required.
“Always be on the attack,” he said, “regardless of down, distance, score or time of the game.”
Here are 10 playcallers -- coordinators and head coaches -- who most embody those elements.
1. Gus Malzahn, Auburn head coach
Even though the Auburn offense is built on the same few basic run plays, Malzahn continues to frustrate defensive coordinators.