An offensive coordinator is a coaching staff member whose primary responsibility is creating an offensive game plan for a team to follow, usually in conjunction with the head coach and the several position coaches beneath them. They make the offensive game plan and work on getting the offensive players acquainted with it in preparation for the next game. Along with creating the offensive game plan and any prep work necessary before a match, they are responsible for making game time changes to the offensive strategy during a game to help the team win.
So, how important is the offensive coordinator to the team? Do offensive coordinators call offensive plays during a game? Why do offensive coordinators sit in the booth? Does the offensive coordinator talk to the QB, and how much do offensive coordinators make in the NFL?
Below we will discuss the offensive coordinator and their relevance to a football team.
How Important is the Offensive Coordinator to the Football Team?
The offensive coordinator, for the most part in the NFL, is the sole head of the offensive side of the ball. They create the offense’s strategy and discuss the plan with the head coach and the position coaches during practice for that week’s matchup. Once there is an agreed-upon strategy, they lead the practices to familiarize the players with the strategy and the position coaches.
During the game, they must ensure their practice strategy works appropriately during a match. If the system during practice is not working, it is up to them to construct a new plan to help push the offense into scoring touchdowns. Examples like this could include an injury to a QB where the offensive coordinator needs to change the strategy to a more run-focused tactic. Another example could be a defense blitzing too often on plays. If the offensive coordinator notices those blitzes, they might switch to shorter screen passes that help counter that defensive scheme.
Do All Offensive Coordinators Call the Offensive Plays?
Regarding offensive coordinators calling plays in the game, again, it is a case-by-case situation for every team. Even teams with a clear offensive coordinator might not solely rely on them to call the plays. It is best to think of the NFL offensive coordinator as a piece for the head coach to consider implementing their best advice or not. Chances are the head coach will rely on the offensive coordinator’s best judgment on running plays, but at times, the head coach can overrule a proposal from their offensive coordinator in favor of their own.
Why Do Offensive Coordinators Sit in the Booth?
It is common to see football coaches on the sideline of a game, but that is not always the case. Instead, some coaches opt to observe and call plays from the booth, usually situated high within the stands. Some offensive coordinators choose to work from the booth due to the birds-eye view they can see during a game. The birds-eye view can show gaps in a defense that the offensive coordinator can see and make game-time changes to their offensive strategy to exploit a weakness.
Another reason some offensive coordinators sit in the booth is their age. Since some football games have harsh weather conditions, having an older coach sit in a temperature-controlled environment is best than being directly on the field. Also, sitting in the booth means less time for them to be on their feet than if they were standing on the sideline.
Finally, another reason some offensive coordinators sit in the booth is not to allow the players to see their emotions during the game. For example, a team might have a rookie quarterback struggling in a game via multiple interceptions. If the rookie QB sees the offensive coordinator visibly frustrated with their performance, that could lower their morale for the game. However, if the coordinator is up in the booth, the player won’t see that coach’s frustration.
Does the Offensive Coordinator Talk to the Quarterback via a Microphone During a Game?
If the offensive coordinator is the coach calling the offensive plays, then they are relaying the call to the quarterback, but there is a caveat. Per NFL rules, only sideline coaches can communicate with football players on the field. So if a coach is in the booth, they must rely on their call to a coach on the sideline, and they will call communicate with the quarterback.
In addition to calling plays to the quarterback, they also relay the offensive lines protection plan to the quarterback, so each lineman knows who they are responsible for blocking and where to go once the play begins.
This communication is only allowed in the NFL. Meanwhile, in college and high school football, it is illegal to talk to a quarterback using a microphone or speaker.
How Much Do Offensive Coordinators Make in the NFL?
According to howigotjob.com, the average salary of an offensive coordinator is $1 million annually. However, coordinators can make much more of a salary depending on their track record and years of experience.
Conclusion: What Does an Offensive Coordinator Do in Football?
In American football, a team’s success gets determined by not only the players on the team but the coordinators that make up the staff. An offensive coach with a well-structured offensive scheme that works well for the team, especially the quarterback, could guide their teams to success. Ultimately an offensive coordinator is the one responsible for constructing the offensive strategy for a team.
The offensive coordinator on the team is both a coach and a consultant to the main head coach. They must present their plan and strategy to the head coach to see if that works for their game-time strategy. While sometimes a head coach might take over the offensive approach during a game, other times, the head coach leaves that responsibility up to that coordinator. It comes down to the head coach’s preference on what they would like during a game.