This week's mission: offensive coordinator. Play-calling, scheme and amount of responsibility all were taken into account. Let's do this:Top shelf: Greg Roman, Bruce Arians, Jay Gruden, Josh McDaniels, Todd Haley
and Mike McCoy
It's difficult to separate Roman from San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, but no one has a more inventive offense. The 49ers' running game is very tough to prepare for. Someone should give Roman a shot as a head coach.
Arians has done an outstanding job with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. We love that he always stays aggressive vertically. Gruden is another potential future head coach. He has shepherded Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton into the NFL well and made the most with his offense.
McDaniels struggled with personnel and organizational responsibilities as a head coach with the Denver Broncos, but he's a talented play-caller (even if he gets too cute sometimes with the New England Patriots). Haley has done a good job molding his system to his talent with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The transition to Haley with Ben Roethlisberger has worked well on the field. McCoy is well-respected around the league and did a nice job making chicken salad out of Tim Tebow in Denver last year.
Knocking on the door: Kyle Shanahan, Pete Carmichael Jr., Kevin Gilbride and Dirk Koetter
Shanahan was able to create yardage with inferior quarterbacks. With Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins are scoring points. Griffin is responsible for most of the Redskins' success, but Shanahan has done a nice job introducing him into the NFL.
Carmichael got the keys to Sean Payton's New Orleans Saints offense and hasn't crashed the car. Gilbride is an underrated steady influence on the New York Giants' offense. Koetter's up-tempo attack has worked with the Atlanta Falcons. His stock has risen.
I was skeptical of Greg Schiano's hiring of Sullivan because he wasn't close to the coach's top option, but the arrangement has worked out well for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vertical passing and power running still works.
Linehan takes pass-wackiness to extremes with the Detroit Lions, but the team puts up points. Sherman has done a solid job orchestrating the Miami Dolphins' offense with his former college quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, at the helm.
Middle of the pack: Darrell Bevell, Brian Schottenheimer, Rob Chudzinski,
Marty Mornhinweg and Cam Cameron
I haven't been a huge fan of Bevell with the Minnesota Vikings or now the Seattle Seahawks, but his sometimes conservative approach is working this year. Schottenheimer has helped the St. Louis Rams' offense improve while he watches the New York Jets' offense decline from afar. Mornhinweg is a lot more well-respected within NFL circles than he is by fans.
Chudzinski is hit or miss. Last year, he was a huge hit with the Carolina Panthers. This season, he often has tried to look too smart at the expense of the offense overall. The Baltimore Ravens' offense should be better -- I think this every season, and it comes back to coaching. It's surprising Cameron has stayed there so long.
This group works under strong offensive minds and/or they don't call plays. Childress mostly underwhelmed in his one chance to truly lead an offense with the Vikings. Callahan of the Dallas Cowboys is a noted offensive line guru. Loggains was just hired by the Tennessee Titans, so we had to stick him somewhere. You probably don't know where the names on the rest of this list coach, because, essentially, they're assistants, not coordinators.
Knapp hasn't been successful in a variety of places. The Oakland Raiders' running game collapsed when he arrived. Bratkowski has a double whammy: He couldn't improve the Jacksonville Jaguars' offense, and the Bengals' offense got better without him. The Kansas City Chiefs' offense has been uninspired under Muir. Musgrave is vanilla and conversative with the Vikings, which is a bad combination.
Tice's scheme with the Chicago Bears doesn't inspire, nor does his handling of the offensive line. Sparano inherited a bad situation with the Jets, but it only has grown worse. The passing game comes first for 2012 coordinators, and Sparano hasn't shown the ability to find improvement through the air.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.