NFL Defensive Coordinator

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

An NFL Defensive Coordinator is a key member of a football team who oversees the defense strategy that the team will employ during games. They create plays and formations in order to help stop the opposing team's offense from scoring. Part of their job is to analyze game tapes and scout opposing teams to identify their tendencies and weaknesses. Based on this, they create game plans and practice strategies to prepare their team for each game. During games, they communicate with the head coach and other coaches in order to make quick decisions and adjustments in response to the other team's strategies. In order to succeed as an NFL Defensive Coordinator, a candidate needs to have strong leadership skills, excellent knowledge of the game details, and be able to effectively communicate their strategy to the players. An NFL Defensive Coordinator job description is a sought-after position in the sports industry, and many candidates work up through the ranks to secure this role.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop defensive game plans for each opponent 
  • Create and implement defensive strategies and schemes 
  • Analyze film to identify opponent tendencies and weaknesses 
  • Evaluate personnel to determine individual matchups 
  • Conduct team meetings to ensure players understand game plan and assignments 
  • Coordinate with other coaches to develop overall team strategy 
  • Adjust strategy and play calling during game based on opponent performance 
  • Monitor player performance to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments 
  • Communicate with players to provide feedback and make sure they understand their roles and assignments 
  • Collaborate with head coach and other coordinators to develop overall team strategy and game plan.

Experience and Education Requirements

To be a NFL Defensive Coordinator, you need to have a good education and lots of experience in football. Usually, you'll need a bachelor's degree in a related field, like sports management or exercise science. Some coaches even have a master's degree. But the most important thing is experience. You need to have a lot of experience working in football, like being a coach, assistant coach, or even a player. Many coordinators have been coaching for a long time before getting the job. You also need to be really good at communication and leadership, because you'll be in charge of a whole team. It's tough to become a coordinator, but with dedication and hard work, it's possible!

Salary Range

An NFL Defensive Coordinator is responsible for developing and implementing defensive strategies for professional football teams. If you're wondering about the salary range for this position, in the United States, a Defensive Coordinator in the NFL can earn between $800,000 and $2 million annually, depending on experience and success. Some of the highest-paid coordinators in recent years include Wade Phillips, who earned $2.5 million as the Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator and Gregg Williams, who earned $2.1 million as the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.

In other countries, data points to a similar range of salaries for defensive coordinators. For example, in Canada, the average salary for a defensive coordinator in the Canadian Football League (CFL) is around CAD$150,000 per year. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, coaches in the British American Football League (BAFA) make a fraction of what their counterparts earn in the NFL, with some coordinators earning as little as £4,000 per year. However, the salary depends on the league they decide to work for.


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Career Outlook

The career outlook for NFL defensive coordinators over the next five years is stable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for coaches in the sports industry will grow around 11% from 2018 to 2028. The average salary for NFL defensive coordinators is around $1 million annually, making it a highly attractive job choice in the sports industry. However, the competition for this role is fierce, and experience as a defensive coach is essential. A background in analytics and technical knowledge is also becoming increasingly important in the industry. So, if you are passionate about football and ready to put in the work, a career as an NFL defensive coordinator could be a great option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is an NFL defensive coordinator?

A: An NFL Defensive Coordinator is a coach responsible for developing and implementing defensive game plans for a professional football team.

Q: What does an NFL defensive coordinator do?

A: An NFL Defensive Coordinator's primary responsibilities include analyzing the opposing team's offense, creating and implementing defensive game plans, calling defensive plays during games and leading the team's defensive coaching staff.

Q: What qualifications are required to become an NFL defensive coordinator?

A: Candidates for the NFL Defensive Coordinator position typically have several years of experience as a defensive assistant coach, an in-depth knowledge of defensive strategies, and strong leadership and communication skills.

Q: How is an NFL defensive coordinator evaluated?

A: An NFL Defensive Coordinator is evaluated based on the success of the team's defense, including statistics such as total yards allowed, turnovers forced, and points allowed. They are also evaluated based on the development of individual players and the success of the team as a whole.

Q: What is the salary of an NFL defensive coordinator?

A: The salary of an NFL Defensive Coordinator can vary depending on experience and success, but the average salary is around $2-3 million per year.

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