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Lions' Aaron Glenn, Dolphins' Frank Smith, Cowboys' John Fassel Lead NFLPA's Poll Of Best Coordinators | TheSportsDay Lions' Aaron Glenn, Dolphins' Frank Smith, Cowboys' John Fassel Lead NFLPA's Poll Of Best Coordinators | TheSportsDay

Lions' Aaron Glenn, Dolphins' Frank Smith, Cowboys' John Fassel lead NFLPA's poll of best coordinators

Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn of the Detroit Lions got fantastic grades in an NFLPA poll. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Even Aaron Glenn might have been surprised to see his name at the top of the NFLPA’s poll rating offensive, defensive and special teams coordinators.

Glenn runs a Detroit Lions defense that is 23rd in points allowed and 15th in yards allowed this season. But Glenn was rated the No. 1 defensive coordinator in the league via the NFLPA poll.

The top offensive coordinator was Frank Smith of the Miami Dolphins and the top special teams coordinator was John Fassel of the Dallas Cowboys.

The NFLPA said the survey was given from August 28 and November 16, 2023. There were 864 offensive players, 774 defensive players and 1,025 special teams players that answered the survey. It was clearly based on more than just statistical results.

Glenn has been on the hot seat at times in his three seasons as Lions’ defensive coordinator. In 2021 and 2022 the Lions finished in the bottom five of the NFL in yards allowed and points allowed. There has been an improvement this season and the Lions won the NFC North. Players obviously respect Glenn, who played 15 NFL seasons as a defensive back.

The NFLPA’s release said releasing the top five lists at coordinator now was to “ensure that players’ opinions are heard and accounted for by clubs ahead of the next hiring cycle.”

Smith is a lesser-known name because Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel gets a lot of the credit for the offense. Dolphins players obviously like him. Miami ranks first in yards gained and points scored this season.

Fassel has been a special teams coordinator since 2008 and recognized as one of the best in the NFL. He has never been a head coach, aside from a three-game stint as Rams interim coach in 2016.

Some of the names on each top five list are well known among NFL fans:

Offensive coordinators

1. Frank Smith, Miami Dolphins

2. Thomas Brown, Carolina Panthers

3. Brian Schottenheimer, Dallas Cowboys

4. Brian Callahan, Cincinnati Bengals

5. Kellen Moore, Los Angeles Chargers

Defensive coordinators

1. Aaron Glenn, Detroit Lions

2. Steve Wilks, San Francisco 49ers

3. Dan Quinn, Dallas Cowboys

4. Brian Flores, Minnesota Vikings

5. Raheem Morris, Los Angeles Rams

Special teams coordinators

1. John Fassel, Dallas Cowboys

2. Chris Tabor, Carolina Panthers

3. Matt Daniels, Minnesota Vikings

4. Dave Fipp, Detroit Lions

5. Darren Rizzi, New Orleans Saints

Wilks, Quinn, Flores and Morris have been NFL coaches before and could get interviews in the upcoming cycle due to their work this season. Having enough respect from their players to make these top five lists won’t look bad on their resumes either.

The NFL’s coaching carousel has started in some ways. The Las Vegas Raiders, Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Chargers already fired their head coaches. Other coaches will be let go after games in the season finale on Sunday. The NFLPA hopes that some of the coordinators on their list will be considered for those openings. They’re clearly respected by their players.

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