Commentary

Most underrated playcallers

These guys don't get the recognition they deserve in directing some great offenses

Updated: September 25, 2011, 10:22 PM ET
By Trent Dilfer | ESPN Insider
Greg OlsonKim Klement/US PresswireGreg Olson's play calling has given the Bucs a big boost.

Play calling in the NFL is one of those things that usually gets noticed on a per-call basis. You'll hear "That was a great call!" -- but then it's quickly on to the next play. From the standpoint of the guy calling the plays, it can feel like being a chess player. Sure, the checkmate was nice, but what about the sequence of moves, the pattern in the formations, the clever setup?

So although you know some of the play-calling legends, I wanted to point out some guys who are quietly doing exceptional work. What are the objectives of a good playcaller? Here are the areas the best playcallers succeed in:

1. Get your quarterback going early: This doesn't mean you come out gunning; it means build a sequence that recognizes the pulse of your quarterback and what he can do best.

2. Be aggressive without being reckless: This means that, when you throw it deep, don't leave your offensive tackle exposed on an island. It means don't target a double move without a two-move guy. Be aggressive, but limit exposure.

Former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer is an analyst for a variety of ESPN programs including NFL Live, NFL PrimeTime and SportsCenter (Sunday and Monday nights during the NFL season). He also contributes to Monday Night Countdown, ESPN Radio programs, and ESPN's annual Super Bowl week and NFL Draft coverage.