Chart: Top 15 play-callers in tackles for loss over the last 4 years

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday June 27, 2017

Which defensive coordinators put opposing offenses behind the chains? Here are the top 15 play-callers in tackles for loss.

- Brent Venables leads the way. Clemson has led the nation in total TFLs for four straight years, and they’ve been in the top five in per-game average for four straight.

- Don Brown took Michigan from No. 42 in 2015 to No. 2 in TFLs per game in his first year at Michigan, at 9.23 per game. This is the same Don Brown who says, if you’re not running to the ball, you’re a traitor.

- Arizona State has always been one of the biggest blitzing teams under Graham, but it appears he’s handing play-calling to new DC Phil Bennett, who is one spot below Graham here.

- Graham, Gary Patterson and Barry Odom are the only head coaches on this list. **Odom took back play-calling midway through last year, his first as head coac.

- 3 of these coaches will be at a new school in 2017: Todd Orlando (Texas), Todd Grantham (Mississippi State) and Phil Snow (Baylor).

- Dave Wommack retired from Ole Miss in the winter, and Wes McGriff is the new defensive coordinator there.

- Arkansas State averaged 6.7 TFLs per game under Joe Cauthen from 2014-15, but led the nation with 9.6 in 2017.

- Utah has averaged 7.4 tackles per loss in this span, but with multiple defensive coordinators.

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Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to