Social media and 24-hour sports news mean fans can see more of their team than ever before.

For example, pre and post-match conferences have historically been of interest to sports journalists but are now something all fans can watch and enjoy.

But which NFL stars, both those on the field and those coaching from the sideline, are most eloquent in their answers to the press?

Who are the NFL’s brainiest bosses? 

To find out which players, coaches, and teams are the brainiest, analyzed over 3,000 minutes of pre and post-game press conferences on NFL team YouTube channels.

Transcripts of these interviews were then analyzed to reveal the number of unique words per 1,000 words used.

Carr Beats Jackson to Brainiest Quarterback Title

QuarterbackUnique words per 1,000 words
Derek Carr123
Lamar Jackson110
Zach Wilson109
Jared Goff103
Tom Brady102
Patrick Mahomes98
Sam Darnold94
Justin Herbert93
Kirk Cousins92
Jalen Hurts91

Fresh from his move to the New Orleans Saints, Derek Carr is officially the brainiest quarterback in the NFL, with 123 unique words per 1,000 words. Carr is famous for his 91 consecutive regular season games for the Raiders. He had lots to talk about in the 2022 season as his record ended, and he made the move to New Orleans. As a graduate of Fresno State, Carr’s college education is paying off, as he tops the brainiest QB list.


2019 MVP Lamar Jackson takes second place with 110 unique words per 1,000. As one of only two men to win the MVP award by unanimous vote, it’s no surprise that Jackson is loved by the press. Currently in the news for his ongoing contract situation, Jackson, the NFL’s second-brainiest QB, makes a great interview for any journalist.

Close behind in the third spot is Zach Wilson. The Jets quarterback took a lot of criticism over the 2022 season and fielded a lot of tough questions in interviews. His numbers on the field may have been average, but his responses off it didn’t disappoint.

Jared Goff, the Lions QB earning much praise for his second season in Detroit, comes fourth, with 103 unique words per 1,000. A graduate of the University of California, Goff lives up to the 34 Pulitzer Prizes associated with the college and is always eloquent in interviews.

NFL veteran Tom Brady makes the list of the top 5 brainiest quarterbacks with 102 unique words per 1,000. A player with a huge amount of media experience behind him, Brady knows how to make an interview interesting, so it’s no surprise he’s one of the brainiest QBs in the NFL.

Brainiest Bosses – How Do the Coaches Compare?

CoachUnique words per 1,000 words
Mike Tomlin138
Lovie Smith109
Mike McDaniel108
Mike McCarthy101
Zac Taylor93

No losing record for 16 seasons with the Steelers has cemented Mike Tomlin’s legacy in Pittsburgh. And as the NFL’s brainiest coach, it’s no surprise he’s maintained this record for so long. Using 138 unique words per 1,000 words, more than any other coach or quarterback, Tomlin emerges as the brainiest leader in the NFL.

The second-brainiest coach is short-lived Texans boss Lovie Smith. The majority of his 2022 season interviews involved journalists grilling him about the team’s performances. He’s a coach with plenty of experience dealing with the media and ranks as one of the brainiest in the NFL. A graduate of the University of Tulsa, a team he went on to coach, there’s no doubt about Smith’s intellectual credentials.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel comes in third, just one unique word per 1,000 behind Smith. The man who made his debut as a head coach in September 2022 uses 108 unique words per 1,000 words. Taking Miami to a playoff spot for the first time since 2016, McDaniel has shown his ability as a coach and an interviewee.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is the only other coach to break 100 unique words per 1,000, finishing just ahead of Zac Taylor. The pair round out the top five brainiest coaches in the NFL.

Saints Top Brainiest NFL Team List

TeamUnique words per 1,000 words
New Orleans Saints137
Chicago Bears132
Detroit Lions132
Pittsburgh Steelers131
Carolina Panthers131
Miami Dolphins129
Tampa Bay Buccaneers127
Arizona Cardinals126
Cleveland Browns124
Las Vegas Raiders120

The New Orleans Saints are the brainiest team in the NFL, with members of the team using an average of 137 unique words per 1,000 words. Despite a rather uneventful 2022 season, the franchise gave more interesting interviews than any other team.

With only three wins in the 2022 season, the Chicago Bears had a lot to answer for in their post-game press conferences. With 132 unique words per 1,000, they tied for second place in our list, demonstrating how coaches and players attempted to explain their way out of the situation.

Tying with the Bears were the Detroit Lions. Despite finishing the season strongly with an 8-2 record, they were let down by a poor 1-7 start that meant they missed the postseason action. Coach Dan Campbell and his team had a lot to talk about in interviews as the Lions made their charge up the standings in the NFC North.

San Francisco Ranks Bottom

Despite a successful 2022 season ending in an NFC Championship defeat to the Eagles, the team from the Golden State is not so highly ranked off the field. Their 88 unique words per 1,000 words were 70% less than the top team, the Saints, meaning the 49ers finished as the least brainy NFL team.

Methodology analyzed over 3,000 minutes of footage from each player and coach press conference, as well as from wider, generic team broadcasts. The videos were scraped for their transcript data.

These transcripts were then analyzed for language use and the number of unique words used per 1,000 words.

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