Rating the NFL Coaches

Anytime you start evaluating teams and prepare to pick division winners, playoff teams and Superbowl contenders, you need to consider how strong they are in three areas: Coaching, Quarterback and Defense. I previewed the rookie coaching class recently, so let’s take a look at the returning coaches and how they stack up…

Hall of Fame Material
Bill Belichick, New England – Love him or hate him, you can’t deny he is the gold standard in the league. Year after year he gets it done….

Above Average
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants – Criticized by players and media alike for his disciplinarian style, but one thing is clear, the man can coach.

Andy Reid, Philadelphia – He hasn’t won the big one, but his teams are always competitive and have been knocking on the door for years.

Jeff Fisher, Tennessee – Has a reputation as coach who promotes dirty play, but his teams are tough, physical and compete hard.

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh – I wish this Omar Epps look-alike would lose the Hollywood act, but he’s getting the job done in the burgh.

Up & Coming with Potential
Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona- There is still work to do, but led them on a surprising playoff run that came within minutes of a shocking Superbowl win. The guy knows what he’s doing.

John Harbaugh, Baltimore – He inherited a pretty good defense and did a good job with Flacco, let’s see how he does without Rex Ryan. Here’s guessing he’ll be fine.

Tony Sparano, Miami – He had a good rookie season bringing the Fins back to the playoffs and unleashing the Wildcat on the NFL. Did he draw that up in the off season at the Bada Bing?

Sean Payton, New Orleans – Is a good offensive coach and has the potential to do good things if he can get the defense shored up…

Mike Smith, Atlanta – Had as good a season last year as any coach in the league. He brought Atlanta back to respectability and should have them challenging for the division again.

Nothing Special
John Fox, Carolina This guy gets high marks from the media, but I just don’t see it. His teams can’t put back-to-back playoff seasons together and his teams have a bad habit of laying eggs in big games.

Dick Jauron, Buffalo – The more I see of him, the less I like him. He’s lousy with game clock management and he doesn’t seem to make the necessary adjustments during the games.

Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville – I don’t know, he seems rigid and resistant to change. He’s good enough to stick around, but not good enough to get you to the promised land.

Mike McCarthy, Green Bay – Seems like an upgrade over their last coach, and to be fair, was stuck with that diva Favre at the beginning of his tenure. This year will be critical for him.

Gary Kubiak, Houston – This team is being picked by many as an up and comer. Well they’d better be because what I saw last year was putrid. He hasn’t gotten it done so far…

Norv Turner, San Diego – Would you want this guy leading your franchise? Didn’t think so… In his defense, he has taken the Chargers farther in the playoffs than Marty Schottenheimer did.

Mike Singletary, San Francisco – The best I can say here is that so far, he was a better player than coach. The jury is still out, so he could go in either direction.

Lovie Smith, Chicago – Doesn’t inspire much confidence in me, I’m guessing the players don’t have much either given how he screwed up the QB position the last few years.

In Over Their Heads
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati – Every year his team gets worse and worse. He lets the inmates run the asylum and he butchers clock management, other than that, he’s pretty good.

Tom Cable, Oakland He meets Al Davis’ two main criteria; he works cheap and he kisses Al’s ring every day. Seriously, he looks like a bouncer at your local club..

Wade Phillips, Dallas – I love watching Uncle Wade run up and down the sideline cheerleading after they score. Go get an outfit from one of the girls…..

Jim Zorn, Washington – Can you say “deer-in-the-headlights?” Another great hire by the Daniel… Good lord. It must suck to be a Redskins fan with this clown as owner.

Brad Childress, Minnesota – This guy looks like the IRS accountant they send at audit time. The bald-guy-in-charge is a tool of the first order… Bragged that he out-smarted Belichick and got played by Brett “the attention whore” Favre…

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