I saw a really neat article on NFL.com. Here is the link:
I love the idea, but honestly disagreed with the rankings, especially at the top of the list. Their list was basically a Power Rankings list of NFL teams instead of actual coach rankings.
My approach was like this: If you could have a fantasy draft and had to start your team with a coach, who would you pick? These are my personal preferences, and nothing more or less.
Here are my personal rankings:
32. Rex Ryan (Jets) I. HATE. REX. RYAN. Media diva. Team distraction. Yes, they went to the championship game under him. But I think that if any coach is going to ruin his team's chances by sacrificing the good of the team for personal attention or to prove a point or because of a personal agenda, it would be him. I'd rather have Mike Singletary coach the 49ers. I'd rather have Dennis Erickson coach the 49ers.
31. Jim Schwartz (Lions) I think that this guy is an idiot. I'm not trying to knock the Lions at all; they have a very talented team. But I don't like how Schwartz tolerates Suh's misbehavior. Do you really think that that kind of thing would happen with Harbaugh or Belichick as coach?
30. Dennis Allen (Raiders) It's not his fault that he inherited an absolute mess and is likely to go the route of the Raiders former PR representative at any given moment.
29. Chip Kelly (Eagles) He could be a genius. Or the Eagles could be a total disaster this year. I'm personally leaning towards the latter eventuality.
28. Mike McCoy (Chargers) Hopefully he can get someone who get the O-Line to protect Rivers better this year and keep Ryan Matthews from getting hurt. (OK, that might be impossible)
27. Doug Marrone (Bills)
26. Rob Chudzinski (Browns)
25. Gus Bradley (Jaguars)
24. Mike Munchak (Titans) I haven't seen enough of numbers 24-27 to write anything snide here, but I have seen their teams and know that I don't want their teams. I think NFL.com took this approach with the whole list.
23. Jason Garrett (Cowboys) Very serviceable backup QB. Maybe he should try being a backup coach.
21. Greg Schiano (Bucs) Isn't he the one who said Anthony Davis would never make it as a pro? Enough said.
20. Joe Philbin (Dolphins)
19. Ron Rivera (Panthers) He gets the nod over Philbin because I really think that Rivera is a good coach. I'd say that right here is the line in the list in between decent coaches and good ones.
18.Mike Shanahan (Redskins) I think that 18 is a bit too low for him, but I can't see rating him above any of the other guys that are left. To me, he just seems kind of, I don't know, archaic? Like the NFL is going to evolve and leave him behind? Just my opinion.
17. Marc Trestman (Bears) My first inclination was to rank him higher, but I need to see what he does in his first year.
16. Mike McCarthy (Packers) Talk about someone who was not able to adjust his gameplan at halftime (or properly gameplan ahead of time either). A good coach, but see the thrashing of the Packers by a certain 49ers player wearing #7.
15. Gary Kubiak (Texans) He makes me think of CBS. Honestly. Decent, but not as good as Fox. Or, should I say, decent, but not doing enough to impress me yet. The Texans played great last year, but I'm not convinced that Kubiak has what it takes to put them over the top.
14. John Fox (Broncos) Ditto with #15.
13. Mike Smith (Falcons) Good coach. I don't have much respect for his style; I think, if you take away Matt Ryan, that the Falcons don't even make the playoffs. Take away Colin Kaepernick, and I'd say the 49ers still make the playoffs (though not the Super Bowl) with Harbaugh at the helm. I think he's that good.
12. Andy Reid (Chiefs) I think Reid is making some great moves in KC. Then again, I thought he made some great moves in Philadelphia before things fell apart there. I also don't particularly like how he handles the media. He seems to come across as weak.
11. Marvin Lewis (Bengals) A great defensive coach that I think would do wonders with the 49ers roster.
10. Chuck Pagano (Colts) Did you see how the Colts played their hearts out for this guy last year? Anyone who inspires that kind of respect deserves to be looked up to.
9. Mike Tomlin (Steelers) I have really liked Tomlin for a long time. Not the Steelers, but Tomlin, yes. The team has been handicapped by injuries and cheaters (see Harrison), but I think they are in for a good year this year. And I would totally be happy with him as the 49ers coach (though not as happy as with the top 8 guys).
8. Tom Coughlin (Giants) Do I like him personally? No. I think he's annoying. But he gets great results as a coach. He has won the SB twice, and both times, going into the games, I thought that the Giants didn't even have a chance. Or, you might put it this way: "I don't always win the Super Bowl, but, when I do, it's against the Patriots."
7. Bruce Arians (Cardinals) I personally predict that the Cardinals have a very good season. They will still be last in the division, but they will be much better than last year. They have an actual QB, and Arians is a great coach.
6. Pete Carroll (Seahawks) Yes, I hate the Seahawks. Yes, I hate Pete Carroll. But this is the kind of thing where I have to give the man respect because he is a great coach.
5. Sean Payton (Saints) I thought about putting him at #2 actually, but I want to see how the Saints do with his return this year first. Before his suspension (if I can call it that), he was arguably the best coach in the league. The onside-kick call coming out of halftime of the Super Bowl against the Colts was a stroke of genius.
4. Bill Belichick (Patriots) He is a great coach. He is ranked #1 on NFL.com. I'm not trying to debate that. I personally don't agree with allowing cheating. That is the reason he is this low.
3. Jeff Fisher (Rams) I think it is time for Fisher to stop being overlooked as a great coach. Could you imagine what he could do if he had the 49ers defense to work with?
2. John Harbaugh (Ravens) Great coach. Super Bowl champion. It's not his fault that the refs didn't call the penalties on his team. If Jim had a heart attack and died, John would be my first choice to take his place.
1. Jim Harbaugh (49ers) OK, this is a homer pick, because there are a few coaches that could have this top spot. I, personally, have never seen a coach take a team that was a total disappointment before his arrival, keep the same corps of players, take them to the NFC Championship in his first year and the Super Bowl in his second year. It's not like I've done any research or anything, but Harbaugh gets the best out of his players, no matter who they are. When your worst season to date ended with a three-point loss in overtime in the NFC Championship game because your punt returner fumbled the ball, I'd say that you are going to be a pretty good coach for a long time.
So, there they are. Maybe the end of the article was a bit disappointing to you, bit I sincerely believe that Harbaugh is the best coach in the league right now. I wonder who the best one all time would be? Lombardi? Madden? Walsh? One day we will be having that conversation and Harbaugh's name will come up. Mark my words.