This listing is not based entirely off of this year. If it was Adam Gase and Jack Del Rio would make this list. It is also not a lifetime achievement award, this list is comprised in order of who I think is the best at game planning, half-time adjustments, game management dealing with his players, etc.
10) Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals
Arians was on most people’s top 5 lists at this time last year. Arians is still an excellent football coach, but he needs to find a replacement for an aging Carson Palmer. I expect that over the next couple of years Arians will figure out a way to get the Cardinals ship righted.
9) Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
Payton is an excellent football coach, but he may be out of a job soon if the Saints defense doesn’t catch up to the offense. A change of scenery would probably do him some good. I do think he will have the Saints as a contender next year as his defense is slowly getting better and the offense with Brees is always good.
8) Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
Has an NFL team ever been as snake-bitten as the Viking this past year? Zimmer’s teams are tough and resilient they were in most games with a chance to win except the Colts debacle. Can Zimmer get the Vikings over the hump? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t bet against him.
7) Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers
I am not a fan of McCarthy, but you have to give it to him since he is in the playoffs every year. I think Dan Quinn outcoached him in the Championship game, but injuries once again killed the Packers chances.
6) Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans
)’Brien has done some amazing things the past few years with no quarterback play whatsoever. If he gets a quarterback, he is a good enough coach to get the Texans to a Super Bowl.
5) Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
Reid gets his team to the playoffs every year but always seems to come up short. He appears to get ultra-conservative come playoff time. Of course, like O’Brien he lacks a big-time quarterback, but Alex Smith is a lot better than Brock Osweiler.
4) John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
Harbaugh has missed the playoffs for the last two years. The Ravens were not an overly talented team this past season, but Harbaugh missed the playoffs by a few points in a loss to the Steelers, and the Ravens have nowhere near the talent of the Steelers. Harbaugh gets the best out of what he has.
3) Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Carroll has done a great job keeping the Seahawks relevant every year and QB Russell Wilson has developed into an elite QB. Carroll can be a contrarian at times, and sometimes it backfires(Super Bowl 49). More often than not though it works, he seems to have a great relationship with his players, and that counts for a lot. He goes about things differently than most coaches, but he has been highly successful that way.
2) Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons
I know he has only been a coach for two years in the NFL. The thing about Quinn is this, his teams always show up prepared, and his in-game adjustments are usually spot on. He out-coached Carroll and McCarthy in the playoffs, and I think he will have the Falcons in contention for years to come.
1) Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
This is a no-brainer! If you don’t think he is the best right now you know nothing about Football. He will be leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl for the seventh time and win or lose he is the best.