Top 10 in 2014: The best head coaches in the NFL today

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Credit: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports

Typically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.

Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.

Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.

Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?

Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every position – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.

The series continues with a position that doesn’t require a uniform, but is of vital importance – head coach. Football is the ultimate game of strategy, meaning there is no sport where the right leader can make as much of a difference, while the wrong one can send things careening off course faster.

Let the debate begin!

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10. Bruce Arians

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Arians is working some magic in Arizona

Arians led the Colts to the playoffs in 2012 while filling in for Chuck Pagano on an interim basis, which should have told us all that we needed to know about the veteran coach. Then, he guided the Cardinals to a 10-6 mark during his first season in the Valley of the Sun. That’s a solid recent track record. At 61, we’ll see if he can keep the momentum building.


9. Mike McCarthy

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McCarthy proved his mettle last season

Winning a Super Bowl title in Green Bay puts you in elite company, right alongside Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren in Packers lore. Capturing the NFC North title despite not having Aaron Rodgers for nearly half the season earns respect from those who really know the game, which is what McCarthy was able to do in 2013. He’s very underrated and very capable.


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  • Brad

    Jim is not better than John.
    Tomlin had 2 .500 seasons in a row.

  • C'mon, man

    Any active coach that’s won a Super Bowl should have been rated higher than Jim Hairball. No. 2 best coach in today’s NFL? Puhleeze.

  • T.rex

    How does Petine not make this list?

    • jim

      man i hope your joking needed a good laugh today thx

    • Pam Mains

      Are you joking? Beliclhick is the number 1 cheating coach of all time. He doesn’t even deserve a mention.

      • jp

        Boo hoo.

  • FL colt fan

    What about Chuck Pagano? He would have done a better or as good a job as Bruce Arians did 2 years ago. Look what he did last year with a banged up team. Running Back, O Line , and WR injuries.

    • Brad

      Please, it’s all Luck.

  • Chris

    How does a guy with 0 SB wins on his resume finish ahead of a guy with 2 SB wins?

  • Tuned In

    James Harbaugh? #2- he may act like #2, but his success level is in the bowl. I hope Harbaugh shows he can better his game management skills because he has none. Where is Alex Smith to show him the ropes.

  • Rodney

    Really……Jim Harbaugh at # 2 and Pete Carroll at #3……REALLY? Coach Carroll kicks Harbaugh’s ASS every time they play…..GET REAL…..WOW……

    • Rodney

      OK…OK….I did my homework….Harbaugh is 4-3 vs Carroll….but in the BIG games….it’s all Seattle….as the biggest difference is what’s in between the ears of each QB…and of course….Seattle WON it’s Superbowl pretty BIG if I remember correctly….GO HAWKS…

      • jp

        The Seahawks win had little to do with their QB. The offense was mediocre at best in that game. It was special teams and defense that made the game so one sided.

      • Marvin

        What big games are you taking about. They have only played each other once in the playoffs and that was a very, very close game. This is Pete’s second stint in the NFL and 4th year with the Seahawks. He won the SB in his fourth year. I’m happy for him. But Harbaugh has only coached for 3 years in the pros and made it to the NFC Championship three straight years, and the SB once. That’s pretty damn hard to do. But I don’t think either of them should be in the top 5 over Andy Reid, Tomlin, John Harbaugh, and Coughlin. Top 10 definitely.

  • concretejimmy52

    Take your lists (best player this, this team will do that) and cram them up your ass. Ravens are winning the SB. And don’t have to cheat.

  • Skip

    It’s good none of the posters picked the best ten. Shows how hateful they are. Oh well, stupid is stupid. Harbaugh has a great record. Step up to the plate if you can prove otherwise.

  • Danny

    John takes the Ravens to 3 straight AFC Championships, AND wins a Super Bowl. But Jim is ranked higher for going to 3 straight and LOSING a Super Bowl? Makes no sense.

    • Danny

      Never mind. I realize I just talked out of my ass. DOH!

  • Keith In California

    Belichick #1 ? Maybe #1 cheat, but at the present time, both Harbaugh brothers & Carrol should be rated higher.

    • Flip

      What an idiot. Typical Californian.

  • Brew in NC

    Uhhh. reigning NFL coach of the year didn’t make top 10?? Great reporting…..

  • Woody

    Perfect fit for Harbaugh @ #2 because he is a #2!
    McCarthy underrated? Try OVERrated! He sucks! And Im a Packers fan!

  • OPBolt

    I love to hate the Broncos. But no John Fox on the list? Seriously? After the last three years he has had? So, a team needs a coach, and all 10 of these guys + John Fox are available. I would bet that he is no lower than #5 on the GM call list. You disagree?

    • Ben

      Well one could argue that Manning runs that team… Hence the Broncos pre-Manning being not as stellar.

      • OPBolt

        Actually, I don’t think you could argue that. It implies an arrogance on the part of the player, a lack of leadership on the part of the coach, and a lack of professionalism on the part of both – none of which is demonstrable. I think you could say that a good coach knows how to optimize his players’ talents, and even how to harness their intelligence into the scheme and the game planning – unless you think that Manning also “ran” the Colts when Dungee was the HC?

        But I don’t know of anyone who has followed John Fox who would consider any circumstance under which he would abdicated his HC role to anyone. This guy is no Joe Philbin or Jim Swartz.

        By the way you forgot to answer the question. If your ten and Fox were available, you still think he wouldn’t be in the middle of the call list?

  • Rich

    No Brady – Belichek doesn’t make the list. His roster blew 2 super bowls. I guess that makes Coughlin the best of all time?

  • Pam Mains

    Belichick is No. l cheating coach of all time. Doesn’t even deserve a mention.

  • TOM CAT

    MCARTHY UNDERRATED LETTING FAVRE GO FOR RODGERS & WINNING WITH INJURIES EVERY YEAR

  • TOM CAT

    MCARTHY KNOWS TALENT LETTING FAVRE GO FOR RODGERS & WINNING WITH INJURIES EVERY YEAR