Effective Sunday, Sean Payton will be suspended as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. That’s led to a lot of discussion about how much his absence—along with that of assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six games—will matter as it relates to the on-field results of the Saints in 2012.
Few regard Payton as anything but an elite offensive mind and one of the most accomplished head coaches in all of football: his resume includes a Super Bowl victory and multiple division championships since taking over a downtrodden Saints franchise in 2006.
And although it’s probably impossible to precisely gauge the impact a head coach has on his team, it’s likely the Saints will experience some growing pains without Payton on the sidelines.
That has me thinking about head coaches around the game, and what each one means to his franchise. With that in mind, I’ve decided to rank the head coaches, broken down by division.
To start, the AFC East.