Most Overrated and Underrated NFL Head Coaches of 2013

Alessandro MiglioFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2013

Most Overrated and Underrated NFL Head Coaches of 2013

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    We are midway through the 2013 NFL season, and much of the coaching drama revolves around the health of John Fox and Gary Kubiak.

    Then there are the bizarre problems we are seeing out of Tampa Bay and Miami under Greg Schiano and Joe Philbin, respectively.

    But we can all see the dead men walking. Who are some of the overrated—and underrated—coaches in the league this season? Click through to find out.

Underrated: Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers

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    The Chargers finally exorcised Norv Turner and A.J. Smith last offseason, replacing Turner with former Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy as the new head coach. But who could have envisioned the success he's had thus far?

    McCoy is widely credited for pulling Philip Rivers out of his career nosedive of the past couple seasons, transforming the veteran quarterback into one of the best in the league this season.

    He has the Chargers in the playoff hunt after many thought San Diego would be competing for one of the top spots in the 2014 draft. He already deserves a raise.

Overrated: Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Should we cut Chip Kelly some slack? Probably. After all, he inherited a mess, yet he has his team within striking distance of first place in the NFC East.

    The Eagles are better under Kelly, to be sure, but all of that hullabaloo surrounding his hire has certainly been unwarranted in his first year. With time, the Eagles might be great, but this season, Kelly's vaunted offense has sputtered too often to justify the hype.

Underrated: Rex Ryan, New York Jets

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    How many people outside the New York/New Jersey area expected the Jets to be 5-4 and in strong position to make the playoffs heading into their bye week?

    In fact, some picked the Jets to be the worst team in the league heading into this season. After all, the team appeared to be in disarray with a rookie quarterback that only got the job when Mark Sanchez went down with an injury during the preseason.

    Rex Ryan had different plans.

    The embattled head coach has kept the cockiness to a minimum and his team afloat despite all of the offseason turbulence. When it comes down to coaching, Ryan has proven yet again that he is one of the better coaches in the league. 

    Just imagine if the front office could field him a complete team.

Overrated: Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams

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    Sure, he was shackled to the bloated rookie contract of quarterback Sam Bradford, who has been far from worth that top pick in the 2009 draft, but Jeff Fisher hasn't done much to merit the hoopla surrounding his decision to join the Rams in 2011.

    Fisher has brought more of the same of what we saw at the end of his tenure in Tennessee—mediocrity. The Rams are 10-14-1. Yes, Fisher's tenure in St. Louis has actually seen a tie.

    Fisher's reputation precedes him, but it belies the truth.

Underrated: Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Why is the head coach of a winless team that has a good chance to go 0-16 underrated? Does the fact that Gus Bradley has to guide the Jaguars through this season count?

    Bradley inherited a nightmare, and he needs time and a roster overhaul to really turn things around. There is little to be impressed with on the field for Jacksonville, but Bradley should have the ship righted sooner rather than later. Unlike the coach of a certain other winless Florida team, Bradley has kept his team relatively drama-free.

    Even Justin Blackmon's off-field woes can't be pinned on Bradley, who inherited the troubled receiver.

Overrated: Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons

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    What a difference a year makes.

    One year after finally guiding the Falcons to an elusive playoff victory, Mike Smith has guided his team right into the gutter.

    Of course, it doesn't help that his team has been ravaged by injuries, but plenty of other teams have had to deal with injuries as well this season. Smith's Falcons are among the worst teams in the league in a rather unexpected turn of events.

Underrated: Marc Trestman, Chicago Bears

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    It's not as if the Bears were terrible in recent seasons. They missed the playoffs despite posting a 10-6 record last year, and they were only two years removed from losing in the NFC Championship Game.

    But after nearly a decade of guidance and ultimate disappointment under defensive-minded coach Lovie Smith, it was time to move on.

    Fast-forward to the middle of 2013, when the Bears have just pulled into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC North. The Bears have done so despite some devastating losses, particularly Henry Melton and Lance Briggs on a defensive unit that had already lost Brian Urlacher to retirement in the offseason. Jay Cutler was knocked out for a few weeks, too.

    Marc Trestman has done a fantastic job in Chicago thus far.

Overrated: Mike Shanahan, Washington

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    It has been four years in Washington, but Mike Shanahan still hasn't gotten it done.

    There was promise after the 2011 season. The defense was improving, and Washington made the bold move to snap up Robert Griffin III with the second-overall pick in the 2012 draft. The team went on to make the playoffs despite a defense that took two steps back.

    The future was bright. Then Shanahan nearly ruined Griffin.

    Washington has simply been awful for much of this season in a big step backward for Shanahan. Maybe it's time for him to retire after his contract is up.