NFL Playoff Predictions: Power Ranking the Playoff Coaches

Pete WilliamsCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2011

NFL Playoff Predictions: Power Ranking the Playoff Coaches

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    Entering the playoffs I have power ranked the coaches.

    The most important thing for me was not to let this be a power ranking of the teams, but to try and evaluate how strong each coach stands as the pivotal figure of his team.

    In other words, how much of each teams success can be attributed to the HC.

    This is not a totally objective analysis, I don't think it could be, and at the very least I don't have the insight in the organizations to make it objective.

    However I have based my subjective analysis on areas such as how well has the coach drafted and addressed needs in free agency, is he in control of his team, does his team play attractive football, and does he have charisma.

    Feel free to disagree - I hope you will contribute with some new insights and views.

    I hope you enjoy, have a laugh, or get inspired to ad some good comment, arguments or insights.



12. Indianapolis Colts: Jim Caldwell

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    How on earth do you power rank Mr. Invisible a head coach who primary job it is to provide the right framework for the "over lord" Peyton Manning.

    You can't imagine the Colts without Payton Manning but you can easily imagine the Colts without Jim Caldwell.

    On top of his invisibility, he falls in my power ranking because of the Colts mediocre defense, and Caldwells not so great draft.

    Now I feel that this could be a case where I totally lack insight into how important Caldwell is because of how good he might be behind the scenes.

    But somehow the word Power just doesn't apply to Jim Caldwell

11. Baltimore Ravens: John Harbaugh

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    Okay now its starting to get a little tougher. But here is what I think.

    John Harbaugh is showing us way to little with what his team should have to offer. With all the offensive weapons Harbaugh brought in for Flacco, I don't think that we see enough from the Ravens and they win by to small a margin. However Ed Reed is back playing at the top of his game and the Ravens could have just timed it right.

    The secondary actually has played way better than expected, but is it just me that is disappointed with what we have seen from the Ravens draft picks.

    For Harbaugh to move up this power ranking he needs to move out of the shadow of Ray Lewis ad show us what HE can do that makes this team better - right now I'm thinking - Harbaugh or not the Ravens will still be the Ravens as long as they have Ray Lewis - and Ed Reed.

    You need to step it up John and impress me.



10. Chicago Bears: Lovie Smith

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    Before the season started I for sure thought Lovie Smith was going to get fired. But I will have to take my hat off for for the way Lovie Smith is having the Bears perform.

    Having Mike Martz run the offense is a great and pretty risky move considering the lack of offensive talent - and that always move you up a power ranking - when you succeed.

    With a defense playing the way they are, the Bears might just be a good draft and a couple of nice free agent signings away from having a great offense to go with the great defense.

    Lovie Smith isn't the most out spoken head coach - but that's ok right now you don't want to mess with Nemesis.

    And Lovie Smith looks pretty cool in those shades - that never hurts you in a power ranking.

9. Seattle Seahawks: Pete Caroll

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    I put the picture in because I think it says a lot about Pete Carrolls way of coaching. He is a players coach and brings the best out in players - a modern way of player management in the NFL - and I think a lot of people a watching to see if Pete Carrolls college ways will translate into success in the NFL.

    Pete Carroll status in the ranking also has a lot to do with his aggressive personnel strategy, moving players in and out faster than you can say Seattle - and not only that, you see his team perform and showing a lot of talent.

    Mike Williams and Leon Washington are great examples of Pete Carrolls skills to find and apply talent.

    Seattle could be a great young QB and another season away from being a serious contender.

8. Green Bay Packers: Mike McCarthy

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    Mike McCarthy has assembled an great team in Green Bay - and showing him with Aaron Rodgers is no coincidence.

    On offense and on defense Green Bay plays some exciting football with play makers all over the field.

    But when McCarty is not all the way up there in my power ranking it is because in 2009 the bad o-line cost the team too much and in 2010 the lack of running back depth could cost the Packers a shot at the Super Bowl.

    I know that Green Bay builds though the draft, but I would like to see some more aggressiveness from McCarty to get those players who could be the missing pieces.

    Its all very nice Mike - but you have got to get a ring.

7. New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton

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    For the first half of the season the Saints and Sean Payton, didn't make too much noise.

    They had a little bit of a super bowl slump, and some key injuries to the running backs, that slowed their offense down - well at least until Chris Ivory found his NFL wheels.

    Sean Payton is riding nice and quietly behind the leaders just as his team is - but you can feel the momentum building in New Orleans and I wouldn't be surprised too see the Saints hit their top speed going into the play offs. And If this has been planned all along by coach Payton - he will shoot to the top of the power ranking.

    As of now he still has to prove that he has everything under control and that his draft picks have panned out like he hoped to.

    But his is epitomizing the new mould of young coaches in the NFL, that are media friendly, has a modern approach to player management and are outspoken and outgoing.

6. New York Jets: Rex Ryan

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    The only reason Rex Ryan isn't in the top three in this power ranking is because when you talk the talk, you have to be able to walk the walk. An the dismantling by the New England Patriots was a huge blow to not only the Jets but also Rex Ryan and they haven't ben able to rebound really since that loss.

    Now Rex Ryan is the New York Jets, he is everything they stands for and you can't really imagine the Jets without Ryan. Even without Revis, Sanchez and Holmes the Jets would still be great with Ryan on the Sideline.

    Now Rex Ryan needs to show us that he isn't just hot air.

5. Pittsburg Steelers: Mike Tomlin

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    Mike Tomlin is a sure pick at the top of this ranking as he is everything the Steeler organization is.

    They way he managed to lead the Steelers to a 1 and 4 start with out Big Ben, and loosing Santonio Holmes. The way that he has kept the Steelers in contention with an offense with numerous holes on the O-line, keeping his team from getting distracted and just playing "hard nosed grind it out" football - that shows that he is a coach that should be in the top of this power ranking.

    He still needs to show us that his team can play attractive offensive football and that there is more to the Steelers than defense and Palumalu.

    He will keep his team on track and get them fired up and you cannot bet against them in the play offs - this i a team you want to avoid, because they can and will hurt you.

4. Kansas City Chiefs: Tod Haley

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    The picture might not be fair to Tod Haley, but this is actually whats dragging him down this power ranking. That and his inability to find a solid backup for Matt Cassell.

    Otherwise the way Tod Haley has been able to turn things around in Kansas City has been remarkable. I know that having a GM like Pioli and Weiss and Crennel to run the offense and defense respectively has a lot to do with it. But I think that Tod Haley's ability to stick with his concept, believe in his players and steer the team in the right directions has been remarkable.

    The picture with McDaniels also symbolizes that The Denver Broncos should have done as the Kansas City Chiefs - surrounding McDaniels with a strong cast of veterans to let the young head coach talent flourish.

3. Atlanta Falcons: Mike Smith

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    Mike Smith has been building his team slowly into a solid unit with out any glaring holes on either offense or defense.

    With Matt Ryan as a centerpiece there is no doubt that if Mike Smith can keep the team together, they are on course to a Super Bowl sooner rather than later. Actually this year could be it for the Falcons.

    Mike Smith has made some solid draft picks and found the right people in free agency and the only things holding him from being in the top of the power ranking is his quite charisma and that he needs to show that he can win when the big games are on the line.

    But his team is playing attractive football and has some exciting play makers.

    His age could also speak against him in the power ranking, as you could question how many years he has left at the top level, but right now he is right up there with the best.

2. Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid

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    There is only one coach who is further up in my power ranking. Buy I guess this is so close that it is hard to call.

    In my book Andy Reid alone by off loading McNabb to the Redskins, declaring Kolb as the teams future starter, but changing to Vick, based on his performance - without loosing the team in the process shows true greatness.

    But the team also had a pretty good draft and the Eagles are playing exciting football both on offense and defense.

    Andy Reid is the Philadelphia Eagles - a team that could very well go to the Super Bowl.

1. New England Patriots: Bill Belichick

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    Bill Belichick has taken a team in a rebuilding phase to the top of the NFL.

    He has done it starting 8 rookies, loosing his starting CB in the pre-season, trading away a hall of fame WR, having his star OG holding out accusing the team of lying to him and in the process re-wrote the teams offensive playbook.

    Oh and acting both as head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator.

    Of course Belichick has Tom Brady as his center piece driving his finely tuned machine, and without Brady the Patriots wouldn't be in the same position. But there is no question that The Patriots are Belichicks team.

    And in this power ranking Belichick is top of the list and it is not even close.