All-Time NFL Head Coaches -- Super Bowl era only

Saints Rest

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Inspired by these quotes, I decided to start a thread.
This was the last place we were discussing all time NFL coaches that I can remember. I think we agree on BB @1 so let me ask this: What does Andy Reid need to do to get to second place? Let’s say he wins this year. That’s 2 SBs and he has been to 4 conference Championships in a row with 2 different teams.

That’s not enough to get to second but that puts him in some rare air.
What’s the top ten? Is he already better than Shula? Lombardi? Noll? He’s only won one SB but been to three.. it would seem that winning two puts him onto the next tier with a number of other greats that won two. Noll won four. How does his winning percentage stack up?
I first thought we could do the SOSH-tradition of making this a tread with nominations that can then turn into a poll of sorts. But since we aren't just trying to name #1 or even #2 after a certain hoodie-wearing dude in Foxboro, maybe we do this as a ranked thing in this thread, instead.

So rank your top 10. I'll wait until Super Bowl Sunday to compile the tally, with 10 points for a 1st place vote, 9 for 2nd, and so on down to 1 point for #10.

Use any criteria you want. Feel free to add justifications if you like. Just be sure to rank them 1-10. But if you want to talk about all the guys who coached before most of us were born, start your own thread.

I'll start:
  1. Belichick
  2. Lombardi
  3. Noll
  4. Shula
  5. Walsh
  6. Madden
  7. Landry
  8. Gibbs
  9. Parcells
  10. Reid
 

Mystic Merlin

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Inspired by these quotes, I decided to start a thread.


I first thought we could do the SOSH-tradition of making this a tread with nominations that can then turn into a poll of sorts. But since we aren't just trying to name #1 or even #2 after a certain hoodie-wearing dude in Foxboro, maybe we do this as a ranked thing in this thread, instead.

So rank your top 10. I'll wait until Super Bowl Sunday to compile the tally, with 10 points for a 1st place vote, 9 for 2nd, and so on down to 1 point for #10.

Use any criteria you want. Feel free to add justifications if you like. Just be sure to rank them 1-10. But if you want to talk about all the guys who coached before most of us were born, start your own thread.

I'll start:
  1. Belichick
  2. Lombardi
  3. Noll
  4. Shula
  5. Walsh
  6. Madden
  7. Landry
  8. Gibbs
  9. Parcells
  10. Reid
Paul Brown has to be on the list. He’s the father of modern coaching, in addition to having great success.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Shula is overrated. His wins total is partially a function of starting when he was so young, and fuck the '72 Dolphins and their soft as shit schedule. Also he only managed one conference title and zero Super Bowls during Marino's prime. I'm not saying he doesn't belong in the Top 10, but I'd put him closer to 10 than 1.
 

mikeford

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1. BB
2. Lombardi
3. Noll
4. Shula
5. Walsh
6. Landry
7. Parcells
8. Jimmy Johnson
9. Gibbs
10. Madden
I'm glad you put Jimmy Johnson on your list. I always felt like I had no idea where he fit in the pantheon of great NFL coaches. Was his success down to how stacked that Cowboys team was? I mean Barry Switzer won a title with that group for god sakes. But since he only took one other gig it's like... well how good WAS he? He never finished under 500 with Miami and only missed the playoffs once.
 

PedroKsBambino

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One thing that is always hard is balancing longevity and success.

So, Jimmy Johnson and Madden were spectacular for a short period; that's very different than (say) Landry or Shula or (a level down) Bud Grant. Johnson, amazing as the build and titles were, only did it once and with a spectacular set of players. That's just very different than what Andy Reid has done through different teams, QBs, and eras

The most unique thing about BB is that he did both, essentially two three-SB runs equal to or better htan JJ/Madded and a ton of wins (but no titles) in between. Each of his SB runs would independently be somewhere in the top 10, and the 2004-2014 years likely is near the next 10 just on its own.
 

Bergs

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Shula is overrated. His wins total is partially a function of starting when he was so young, and fuck the '72 Dolphins and their soft as shit schedule. Also he only managed one conference title and zero Super Bowls during Marino's prime. I'm not saying he doesn't belong in the Top 10, but I'd put him closer to 10 than 1.
100% this.
 

loshjott

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Gibbs is underrated with a (relatively) short peak rather than longevity. Winning SBs with 3 different QBs is an accomplishment that puts him ahead of JJ and Parcells, IMO. Landry was such an early innovator a la Lombardi and Walsh that I put him ahead of Noll and Shula.

1. BB
2. Lombardi
3. Landry
4. Walsh
5. Noll
6. Shula
7. Gibbs
8. Jimmy Johnson
9. Reid
10. Parcells

Reid is still incomplete, while nothing that BB does or doesn't do for the remainder of his career will change his rank.
 

Captaincoop

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Shula is overrated. His wins total is partially a function of starting when he was so young, and fuck the '72 Dolphins and their soft as shit schedule. Also he only managed one conference title and zero Super Bowls during Marino's prime. I'm not saying he doesn't belong in the Top 10, but I'd put him closer to 10 than 1.
I hate the Dolphins and Don Shula, let me start there. But he did go to six Super Bowls (winning two) and an NFL championship in the pre-Super Bowl era. Won his division 14 times, won 2 Super Bowls.

I'd take Belichick over him with no discussion. Probably Lombardi over him as well, and maybe Bill Walsh. After that, I think you could argue he was as good as anyone.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Where does Bill Cowher fit? Half as many rings as Jimmy Johnson, but a much better overall record. Johnson had a great three year run but is that enough?
 

Plantiers Wart

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Landry is being underrated here. He is no lower than 5 after BB, Vince, Noll and maybe Walsh. The innovations he made were pretty sublime on both sides of the ball.

The 4-3 defense. The flex defense, where he alternately offset the D linemen. Reintroducing the shotgun to the modern game. The spread offense. That Cowboy shift where all the O linemen stand up and recrouch prior to the snap to "hide" the location of the back. Expansion of situational substitutions. And the first to use computers.

He stayed on too long. He looked like he should be managing an accounting department. He never cracked a smile.

And the Jim Lee Howell coaching tree is unmatched - he had Landry as his defensive coordinator and Lombardi running the offense in the 50's.
 

Ale Xander

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1.BB
2. Walsh (basically invented the modern offensive system)
3. Noll
4. Lombardi
5. George Allen (success with different franchises and QB's)
6. Gibbs (3 different starting QB's in the SB)
7. Madden (winning season %)
8. Jimmy Johnson
9. Parcells (great coaching tree)
10. Landry
 
Sep 1, 2019
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I strongly agree with MM above about Paul Brown. I would put him in the top five.

Also would consider Vermeil, Lambeau, and Halas. I think Gibbs disastrous comeback hurts him. Grant and Levy never winning a SB hurts them.
 

Saints Rest

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I strongly agree with MM above about Paul Brown. I would put him in the top five.

Also would consider Vermeil, Lambeau, and Halas. I think Gibbs disastrous comeback hurts him. Grant and Levy never winning a SB hurts them.
"Super Bowl era only."
I don't want people guessing about what a great coach Curly Lambeau or George Halas or Paul Brown was. Let's stick to people who operated in the last 55 years.
 

PedroKsBambino

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1.BB
2. Walsh (basically invented the modern offensive system)
3. Noll
4. Lombardi
5. George Allen (success with different franchises and QB's)
6. Gibbs (3 different starting QB's in the SB)
7. Madden (winning season %)
8. Jimmy Johnson
9. Parcells (great coaching tree)
10. Landry
I've noted this in past discussions, but it is worth considering Parcells record without BB on his staff---which is .500 with no playoff success--in evaluating him. There is certainly a chicken-and-egg aspect to HC and assistant between them and Parcells clearly was good at turning around programs. But there is a pretty compelling case based on what happened later in each of their careers that BB was a far bigger part of those two Giants titles than anyone thought at the time and that Parcells---while still a very good coach---is nowhere near this list on his own.
 

Mystic Merlin

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"Super Bowl era only."
I don't want people guessing about what a great coach Curly Lambeau or George Halas or Paul Brown was. Let's stick to people who operated in the last 55 years.
Missed that.

This is like saying ‘who are the best baseball players post 1966,’ but sure? We have testimonial evidence and statistics about the greatness of Brown and Halas. And both coached during the SB era. Heck, Lombardi, only coached a few years into the SB era, with most of his career predating it.
 

E5 Yaz

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Missed that.

This is like saying ‘who are the best baseball players post 1966,’ but sure? We have testimonial evidence and statistics about the greatness of Brown and Halas.
The thread title is misleading ... saying both "All-Time" and "Super Bowl Era only"
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Nowhere near the top 10. His teams mostly choked in the playoffs except for 2005.
I think that’s fair, although also true of Andy Reid. I guess I’m just questioning Jimmy Johnson’s inclusion. What separates him from a George Seifert, Tom Flores, or Tom Coughlin?
 

jsinger121

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I think that’s fair, although also true of Andy Reid. I guess I’m just questioning Jimmy Johnson’s inclusion. What separates him from a George Seifert, Tom Flores, or Tom Coughlin?
Jimmy built those Dallas teams while Seifert inherited the 49ers from Bill Walsh. The Cowboys were awful prior to Jimmy Johnson taking over as Landry was over the hill. JJ went from 1-15 to 7-9 to 11-5 (playoffs) to winning back to back Super Bowls. Look at that Dallas roster prior to him getting there. It was awful and soft as hell.
 

jmcc5400

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Landry is being underrated here. He is no lower than 5 after BB, Vince, Noll and maybe Walsh. The innovations he made were pretty sublime on both sides of the ball.

The 4-3 defense. The flex defense, where he alternately offset the D linemen. Reintroducing the shotgun to the modern game. The spread offense. That Cowboy shift where all the O linemen stand up and recrouch prior to the snap to "hide" the location of the back. Expansion of situational substitutions. And the first to use computers.

He stayed on too long. He looked like he should be managing an accounting department. He never cracked a smile.

And the Jim Lee Howell coaching tree is unmatched - he had Landry as his defensive coordinator and Lombardi running the offense in the 50's.
As a kid, I didn't understand the rationale of that movement, but it was cool and distinct to the Cowboys. Same as the shotgun. You'd watch the Patriots game at 1:00 (if they were on the road, because they usually were blacked out at home) and then the Cowboys at 4:00 and wonder if it was the same sport.
 

coremiller

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Belichick first is obvious. I think Walsh has to be second, and the only reason he's not first is that he burned himself out and didn't last long enough. Not only did he have great success (3 SBs in 10 years), but he revolutionized the profession. Every coach in the last 30 years, even ones who don't run the WCO, has copied his stuff in one form or another, and not just the short-passing ball control, but scripting plays, game-planning and practicing for situational football, call-sheets categorized by formation/personnel/situation, linking the QB's footwork to the timing of the route concepts, multiplicity of formations, etc.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Jimmy built those Dallas teams while Seifert inherited the 49ers from Bill Walsh. The Cowboys were awful prior to Jimmy Johnson taking over as Landry was over the hill. JJ went from 1-15 to 7-9 to 11-5 (playoffs) to winning back to back Super Bowls. Look at that Dallas roster prior to him getting there. It was awful and soft as hell.
Good points, I will buy that.
 

Euclis20

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I hate the Dolphins and Don Shula, let me start there. But he did go to six Super Bowls (winning two) and an NFL championship in the pre-Super Bowl era. Won his division 14 times, won 2 Super Bowls.

I'd take Belichick over him with no discussion. Probably Lombardi over him as well, and maybe Bill Walsh. After that, I think you could argue he was as good as anyone.
There are 39 HCs with 200+ games. Of that group, only Halas had a better winning percentage than Shula. Agreed on all the caveats above on him, but he's certainly on this list.
 

glennhoffmania

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Doesn't it matter how involved the coach was in personnel decisions? For example Jimmy was a great personnel guy and I never thought that Parcells was. I'm not sure how much some of the guys on the various lists were involved. Was Shula responsible for the shitty defenses Miami surrounded Marino with?
 

RG33

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1. BB (without peer)


2. Walsh (incredible record, revolutionized the game)
3. Landry (incredible record, revoloutionized the game, stuck around too long)
4. Lombardi (just on name really, no idea how good he really was)
5. Shula (overrated, but record is still legit and 6 SBs is 6 SBs)
6. Noll (I fell like he is overrated too, steroid freaks that mauled the league etc)
7. Gibbs (I think he is underrated, as others said consistent and 3 different QB winning SBs)
8. Madden (record, SB, would have been top 5 likely with another 10 years coaching)
9. Jimmy Johnson (short but great in many ways)
10. Bill Parcells (I hate including him, wildly overrated, the Belichick factor is so heavily dismissed. In retrospect, I don’t think Parcells was much of anything)
 

Old Fart Tree

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Shula is overrated. His wins total is partially a function of starting when he was so young, and fuck the '72 Dolphins and their soft as shit schedule. Also he only managed one conference title and zero Super Bowls during Marino's prime. I'm not saying he doesn't belong in the Top 10, but I'd put him closer to 10 than 1.
Walsh is better than Shula; I agree with this assessment.
 

jmcc5400

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1. BB (without peer)


2. Walsh (incredible record, revolutionized the game)
3. Landry (incredible record, revoloutionized the game, stuck around too long)
4. Lombardi (just on name really, no idea how good he really was)
5. Shula (overrated, but record is still legit and 6 SBs is 6 SBs)
6. Noll (I fell like he is overrated too, steroid freaks that mauled the league etc)
7. Gibbs (I think he is underrated, as others said consistent and 3 different QB winning SBs)
8. Madden (record, SB, would have been top 5 likely with another 10 years coaching)
9. Jimmy Johnson (short but great in many ways)
10. Bill Parcells (I hate including him, wildly overrated, the Belichick factor is so heavily dismissed. In retrospect, I don’t think Parcells was much of anything)
Why wouldn't Andy Reid be above (at least) Parcells? 5th all time in wins with 233 (.633 ) (Parcells 13th with 172 (.569)), T3rd in playoff wins (19-15) to T10th (11-8). Yes Parcells has two championships, but Reid gets points for me for the long term stability he has given two franchises versus Parcells', uh, mercurial ways.

I
 

RG33

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Why wouldn't Andy Reid be above (at least) Parcells? 5th all time in wins with 233 (.633 ) (Parcells 13th with 172 (.569)), T3rd in playoff wins (19-15) to T10th (11-8). Yes Parcells has two championships, but Reid gets points for me for the long term stability he has given two franchises versus Parcells', uh, mercurial ways.

I
Andy Reid stinks. There, I said it. :)
 

tims4wins

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Parcells is such an interesting figure. He coached for 4 different teams, and at least to that point in their history, basically led 3 of them to historic heights. On the flip side he left multiple franchises in not great shape when he left. Until Reid wins a second title it would be hard to put him above Parcells. Even with a second title it might be hard.
 

jsinger121

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Parcells is such an interesting figure. He coached for 4 different teams, and at least to that point in their history, basically led 3 of them to historic heights. On the flip side he left multiple franchises in not great shape when he left. Until Reid wins a second title it would be hard to put him above Parcells. Even with a second title it might be hard.
He won a super bowl in year 4 with the giants a second 4 years later. Only two losing seasons in NY including his first season there. Took over a hideous Patriots franchise and was in the Super Bowl in 4 years (partially thanks to the Denver choke) then goes to the pathetic Jets franchise and has them within a game of the Super Bowl in year two just two years after they went 1-15. He is better than Reid to me.
 

tims4wins

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He won a super bowl in year 4 with the giants a second 4 years later. Only two losing seasons in NY including his first season there. Took over a hideous Patriots franchise and was in the Super Bowl in 4 years (partially thanks to the Denver choke) then goes to the pathetic Jets franchise and has them within a game of the Super Bowl in year two just two years after they went 1-15. He is better than Reid to me.
Exactly. Like I said even with a 2nd title I think I rate Parcells higher.
 

jsinger121

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Exactly. Like I said even with a 2nd title I think I rate Parcells higher.
And Parcells QBs in those Super Bowls were Phil Simms, Jeff Hostetler and Drew Bledsoe and almost went to another with Vinny Testaverde while Reid had McNabb and Mahomes.
 

BaseballJones

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The season before Reid took over in Philly, the Eagles were 3-13. In two years Reid had them at 11-5 and the next three seasons went to the NFCCG, then the next went to the SB. In three years they went from 30th in scoring offense to 9th, and from 19th scoring defense to 2nd.

The season before Reid took over in KC, the Chiefs were 2-14. The next year Reid had them in the playoffs at 11-5. They went from 32nd in scoring to 6th, and 25th in scoring defense to 5th.

I'd say he resurrected two teams that were pretty awful. Not unlike Parcells. This is the second moribund team he's taken over and led them to four straight trips to the conference championship game. Pretty impressive. I don't know if he should be ahead of Parcells, but Reid has a hell of a resumé that checks all the boxes.
 

jsinger121

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The season before Reid took over in Philly, the Eagles were 3-13. In two years Reid had them at 11-5 and the next three seasons went to the NFCCG, then the next went to the SB. In three years they went from 30th in scoring offense to 9th, and from 19th scoring defense to 2nd.

The season before Reid took over in KC, the Chiefs were 2-14. The next year Reid had them in the playoffs at 11-5. They went from 32nd in scoring to 6th, and 25th in scoring defense to 5th.

I'd say he resurrected two teams that were pretty awful. Not unlike Parcells. This is the second moribund team he's taken over and led them to four straight trips to the conference championship game. Pretty impressive. I don't know if he should be ahead of Parcells, but Reid has a hell of a resumé that checks all the boxes.
Reid also only has 3 losing seasons too. His first in Philadelphia and his last in Philadelphia and one right after the loss in Super Bowl 39. No losing seasons with Kansas City. Pretty incredible.
 

jose melendez

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Gibbs even had modest success in his second stint in Washington. Putting up two winning seasons and winning a playoff game while working for Snyder is an underrated achievement.
 

jose melendez

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Jimmy built those Dallas teams while Seifert inherited the 49ers from Bill Walsh. The Cowboys were awful prior to Jimmy Johnson taking over as Landry was over the hill. JJ went from 1-15 to 7-9 to 11-5 (playoffs) to winning back to back Super Bowls. Look at that Dallas roster prior to him getting there. It was awful and soft as hell.
The Herschel Walker trade was as big a part of it as anything.
 

Marciano490

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I've noted this in past discussions, but it is worth considering Parcells record without BB on his staff---which is .500 with no playoff success--in evaluating him. There is certainly a chicken-and-egg aspect to HC and assistant between them and Parcells clearly was good at turning around programs. But there is a pretty compelling case based on what happened later in each of their careers that BB was a far bigger part of those two Giants titles than anyone thought at the time and that Parcells---while still a very good coach---is nowhere near this list on his own.
I came into this thread to read the inevitable Parcells and Shula takedowns and both you and Ralphie Gums absolutely crushed them. Kudos to both.