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Lovie Smith Ranked in Top 10 of NFL Head Coaches


The Worldwide Leader recently conducted a poll among their divisional bloggers to construct the list of the Top 10 NFL Head Coaches.  The Bears’ Lovie Smith ranked #8 on the list.   Is that too high?  Too low?  Let’s take a look at the list:

1. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
2. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles
4. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers
5. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
6. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
7. Rex Ryan, New York Jets
8. Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears
9. Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons
10. M. Shanahan, Washington Redskins
10. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

Where should Lovie rank?  Let’s discuss his proper place after the jump. 

Here is a screen shot showing how the panelists voted.

No big surprise the Bill Belichik was #1 and as you see, it was unanimous among the voters.  Not surprising that other Super Bowl winning coaches like Mike Tomlin, reigning SB champ coach Mike McCarthy, Tom Coughlin and Sean Peyton rank ahead of Lovie.  It’s all about the rings after all.

Andy Reid made a Super Bowl appearance but also doesn’t have any hardware on those chubby fingers.  Considering the number of NFC Championships and tenure at Philadelphia, it makes sense he ranks ahead of Lovie.

My problem is ranking Rex Ryan ahead of Lovie.  Sure, he is the anti-Lovie when it comes to press conferences, personality and foot fetishes, but all that talk hasn’t gotten him to the big dance.

Lovie was the highest ranked coach that wasn’t a consensus selection, missing out on votes from 3 of the 8 bloggers who created the list.  Here is how one blogger explained his Smith’s omission from his ballot:

“Consistency is very important for head coaches, and Smith has more non-playoff seasons than playoff seasons,” Walker said. “Smith seems to be on the hot seat every other year in Chicago, and he missed the playoffs three consecutive times from 2007 through ’09. Despite a good run last year, Smith is a pedestrian 34-30 since ’07.”

Can’t really argue with that.  I would also argue that Lovie has done more with less (thank you, Jerry Angelo) than any of the coaches on the list.

I’m about as far as you get from a Lovie apologist as you’ll find but for all of his time management foibles and blown challenges, you have to admit that Lovie ranks pretty well among NFL head coaches.  I only wonder what would happen if Bill Cowher was on the list?

  • Chicago Irish

    When you compare Lovie simply based on his ranking, it’s a little hard to argue with where he landed (in my opinion). I look at it this way…of the coaches listed above him there are only two I would not want coaching the Bears – Coughlin and Reid. Of those listed below him, there is only one I would want – Harbaugh. In the 90′s I would have added Shanahen, but I think his time has passed.

  • DeCon

    I think if you look at the other 21 coaches NOT on the list, I think you would be hard pressed to prefer 1 of them over Lovie, so he kind of gets in the top 10 by default. That said, while Lovie needs a lot of help on game management, the players play their hearts out for him and at the end of the day, that carries a lot of weight with me. Lovie does get a lot more out of less than other coaches in the top 10/11.