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Greatest NFL Coach

KaseyKasey Posts: 15,251 mod

Currently reading Bill Walsh's book "The Score Takes Care of Itself" and I forgot how good of a coach he was because he was mostly done by the time I started paying attention to pro football. Thought I would throw a little poll up here to engender a little discussion as we (im)patiently wait for SEC football to kick off in 19 days.

Who do you think is the greatest coach in NFL history?

Greatest NFL Coach 56 votes

Bill Belichick
57%
tfk_fanboyDiablo_and_Docoldon42PTDawgddsnyderugaotis1105BoroDawgchristopherulesKaseyefreeman3HumbleYourselfSoFL_DawgMuffingodRxDawgLowcountryDawg21TNDawg71Casanova_FlatulenceTiftDawgGodawgs2019KnoxDawg865 32 votes
Don Shula
1%
Stingray2112 1 vote
Vince Lombardi
21%
ArchDawg90insertusernamehereUnderDog68AnotherDawgBrotatoChip88DogsNotDawgsYaleDawgHunkerDown1MoreTimeBigcitydawgCLT_DawgGoDawgs119bumper 12 votes
Bill Walsh
5%
ftn49GrayDawgbordersdawg 3 votes
Paul Brown
0%
Bill Parcells
3%
JoelSidneyKellyBoss_Dawg 2 votes
John Madden
0%
Tom Landry
7%
amjadawgsbull68dawgMarkBoknechtpgjackson 4 votes
write-in
3%
AndersonDawgChitown_Dawg 2 votes

Comments

  • KaseyKasey Posts: 15,251 mod
    Bill Belichick

    I gotta go with the one with the most Super Bowl appearances and victories. Hard to argue with 20 years of continued excellence.

    Bill Walsh might be a close second though.

  • ultimatedawgultimatedawg Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Junior

    I would have either added Chuck Knoll or replaced Parcells with him.

  • ftn49ftn49 Posts: 398 ✭✭✭✭ Senior
    Bill Walsh

    As a niners fan I have to vote for Walsh but Belichick is hard to argue with as well. Both revolutionized the game in respective ways. Modern offense was introduced first by Paul Brown then perfected by Walsh. Belichicks hasn't had a perfound impact on the xs and os of the game but his roster building philosophies in the salary cap Era are remarkable and frankly unmatched.

  • KaseyKasey Posts: 15,251 mod
    Bill Belichick

    I knew I would forget someone...unfortunately they won't let us edit polls...

  • RxDawgRxDawg Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    Bill Belichick

    It's gotta be Bill. To do what he did in modern football and it's enforced parity is astounding. How many times has he taken a piece of coal and turned it into a diamond? Not sure I'd want to play for him.... but I'd sure like to cheer for him.

  • Casanova_FlatulenceCasanova_Flatulence Posts: 2,969 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    Bill Belichick

    Belichick with Walsh a close second. I think Walsh was a greater innovator with his 'West Coast' offense, but it's hard to argue against Belichick's record.

  • razorachillesrazorachilles Posts: 1,152 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited September 8
    Bill Belichick

    At the risk of letting both personal & recency bias influence my opinion I need to go with Belichick; primarily for some of the reasons @RxDawg mentions re: the designed parity construct the NFL has looked to implement.

    For me, the coaches on this list seem to fall into two main categories:

    • Beneficiaries of coaching in pre-salary cap era: many of these coaches on the poll list fall into this category, but I sometimes have a hard time distinguishing which ones were truly elite coaches vs coaches who were fortunate to have coached the same core of HoF players for 7-10 years because player movement was so limited. I include many of the dynasties on this list - Green Bay in the 50s, Pittsburgh in the 70s, SF in the 80s, Dallas in the 70s and again in the 90s. Not to say the likes of Lombardi, Knoll, Walsh, Landry et al weren't great coaches (they most certainly were) but that having so many elite players playing together while other teams were largely limited to rebuilding through the draft does seem to have an influence on the win/loss record over time. I do put Walsh at the top of this group personally, as his innovations changed the face of the game on the offensive side of the ball forever.
    • Long-tenured coaches: George Halas, Shula, Landry, Paul Brown, Curly Lambeau & Belichick all coached the same team for 20+years and were clearly great coaches to have lasted as long as they did. Interestingly - Belichick has said that he thinks Paul Brown was the greatest coach in the history of the NFL.

    Belichick can put his stats up against any of these guys certainly, but his ability to coach up players at every position, develop game-specific gameplans that don't necessarily resemble what was done the prior week, keep developing players year after year, his attention to detail and his freakish memory to recall situation/distance/down details from random Week 6 games from the 1990s is truly remarkable.

    Even beyond the Super Bowl record (New England appeared in 9 of the last 18 Super Bowls (50% rate), winning 6) the number of times he's gotten his team in a position to win another championship is mind-boggling: last year's Divisional Playoff round loss to Tennessee ended 8 consecutive seasons in the AFC Championship Game; and New England has appeared in 13 in 19 years going back to 2000

    Much respect for the other greats on this list, but for me it's Belichick.

  • christopheruleschristopherules Posts: 4,336 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    Bill Belichick

    Great topic. Volumes and volumes have been written, more still will be written in the future. Bill Belichick has taken what his predecessors did, and improved on their previous successes. Each one on this list (and others too) added their own knowledge and techniques to improve their teams, and the game. Vince Lombardi had it tougher, due to there not being as much knowledge early as there is now. The pioneers in any field have that problem.. They must blaze the path that others follow and add their own improvements to the field. Each man listed here, had different challenges, and added various things to the body of work during their own era of the football being played to revolutionize and ultimately change the game.

  • TNDawg71TNDawg71 Posts: 1,449 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    Bill Belichick

    Bellichick has been able to win different types of teams with the Patriots over a long period. Gotta go with him.

  • AndersonDawgAndersonDawg Posts: 1,212 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    write-in

    Brian Snitker because he sure isn’t a baseball coach/manager.

  • Chitown_DawgChitown_Dawg Posts: 380 ✭✭✭✭ Senior
    write-in

    Joe Gibbs. It’s not even close for me. Won with 3 different (and all mediocre) qbs. Belichik/Brady are impressive but cmon. Winning with Theismann, Williams and Rypien? Hard to imagine another coach winning big with so little.

  • JoelSidneyKellyJoelSidneyKelly Posts: 3,399 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited September 8
    Bill Parcells

    For the record: I voted for Parcells; intended to vote for Walsh. The correct answer is Belichick but I'm waiting on him to retire before he gets my official vote. George Halas should be on the list of consideration.

  • otis1105otis1105 Posts: 153 ✭✭✭ Junior
    Bill Belichick

    Belicheck and it’s not even close. Over 20 years of winning Super Bowls, playing for Super Bowls, or at least being in the running late in the season. Plus free agency is still a pretty new concept where other coaches got a team developed the players and then won because no players left until the mid 90s when free agency became an option.

  • BarkingDawgBarkingDawg Posts: 837 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I picked Gibbs for similar reasons in a radio poll years ago. The announcers dissed him as a “system coach” and I just shook my head. I think his retiring early to be with family starting the Joe Gibbs Racing Team causes him to be overlooked as he was not a lifer. He could have won Several more Super Bowls had he continued coaching.

  • LowcountryDawg21LowcountryDawg21 Posts: 3,001 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    Bill Belichick

    I had to vote Belichick. He’s kept the Patriots in the conversation for the better part of two decades.

    @BarkingDawg, hasn’t Gibbs had some success in racing as well (sorry, not a racing fan). If so, that certainly cements him as a championship leader.

  • KaseyKasey Posts: 15,251 mod
    Bill Belichick

    I would say Joe Gibbs's greatest accomplishment was getting to the playoffs with Daniel Snyder as owner. That guy has destroyed a once proud franchise and is the model for how NOT to be an owner in the NFL.

  • LowcountryDawg21LowcountryDawg21 Posts: 3,001 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
  • OdinOdin Posts: 316 ✭✭✭✭ Senior
    Bill Belichick

    Bill, his record speaks for itself. I'd throw Jimmy Johnson in there. What he did with the Cowboys while dealing with Jerry was pretty special.

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