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Ranking the NFL Coaches

Real Football recently rated all of the NFL coaches in several categories, then combined them into power rankings. Sean Payton was ranked eighth:

  1. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints . The only sophomore to place in the top 10, Payton was blessed with an enviable combination of players, luck and skill last season. Payton used Reggie Bush to perfection, designed a sweet offensive game plan for Drew Brees, and uncovered talents like Marques Colston. Are Payton and the Saints for real? We think so.

Usually, NFL coaches are only as good as their last season's record, but these rankings seem pretty objective. For instance, Jon Gruden ranks ninth, obviously based on his past achievements, while Joe Gibbs ranks twenty-third. While Gibbs has had a more remarkable career, his great seasons happened in a different era, a different NFL. Gruden is still a good coach, even though his team hasn't been great since 2002.

Payton ranks higher than any of the rest of last season's rookie coaches, the only people against whom Payton's career record may be fairly compared. After he's had a few seasons under his belt, he can be compared to the Belichicks and Reids. I will say this--if the rest of Payton's career is as successful as his first season was, he's going remain at the top of lists like this for years.

(25% of the check to Big Blue View)