BOSTON (CBS) — If you asked anyone in New England who the best current coach in the NFL is, you’ll likely get a unanimous answer: Bill Belichick.
Apparently, that’s an opinion that’s shared by the rest of the football world.
ESPN’s Mike Sando took an anonymous poll of “eight current general managers, four former GMs, four personnel directors, four executives, six coordinators and four position coaches” and asked them all to rank the 32 NFL head coaches with a grade between one and five (one being the best, five being the worst).
Atop the list was Belichick, whose average grade was 1.07. Belichick received a score of 1 on 28 of the 30 votes cast.
One of the voters who gave Belichick a 2 was a coordinator who “questioned whether Belichick would be so widely lauded if the Patriots had not ‘lucked into’ an all-time great quarterback when selecting [Tom] Brady in the sixth round.”
Must be a Jets coach.
The other knock on Belichick from a “2” voter was that his assistants have not gone on to great success.
Those two critiques aside, there was no stopping Belichick from topping this list.
“A lot of guys that coach, it’s all about them. It’s about their scheme. It’s about what they do. That is not it,” a GM told Sando. “Bill Belichick is as astute of a person as you would want, but he is a maniacal guy when it comes to preparing his team. They get together and they meet about the team. The offense should know how the defense is played, the defense should know how the offense is played, and it is that notion that builds greatness.”
Belichick currently ranks seventh on the all-time list for wins as a head coach, but he’ll jump into sixth place with two wins this season and he’ll take over fifth place with 15 more victories. As long as he stays at the helm in New England for at least three more years, he should be able to take possession of fourth all time, currently held by Curly Lambeau with 226.
Ranking No. 2 in the poll was Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who likely wouldn’t have been ranked quite so high if this same poll were taken last season but is nevertheless enjoying the praise that comes with dominating a Super Bowl against Peyton Manning. Saints coach Sean Payton ranked third.
Tom Coughlin, whose Giants have twice beaten Belichick’s Patriots in the Super Bowl, ranked fifth, one spot behind Kansas City’s Andy Reid.
As far as Belichick’s AFC East peers go, Rex Ryan ranked 17th with a 2.73 average, Doug Marrone ranks 28th with a 3.53 average, and Joe Philbin ranks 29th with a 3.63 average.
Oakland’s Dennis Allen ranked last with a 4.07 average.
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