As the playoffs get going today in the start of Wild Card Weekend, what coach would you want leading your team into battle? Let’s forget for a moment that these NFLers are pros and should be able to do their job without extra motivation from a rah rah coach. And let’s set aside that the Jimmys and Joes are more important than “Xs” and “Os”.
Let us go with the premise that we would rather have an army of jackasses lead by a lion than have a jackass leading our army of lions. With that notion we can see just which coaches we would want on our sideline with our team’s playoff lives on the line.
Let me weed out a couple of names first to clear the way for the top notch coaches. I want no part of Jason Garrett as my coach. He has managed to keep his job in Dallas despite some late season meltdowns. That is not the resume of a coach I want when it is do or die.
On to Marvin Lewis. I wouldn’t trust this guy to win a game of checkers much less an NFL playoff game. He should have been fired years ago, but the Bengals are too cheap to get another coach. I would just assume let Pac Man Jones coach the guys up as let Lewis drop another playoff game.
On to the top level coaches. The obvious guy in the playoff mix is Bill Belichick. I have a ton of respect for the way this man goes about his business. Sure, he cheated his way to the Super Bowl victory over the Rams, but he is a football genius. His knowledge of defenses has transferred to the offensive side of the ball in order to help Tom Brady become one of the best quarterbacks ever.
Pete Carroll has done it in big games in college and the NFL. He knows defense and he knows how to inspire the guys doing the dirty work. The latter is not an easy task with athletes making millions per year. Carroll took his Seattle team to the Super Bowl Title once already so he is battle tested. This is a man who can be trusted with a franchise in the post season.
The coach I can get behind most is Mike Tomlin of the Steelers. He just seems like one of the guys. A local high school coach in my county used to have his locker along side the players. That is the type of guy that Tomlin is in my eyes. He would have been a general with blood on his sword back in ancient times, not a suited up leader of modern times sipping Scotch while others died on the battle field. He has one Super Bowl ring already and I would trust him with the task of snatching another one.
There are other quality coaches in the playoffs that I did not single out as the most trustworthy for the playoffs. Denver’s John Fox is a good coach, but he holds some responsibility for what happened in last year’s embarrassment in the Super Bowl. The Colts and the Lions have solid guys running their teams with Chuck Pagano and Jim Caldwell respectively. But their playoff experience is where they are lacking. The same goes for Ron Rivera of the Panthers, and his regular season record this year was pretty shabby as well.
I love what Bruce Arians did in Arizona this year, but even he couldn’t overcome the QB injuries they endured. He wouldn’t be at the top of my coaching list for the post season, but I would put him ahead of the other guys with similar playoff experience. As for Mike McCarthy of the Packers, I could take him or leave him. He is a solid coach that has a Super Bowl win to his credit. Take away Aaron Rodgers and I am not sure how smart he would look.
What coach do you trust most if you had your choice of lions leading your team?