ESPN.com’s football staff have found a productive way to spend their lockout hours by creating “Power Rankings” for every NFL position, as composed by the site’s eight divisional bloggers.
(Although we’ve never really understood why they are called “bloggers” and not reporters. They all come from newspaper backgrounds and don’t work out of their mom’s basement. Unlike the professional amateurs here.)
The group hasn’t come up with a unanimous decision at any position until they ranked the head coaches. Everyone agreed that Bill Belichick was the league’s best. Mike Tomlin finished second, with Andy Reid, Mike McCarthy, Sean Payton, and Tom Coughlin rounding out the top six.
Belichick has the most Super Bowl rings of the group, but we think he’s being rewarded for consistency. A team hasn’t finished with a better record than the Patriots in the AFC East since 2000. (New England missed the playoffs a few times by losing tiebreakers.) That’s a run of consistency in an up-and-down league only rivaled by the Colts over the last decade.
Many folks said the Patriots’ run was “over” after Baltimore destroyed them in the playoffs after the 2009 season, but the team responded by going 14-2 with a young team in 2010 before going down in flames to the Jets in the playoffs.
We personally would have moved Sean Payton a little higher on the list and Lovie Smith a little lower (he was No. 8), but it’s hard to argue too much with the top ten.