HALFWAY POINT: Reid, Ryan rocking in AFC
Andy Reid can't lose. Chip Kelly can't win at home. Tom Coughlin turned
out to be the New York coach on the hot seat while Rex Ryan's job seems
There are veteran coaches enjoying a resurgent year and others on a
Rookie coaches are having varying degrees of success in their first
year in the NFL. Gus Bradley is winless in Jacksonville, but Marc
Trestman has Chicago in a three-way for first place in the NFC North.
The biggest story involving coaches has been their health following
scary incidents last weekend. Houston's Gary Kubiak had a mini-stroke
on the field and Denver's John Fox needed heart surgery after feeling
dizzy on the golf course.
Here's a Pick 6 of buzzworthy coaches halfway through the NFL season:
ANDY REID: Bounced out of Philadelphia after the Eagles went
4-12 last season, Reid is 9-0 in Kansas City. It's a remarkable
turnaround for the Chiefs, who were 2-14 in 2012.
Big Red had a winning resume when he arrived in Kansas City, having led
the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five NFC
championship games and one Super Bowl in 14 seasons. But this has to be
his best coaching job yet.
Reid inherited a decent roster that returned four Pro Bowl players on a
defense that's been dominant. He acquired quarterback Alex Smith to a
run an offense that's been steady. Reid lost favor with fans in Philly
because he didn't win the Big One. Now, he's got a chance to do it
sooner than anyone expected in Kansas City.
CHIP KELLY: Lured away from Oregon to replace Reid
in Philadelphia, Kelly invigorated the organization, players and fans
with new ideas, a new approach and new philosophy. His innovative,
up-tempo offense got off to a fast start before injuries to
quarterbacks Michael Vick and Nick Foles slowed the Eagles (4-5) down.
Foles, however, rebounded from an awful performance with a record-tying
seven touchdown passes last week and the Eagles are only one game back
in a weak NFC East. It's certainly a bonus for a team that was supposed
to be rebuilding.
Kelly, though, has come under intense scrutiny for questionable
playcalling and strange decisions. He's clearly learning on the job
against opponents far tougher than any he faced in the Pac-12
TOM COUGHLIN: Despite leading the New York Giants
to two Super Bowl titles in the previous six seasons, Coughlin was
seemingly in trouble after an 0-6 start. Coughlin made sure to keep the
team together through its struggles, and he's highly regarded enough
that he's probably not going anywhere.
Eli Manning, a turnover machine in the six losses, hasn't thrown a pick
in the last two games, helping the Giants win two in a row. Coming off
a bye, they're somehow still alive in a division in which only Dallas
(5-4) has a winning record.
REX RYAN: The new Rex Ryan May be a better coach than the
old brash, boastful guy who led the New York Jets to consecutive AFC
championship games in his first two seasons. Ryan toned down his
bravado, and the focus has shifted to his football team instead of his
latest outrageous comment. With rookie Geno Smith under center, the
Jets are 5-4 and in position to make a playoff push.
The offense has been inconsistent with the up-and-down Smith leading
the way and injuries limiting the receiving corps. But Ryan's defense
has been outstanding despite losing its best player, traded-away
cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Greg Schiano: Since a 6-3 start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a rookie coach last year, Schiano has lost 13 of 14. The
Bucs have a shot at going 0-16, but they're not even the worst team in
Florida. The Jaguars also are 0-8 and losing uglier games.
Schiano botched quarterback Josh Freeman's benching, and eventually
released the former first-round pick. Many wonder if he's another
college coach out of his element in the pros. There are questions about
whether he's lost the locker room, and fans have been calling for his
Bill Belichick: Leading these New England Patriots
to an AFC East title might be Belichick's top coaching accomplishment.
That's saying a lot for a three-time Super Bowl champion who once
guided the Patriots to a 16-0 record.
Sure, Belichick still has Tom Brady. But that's about it.
Brady's receivers probably wouldn't start for any other team, and he
just got Rob Gronkowski back. The defense has been decimated by
injuries to key players. Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo are gone for the
season, and top cornerback Aqib Talib has been sidelined nearly a
month. Yet, the Patriots are 7-2 and heading toward a 10th division
title in 11 years.
Pick 6: Reid, Ryan Top The List
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