Quantifying the impact of a head coach is next to impossible. After all, after getting fired in Cleveland, did Bill Belichick suddenly become a great coach because of a four-year stint as an assistant with the Jets, or did he become great because he went from Vinny Testaverde to Tom Brady at quarterback?
Nonetheless, NFL.com gave it a try in an annual dead-season filler story. Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy checked in at No. 4. He got smarter last season after being stuck at No. 6 entering the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
“You could certainly mount a case for McCarthy to make the top three,” reads the caption of the series of photos. “Green Bay has been in the hunt nearly every season since he took over in 2006, reaching the playoffs in seven of nine seasons under the expert play-caller's direction and winning it all in the 2010 season. Last season looked to be another golden year for the cheeseheads -- until it all went awry in Seattle.”
Entering his 10th season, McCarthy has won 101 games with the Packers, having passed Vince Lombardi’s 98 last season. With a decent quarterbacking duo of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, McCarthy trails only Curly Lambeau’s unbreakable 212. Green Bay’s 101 wins trails only Indianapolis and New England over his tenure.
Belichick took the No. 1 choice. As he should. And not just because he’s won four Super Bowl rings. After all, any other coach would be banned for life over things like Spygate and Deflategate rather than being revered.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.