Ranking the NFC South's Head Coaches

SI All Panthers provides its rankings of the NFC North's head coaches.
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With it being a rather quiet weekend in the NFL, I figured we could take a look at each head coach in the NFC South division and rank them 1-4. To be honest, this was a very easy set of rankings to put together. You have a very accomplished and experienced head coach at the top, a coach that just won his first Super Bowl thanks to Tom Brady, a coach entering year two, and a coach entering his first season. 

I know we can all have a difference of opinion but it would be hard for me to see that folks would rank these four coaches in any other way than I do below. So, let's get to it.

Sean Payton - New Orleans Saints

It's hard to deny how good of a coach Sean Payton is. In fact, I would put him up there at the very top among current NFL head coaches. When Drew Brees went down for an extended period of time not once but twice, the Saints kept on winning ballgames. Payton just knows how to execute a game plan and there is a reason why New Orleans will still be successful post-Brees, it's because of this guy. 

Bruce Arians - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Arians won his first Super Bowl as a head coach this past season. He may have had a blessing fall into his lap with Tom Brady coming to Tampa but nonetheless, they got the job done. Despite winning the Super Bowl, I'm not super high on Arians just yet. He wasn't all that successful in Tampa before Brady's arrival and I'm sure pretty much every team would be night and day better by adding him to the roster. With that said, I do believe he is a solid head coach but nowhere near the top of the coaching pyramid - at least not yet.

Matt Rhule - Carolina Panthers

The Panthers went 5-11 in their first season under Matt Rhule but it was a pretty strong 5-11. They lost eight of their games by one score and even took the Kansas City Chiefs down to the wire on the road. Now that the foundation has been set, the Panthers should take a step forward this season. They are still extremely young which may hold them back for now but there's no doubt in my mind that Rhule is not only the right guy for the job but has built this team up nicely entering his 2nd season. 

Arthur Smith - Atlanta Falcons

Smith did a tremendous job running the Tennessee Titans' offense and did a marvelous job reviving QB Ryan Tannehill's career. Smith might turn out to be a great head coach but right now, there's no telling how successful he will be. He's entering his first season with Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts, and some talented pieces on the defensive side. I don't see Atlanta making a push for the playoffs but who knows what will happen. Smith's career in Atlanta will depend on how the quarterback play is after Ryan decides to hang it up.


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