ASHBURN, Va. -- As the NFL calendar briefly slows down for a respite, it's time to rank the NFL head coaches across the board - which NBC Sports Edge does every year.
Despite a disappointing year that resulted in not making the playoffs and a sub-.500 record, Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots is still the cream of the crop.
No surprise there. This list, as described by author Patrick Daugherty -- is 'more of a compendium (whatever that means), an assessment of where the league's 32 coaches find themselves right now.'
After Belichick, Andy Reid of the Chiefs is No. 2. Nobody can argue with that and he's followed by Sean Payton (Saints), John Harbaugh (Ravens) and Sean McVay of the Rams.
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Kyle Shanahan is at No. 10 and Matt LaFleur of the Packers is at No. 12. Yup … three former Washington assistants in the top dozen.
That also means Ron Rivera was not ranked in the top-third of the league.
You have to wait all the way until No. 17 to get to the Washington Football Team head coach, Rivera.
Rivera is ranked behind Brian Flores of the Dolphins and Kevin Stefanski of the Browns.
Both are deserving of praise but in our view - Rivera's track record and everything he endured last year is deserving of more respect here.
Here's the site’s rationale:
"Brought in to restore order to a directionless — some might say lawless — franchise … 7-9 was good enough to win the worst division in football. Having bought the ticket, Rivera’s club almost took the ride with a near Wild Card upset of the eventual Super Bowl champion Bucs. You could argue it was all a fluke, but Rivera didn’t even have the benefit of a real quarterback."
You can get the rest of the explanation here from Daugherty
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Rivera was just one spot ahead of Matt Nagy of the Bears, who made the playoffs as well last year, and he does have a higher winning percentage in his shorter career as a head coach than Rivera.
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Rivera, to us? He is a culture- and a people-changer. That should be good for a higher ranking next year.