As an avid sports fan, you will concur that a winning team consists of more than just the players’ ability on the field. A lot is hinged on having skilled coaches to lead them out in the battle.
Now, the last ten years of the NFL have been exciting on the pitch but how frequently do we credit the marvelous play to coaches on the sidelines? Well, here are the best NFL coaches who have stood a cut above the rest in the past decade:
Bill Belichick-New England Patriots
One of the easier choices on the list has got to be Belichick. The New England Patriots coach is one of the NFL stars of the last decade. He has picked up 3 Super Bowl wins coupled with 3 more AFC championships in the past decade. Belichick has an incredible 141 consistent season and playoff wins in this decade alone! The fact that his New England Patriots have won their division virtually every season of this decade should say plenty about Belichick’s extraordinary coaching talents. He has got to be one of the best NFL coaches ever!
Andy Reid-Philadelphia Eagles/Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid began the decade by winning the NFC East with the 2010 Eagles. He also managed to lead them to the playoffs six times before joining the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. The only blip to his star was the elusive Super Bowl title. Well, Andy Reid finally hoisted the Super Bowl 2020 crown, ending that 21-year winning run without a trophy to show for his talents.
John Harbaugh-Baltimore Ravens
The last decade was quite bumpy on the Ravens. They had to bear with many changes. That said, John and his troops have had quite a success in his thirteen-year tenure. He has had one of the highest playoff wins in the history of the NFL! He is known for his capability to change his tactics as new members join and leave the Ravens. It serves to highlight the influence he has had as a coach. Many even argue that he is currently the best head coach in the league!
Sean Payton-New Orleans Saints
Payton began the decade by winning the Super Bowl in February of 2010. He has kept that winning run for most of the decade, even though he missed the playoff for three consecutive years and got suspended for an additional season over what was known as the Bounty scandal. He has a 133-77 record over his 13 seasons with the New Orleans Saints.
Mike Tomlin-Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Tomlin recently signed a contract extension that will keep him with the Steeler through to 2024. In his 14 seasons at the helm, he has led the Steelers to AFC North titles, nine playoffs, and two Super Bowl appearances. The 2019 season might be his most remarkable coaching achievement to date. Tomlin is also the only coach to win the Super Bowl twice under the age of 40. He is also the second-ever African American coach to win the Super Bowl!
Sean McVay-Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had a bumpy 2019 season attracting critics, but they still managed to keep one of their most significant assets with a 5-year contract. He was hired in 2017 at the tender age of 30, taking the Rams to a first Super Bowl appearance in 17 years. He also managed a 24-8 regular season record coupled with a pair of postseason victories.
Kyle Shanahan-San Francisco 49ers
Shanahan is 41 years old and, just like Andy Reid, is a great tactician, particularly on the offensive side. It’s hard to judge Shanahan’s overall performance because until the 2019 season came about, he had quite a bumpy ride. Credit to Shanahan, though. He managed to change fortunes around leading them to the NFC championship win in 2020. He is also known as one of the most diverse and progressive coaches in the NFL. He has a team featuring women and people of all colors!
Pete Carroll-Seattle Seahawks
When Pete Carroll joined the Seahawk from USC, many critics dismissed his credentials at the top level. They couldn’t have been more wrong! He has won one Super Bowl in this decade, nearly won another, and has turned the Seattle Seahawks into serial winners. He is already the longest-tenured and winningest coach in the team’s history.
Doug Pederson-Philadelphia Eagles
Doug has been around as a player and most recently returning to lead the Eagles. He delivered one of the great coaching achievements ever in winning a Super Bowl in 2017. In this third season, Pederson had to deal with many injuries in his time with the Philadelphia Eagles that eventually led to his sacking in January 2021.
Last but not least, there is another familiar name in Ron Rivera. For the better part of the decade, he led the Panthers for 9 seasons. He managed to take them to four playoff appearances and a Super Bowl showdown in 2014. He lost to the Denver Broncos. He is also two-time NFL coach of the year. Sadly, the arrival of a new owner led to his sacking in 2018 but he now has a home with the Washington Football Team (previously the Washington Redskins). He has already led them to an NFC East title, despite facing hurdles like fighting Cancer, the ongoing Pandemic and transitions in the team. We hope there is more to come from the veteran!
There is no denying that any top sporting team needs a good coach driving them from the sidelines. You will see them barking instructions, crafting play strategies and urging their teams on, even in tough situations. The best coaches are judged by the impact they make and the trophies they pick along the way!