In an article on Tuesday, NFL.com analyst Elliot Harrison asked himself a question: If we take at as a given that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is the premier head coach in the NFL, who follows him?
In other words... Harrison’s power rankings of NFL head coaches.
In his estimation, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is fourth in the pecking order — behind Belichick, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints.
Andy Reid helped the Chiefs get to their first conference championship game since 1993 (only their second since the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970), yet the quarterback received all of the credit. Somebody had to make the decision to go with Patrick Mahomes in the first place, right? Despite Mahomes’ obvious talent, it took guts to start the sophomore quarterback and trade away Smith, who led the NFL in passer rating in 2017. The result was a top playoff seed for an ascending Kansas City team, which manhandled the Colts on its way to an overtime loss to the Patriots in the AFC title game. Speaking of, that was Reid’s sixth trip to the penultimate game of the season, second among active coaches to you know who.
No one is likely to dispute that Belichick is a football genius — although he’s certainly had a big advantage to have had Tom Brady starting for him over the 18 seasons in which the Patriots have won six Super Bowls.
Neither will anyone dispute that Reid has a sterling record as a head coach. But it’s hard to find other coaches who have had as much success as Reid as achieved for himself — and also managed to teach other coaches to have similar success.
Reid’s former Chiefs offensive coordinator — Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson — is listed right behind Reid at fifth. Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears — another former Chiefs coordinator — is listed 14th. Between those two are former Reid assistant coaches John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens (seventh) and Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers (13th).
While Reid himself hasn’t yet won a championship, those four former Reid assistants are not only in the top half of the league (even by Harrison’s calculation) but have a pair of Super Bowl wins among them. Few coaches can lay claim to that.
So while it’s difficult to argue that Belichick doesn’t deserve to be at the top of Harrison’s list, there’s a case to be made that Reid should be ranked higher.
What do you think?
Andy Reid’s position in Elliot Harrison’s rankings is...
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