In an era where NFL coaches don’t have the longest hold on their respective jobs, it’s hard to determine who is the best of all time at their profession. In an era when the teams themselves are constantly changing, the coaches with the most success may not be the ones we remember the most.
The NFL is known for its coaching prowess — some people even call it the “coaching tree,” and the NFL draft is the “coaching tree” of the NFL. Whether it’s Bill Belichick, John Fox, Pete Carroll, Sean Payton, Josh McDaniels, HC Doug Marrone, HC Chip Kelly, HC Mike McCoy, HC/OC Mike Tomlin, HC/OC Sean Payton, HC Mike Shanahan, HC Sean Payton, HC/OC Mike Shanahan, HC/OC Mike Tomlin, HC/OC Sean Payton, HC/OC Chip Kelly, HC/OC Doug Marrone, HC/OC Mike Shanahan, HC/OC Josh McDaniels, HC/OC Doug Marrone or HC
The NFL is a league that celebrates its very nature as one that is constantly evolving and changing. With the addition of the salary cap, 4 down lineman and a less traditional running back, and the first time team was not a first place and last place team and the first time first and second place teams (the Colts and Eagles) had different coaches, you can make a case that there were ten different eras. The first ten years of the NFL created the first ten Super coaching stars.
Inquiring about the greatest NFL coach of all time is similar to enquiring about one’s favorite kid. After all, everyone has their own set of standards. The factors that make a coach the greatest are as varied as the routes to success, ranging from Super Bowls to general consistency. Regardless, the top ten NFL coaches of all time stand out for the whole package they provide.
Coaches with the most wins in the NFL
Don Shula, head coach of the Miami Dolphins, is flanked by his squad during Super Bowl VIII | Photo courtesy of Focus on Sports via Getty Images
The list of the winningest NFL coaches compiled by Pro-Football-Reference demonstrates the many pathways to success that coaches take. Don Shula had a history of overpowering opponents on his way to an NFL record of 328 victories. Even though he only won two Super Bowls, every coach who spends more than 30 years with the same team has something to teach the players.
During his off-and-on tenure with the Chicago Bears, George Halas accumulated 318 victories, nine pre-Super Bowl titles, and a lifetime of memories. Tom Landry, on the other hand, led the Dallas Cowboys to their status as America’s Club over a three-decade tenure as head coach before being dismissed by a new owner, Jerry Jones, as soon as the team was purchased.
Curly Lambeau, who coached the Green Bay Packers to over 200 victories and six titles from 1919 to 1949, earned the namesake of one of sports’ most renowned stadiums. He subsequently tried out for two other teams, but the Lambeau Leap and Vince Lombardi are as associated with the Packers as they are with the Lambeau Leap. He finished his career with 226 victories.
However, victories and losses only tell part of the narrative in the NFL, and winning only tells part of the story.
The all-time top ten NFL coaches
Several dozen NFL coaches have a stake in the top 10 list, as Sportsnaut’s list of the 20 best suggests, and it’s difficult to find a comprehensive version. These ten coaches, all Hall of Famers or potential Hall of Famers, have the greatest shot of winning the championship. (One apparent name stands head and shoulders above the others.)
10. Andy Reid: Reid’s Super Bowl victory in 2023 may have propelled him into the top ten. After all, his one flaw has always been his inability to get there. When he retires, he’ll almost certainly be a first-round Hall of Famer.
9. John Madden: During the 1980s, Madden made the Los Angeles Raiders the talk of the town. His Hall of Fame influence on the team may still be felt today, despite the fact that he only owns one ring.
8. Paul Brown: The Browns’ namesake established a team and named it after him, leading the club to three titles and 10-straight championship games over the course of 25 years.
7. Jimmy Johnson: An successor apparent to Tom Landry, Johnson is as well known for Jones throwing him off of the team as he is for starting off the late-’80s success after transferring from college.
6. Curly Lambeau: Lombardi is generally credited with inventing the Packers’ culture, but it would not have existed if Lambeau had not reigned over the team.
5. Tom Landry: Landry is still associated with the Dallas Cowboys. While other coaches may have had more success in terms of wins and losses, his time with the club remains remembered almost 30 years after his abrupt departure.
4. Bill Walsh: Walsh will be remembered for his Hall of Fame career with the San Francisco 49ers, where he was the face of one of the best offenses ever.
3. Don Shula: Shula spent three decades with the Miami Dolphins and is the only coach to guide his club to a flawless season. Shula helped change the sport, even though some of his teams were as humiliating as the ideal squad.
2. Vince Lombardi: When it comes to evaluating excellence with Super Bowls, Lombardi is patient zero. He is the trophy’s namesake, having won it twice, although he also won five championships prior to the NFL merger.
Who is the best NFL coach of all time?
Bill Belichick is the coach of the New England Patriots.
Is there anything more I should know? It’s Belichick, of course. Yes, Tom Brady had a role, but Belichick and the rest of the team brought him in and helped him become the best quarterback of all time. The 69-year-old owns six Super Bowl rings and will almost certainly be inducted into the Hall of Fame in whichever class he is eligible for.
Belichick may not be the most basic X-and-O guy on the bench. Perhaps his method worked for a club with the right mix of skill to warrant his eccentricities. In the NFL, luck is everything, and Belichick’s luck and talent propelled him to the top. Regardless of how long he’s along for the trip, if he makes it to the Super Bowl without the quarterback with whom he had a mutually beneficial connection, he’ll just add to his legacy.
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The most successful NFL coaches are the ones who can take a quarterback who possess little talent and turn him into an MVP candidate. The ability to do this is what separates the great coaches from the good ones. With that said, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best coaches of all time, and we’d like you to break them down and give us your opinions.. Read more about best college football coaches of all time and let us know what you think.
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