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Published: June 3, 2013 at 05:39 p.m.
Updated: June 4, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.

NFL Head Coach Power Rankings

What is the pecking order of NFL head coaches? We delved into this topic last year, and it's time to take stock of the various front men across the league in 2013. Eight teams have a new head man, adding another layer to this challenge. Tough choices abound. In fact, the competition is so stiff that the reigning Coach of the Year barely cracks the top 20. So, let's get started, counting down from No. 32 to 1. As always, your take is welcome: @Harrison_NFL is the dropbox.

32 Photos Total

  • 32) Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders 32

    32) Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders

    Someone has to hold down the cellar spot. Allen earns the dubious distinction after a miserable 2012 season in Oakland. Was it Allen's fault? Not necessarily, as the roster he inherited wasn't exactly the 1976 Raiders. Then again, neither was the Colts' roster, and look what Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians accomplished in Indy. Allen's area of expertise is on the defensive side of the ball, so it was especially disconcerting to see Oakland allow 27.7 points per game last year. (Ric Tapia/NFL)

  • 31) Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns 31

    31) Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns

    After spending the last two seasons in Carolina developing an offense around the superior athleticism of Cam Newton, Chudzinski has the tall task of getting Brandon Weeden to take the next step. He's also leading a team that's been in the AFC North cellar seven of the last 10 seasons. It's worth noting that Chudzinski was Cleveland's offensive coordinator when the Browns went 10-6 in 2007. Hey, he squeezed 29 touchdowns out of Derek Anderson, so anything is possible. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • 30) Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars 30

    30) Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars

    So, 30th just doesn't seem fair to Bradley. The former Seahawks defensive coordinator should do wonders for a Jaguars D that struggled up front. Unfortunately, Bradley gets rated behind all but one of the other new head coaches, mostly because of the situation he inherits, starting with a big question mark at quarterback. The fact that he hasn't been a head coach before also factors into this ranking. Again, though, he was outstanding in Seattle, where his defense led the NFL in points allowed last season. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

  • 29) Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers 29

    29) Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers

    McCoy brings versatility to the table in San Diego. Just think about what the new Chargers head coach has done over the past two seasons ... In 2010, he adapted the Broncos' offense to a zone-read scheme on the fly, catering to Tim Tebow's skill set. Last season, he formed the offense around Peyton Manning. Slight difference, but McCoy helped make the transition seamless. Now he inherits Philip Rivers, whose game has waned the last two years. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • 28) Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills 28

    28) Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills

    Most NFL fans don't seem to know much about Marrone, other than the fact that he was coaching Syracuse the last few years. What most people don't know is that he was Sean Payton's offensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2006 to 2008. The Saints' offensive rankings in those years: first, fourth and fourth. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

  • 27) Marc Trestman, Chicago Bears 27

    27) Marc Trestman, Chicago Bears

    Chicago might have won this offseason's award for "most unusual hire." One of the most intriguing aspects of Trestman joining the Bears is that he's the franchise's first offensive-minded head coach since Mike Ditka departed after the 1992 season (and even labeling Ditka in that manner is a stretch). Trestman has a TON of NFL experience, with the bright spots being his offensive-coordinator work with the 49ers in the mid '90s and the Raiders in the early 2000s. (AP Photo/Scott Boehm)

  • 26) Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles 26

    26) Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles

    Kelly carries a tremendous advantage into his initial foray as an NFL head coach: unpredictability. No one knows what the former Oregon Ducks boss is going to do offensively at the pro level -- or who he's going with at quarterback, for that matter. There's a lot more to the consensus 2010 college coach of the year than being a variable, though: He's generated an air of excitement in Philadelphia that's been absent for years. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

  • 25) Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers 25

    25) Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers

    The 2013 season is likely a make-or-break campaign for Rivera. The positive here is that the Panthers finished 2012 with five wins in their final six games. If Cam Newton comes out of the gate fast, and Rivera can coax premium play out of the secondary, Carolina could surprise some folks. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

  • 24) Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts 24

    24) Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts

    Pagano deserves much respect for all things life after last season. Charged with turning around an awful Colts club, he got the ball rolling in minicamps and preseason before being diagnosed with leukemia just three games into the 2012 campaign. That's when his staff picked up the slack. Pagano not only made it back before the end of the year, but was back on the sideline winning his first game upon returning. Also, let's not forget Pagano's pedigree as a defensive coordinator in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • 23) Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23

    23) Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Schiano certainly had his moments last year (specifically Victory Formation-gate in New Jersey). Unfortunately, a promising 6-4 start disintegrated into a 7-9 finish. When you consider his experience at Rutgers, and where the Bucs were under Raheem Morris in 2011, Schiano gets the nod over Chuck Pagano here. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

  • 22) Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans 22

    22) Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans

    The Hall of Fame lineman has much to prove as a head coach. Nobody remembers the Titans -- at least not the 2012 version. In fairness, Munchak improved on Jeff Fisher's 2010 team that went 6-10 by going 9-7 in his inaugural season. Last year, though, the club went 6-10, taking a sizeable step back. Jake Locker needs to take a step forward for Munchak to progress as an NFL head coach. (AP Photo/Joe Howell)

  • 21) Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins 21

    21) Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins

    Philbin might not have wowed people on "Hard Knocks," but he seemingly has changed the culture down in Miami. Much of the excitement this year stems from some big free-agent signings, like Mike Wallace. Nonetheless, how many fans -- including Dolphins fans -- legitimately thought this team would win seven games last year? (Ric Tapia/NFL)

  • 20) Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals 20

    20) Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals

    The reigning Coach of the Year ranks no higher than 20th on our list because of a lack of head-coaching experience. The job Arians did in 2012 was nothing short of outstanding, as he went 9-3 as the Colts' leader. Now he takes over a Cardinals team that is sorely in need of Arians' help on the offensive side of the ball. (The Cardinals finished 31st in scoring last year.) Much will depend on Carson Palmer and how well Arians can fix Arizona's pass protection. (AP Photo/Matt York)

  • 19) Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions 19

    19) Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions

    Talk about a head coach who inherited a mess. It took Schwartz awhile to turn things around in Detroit, but he did just that ... only to see everything fall to pieces again in 2012. Is his team closer to the outfit that made the postseason in 2011, or the one that lost eight in a row to finish last year? Schwartz and the Lions must rebound in 2013 -- as in, play at least .500 ball. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

  • 18) Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys 18

    18) Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

    Poor Jason Garrett. The Cowboys' head coach never gets an ounce of credit ... mostly because his club seems to disappoint everyone. You would think the Cowboys went 4-12 in each of the last two years, not that they were 8-8 and playing for the division title in the last week of each campaign. Garrett might not be the right man for the job in Dallas, but has he gotten a fair shake? That's a fair question. (AP Photo/James D Smith)

  • 17) Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings 17

    17) Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings

    No doubt about it: Frazier enjoyed a great season in 2012. But he just doesn't have the skins on the wall of the top-half coaches in this countdown. This is not to say that the Vikes can't progress and win a playoff game this year, but to this point, the former NFL cornerback still has much to prove in Minnesota. That process begins with the development of Christian Ponder. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross)

  • 16) Rex Ryan, New York Jets 16

    16) Rex Ryan, New York Jets

    This is a perfect spot for Rex: right in the middle. The Jets have been no less than a train wreck the last two years. Yet, while NFL fans far and wide love bashing Ryan, bear in mind that he led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons on the job. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

  • 15) Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks 15

    15) Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks

    Carroll is an interesting case. Yes, he's taken the Seahawks to the playoffs in two of his three seasons. And he did the same in New England. (He also inherited a Super Bowl squad with the Patriots.) Still, his record in Seattle is just 25-23. This season should tell us much about what kind of NFL head coach Carroll is. (Ric Tapia/NFL)

  • 14) Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals 14

    14) Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals

    Here's an underappreciated head coach. He's not the best coach in the league, but he has been steady. The Bengals have gone to the playoffs in three of the last four seasons and are definitely a club on the upswing. That said, Lewis really could use a postseason win to enhance his standing among his peers. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • 13) Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans 13

    13) Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans

    Like Lewis, Kubiak deserves more props. He has done a fine job in leading the Texans over his seven seasons in Houston. After inheriting a mess in 2006, the former caddy to John Elway has acquitted himself well as a head man, leading the franchise to its first playoff berth in 2011 (with a third-string quarterback in T.J. Yates down the stretch) and following up with a 12-4 record last year. (AP Photo/Kevin Terrell)

  • 12) John Fox, Denver Broncos 12

    12) John Fox, Denver Broncos

    Fox has guided Denver to division titles in each of his first two seasons at the helm, but the top-seeded Broncos bailed out of last postseason in their first playoff game. His curious decision to sit on the ball at the end of regulation in that game gnawed at some people. So did the Panthers' one-and-done in 2008. The criticism might be deserved, but as the stones are being thrown, hopefully the peanut gallery doesn't forget that Fox also took the Panthers to the Super Bowl. (Ric Tapia/NFL)

  • 11) Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons 11

    11) Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons

    Smith is easily the most successful coach in Atlanta Falcons history. Maybe that's why everyone gets so disappointed when the Falcons can't get over the playoff hump. Smith's Falcons took a positive step this past year, as Atlanta won a playoff game en route to the NFC Championship Game. Some will point to Atlanta's second-half collapses in the postseason, but that's nitpicky. You can't argue with Smith's record through five seasons -- five winning seasons, that is. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

  • 10) Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs 10

    10) Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

    Reid falls a bit due to the Eagles' immense struggles in 2011 and '12. Still, it's hard to look past five NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl berth. Give the man his due. There's a reason why Kansas City took, oh, about eight minutes to decide he was the franchise's next head coach. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • 9) Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams 9

    9) Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams

    If there is a dark-horse club that analysts seem to universally like this year, it's the Rams. Fisher is the man getting the credit for that, as he should. He's brought a toughness that this football team simply did not possess under Steve Spagnuolo. And, of course, Fisher has 18 years of head-coaching experience. (AP Photo/Paul Spinelli)

  • 8) Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins 8

    8) Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins

    Shanahan has taken a beating in recent years in the P.R. department, and even finished low in these rankings last year. Yet, he does deserve credit for getting the Redskins back on track in 2012, despite the Robert Griffin III injury debacle. Shanahan also possesses those two Super Bowl rings -- something only three active head coaches can claim. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • 7) Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers 7

    7) Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Deciding the Tomlin/Shanahan/Fisher pecking order was one of the most difficult aspects of this exercise. Yet, despite the Steelers' underwhelming 2012 campaign, Tomlin gets the nod over his two capable adversaries. Pittsburgh has only missed the playoffs twice in his six seasons, while going to two Super Bowls (and winning one). He's clearly entrenched as the head coach here, as the Steelers organization doesn't do knee-jerks. (Ric Tapia/NFL)

  • 6) Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers 6

    6) Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

    The NFL's most relentlessly aggressive play caller has been nothing but a success in Green Bay. If there has been any issue with McCarthy, it's early losses in the postseason. That's splitting hairs, though. He's had one losing season in seven on the job, while teaming with Aaron Rodgers to scare every defense in the league. The Packers haven't finished out of the top 10 in scoring since 2006, McCarthy's first year running the show in Green Bay. (AP Photo/David Stluka)

  • 5) Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints 5

    5) Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints

    Placing Payton fifth is quite difficult. He immediately turned the Saints around in 2006, and is one of only seven current head coaches to have a big fat Lombardi Trophy on his résumé. That being what it is -- and it's a lot -- getting suspended for a season cannot be ignored, as it dearly cost the 7-9 Saints. Had that never happened, Payton could have climbed all the way up to the No. 2 spot. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

  • 4) Tom Coughlin, New York Giants 4

    4) Tom Coughlin, New York Giants

    Owning two Super Bowl rings and always fielding a competitive team might call for a higher ranking than Coughlin's spot here. Yet, Coughlin's batting cleanup -- not second or third -- because New York has missed the postseason in three of the last four years. Let's not forget, though, that he's also still the most successful head coach in Jaguars history. (AP Photo/Damian Strohmeyer)

  • 3) John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens 3

    3) John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

    The older Harbaugh certainly deserves this honor after last season's magical run. He's led the Ravens to the playoffs in all five of his seasons in Baltimore. And one thing I love about John Harbaugh is his past as a special teams coach. This spawned an acute attention to detail, particularly in that area of the game (think: Jacoby Jones, Justin Tucker). (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

  • 2) Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers 2

    2) Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers

    Jim has a slight edge over John, if only because of his ability to get the best out of players who didn't perform under the old regime. That said, right now the Harbaughs are 2a and 2b. Jim Harbaugh earned this spot after proving that his maiden voyage in 2011 was not some big fantasy. Now he's dealing with big expectations, as the 49ers are once again considered favorites in the NFC. Winning 24 regular-season games and making a Super Bowl in his first two seasons as head coach is truly special, especially considering where the franchise was before he arrived.(Ric Tapia/NFL)

  • 1) Bill Belichick, New England Patriots 1

    1) Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

    Yes, it's Belichick at the top ... and then everyone else. It's truly remarkable that he's taken the Patriots to the playoffs in 10 of his 13 seasons, despite coaching in the salary-cap era, when opponents can cannibalize his club's depth. Remarkably, New England has suffered just one non-winning season during his tenure -- his first year at the helm back in 2000. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

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