Jim Harbaugh - San Francisco 49ers
Jim Schwartz - Detroit Lions
Mike McCarthy - Green Bay Packers
Sean Payton New Orleans Siants
Mike Shanahan - Washington Redskins
It's has aways been said a coach need's a quarter of an NFL season to gage what kind of team he might have any given season. I think this particular season with what coaches had to overcome due to the lockout, fans around the NFL are finding out what kind of coach they have leading their teams thur the first quarter of this season. Above I've listed my top 5 coaches in the NFC who took advantage of the short window they had because of the work stoppage, and did an outstanding job of preparing their team's to start a very difficult season of NFL football.
( 1 )
Number one on my list is San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh who took over a 49ers team that finish the 2010 season's with a 6&10 record and going nowhere fast. A gapping hole at quarterback because up to this point their first's overall draft pick of the 2005 draft pick Alex Smith had done nothing to show he belonged in the NFL let alonethe number one pick in any draft. Harbaugh has brought a take no pioneers approach he learn from his super bowl winning coach Mike Ditka of the Chicago Bears. The 49ers have a toughness about them on both side of the ball and Harbaugh has found a way to reach his starting QB unlike coaches before him. If not for a questionable decision in the Dallas Cowboys game the 49ers might be one of three undefeated teams, however he's still number one on my list.
( 2 ) would have been easy putting Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz at the top of my list, however unlike Harbaugh his Lion's team was on everyone's radar as being a team to keep an eye on coming into the 2011 season. The Lions have started this season by winning their first 5 games and being one of only two teams who have yet to tasted a loss this season, which put him second on my list. The Lions enter this season with the key parts to fielded a playoff team. But with quarterback Matthew Stafford only having 13 starts in his first two seasons in the league, no one new if he could stand up to the pressure he would be under. Schwartz's has done a great job in the early stages of this season of instilling a winning attitude in his young team, and the believe's that anything is possible.
( 3 )Number three on the list is not a surprise it's coach Mike McCarthy of the super bowl champion Green Bay Packers. The hardest part of being a - champ is that most people expect you to do it again. So if you don't start the next season with a bang, the only place you can go is down. Coach McCarthy has shown Packers fans he has the pulse of his team. With all the questions he fielded during the lockout about if by his team not having team workouts, might it hurt his team's chances to repeat. Mike McCarthy not only let the media know but also Packers fan that he knew his team's was taking care of business during the lockout and when the season started they would be ready to defend their title. The Packers have taken up where they left off last season, by winning their first 5 games played, so far so good no super bowl hangover for this super bowl team.
( 4 )
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton come's in atnumber 4, and if not for the close lost to the defending super bowl champ's Packers he would be first on my list. Of all the coaches on my list, the job Payton has done to get his team off to a 4&1 start this season is probably the most remarkable. Without the ability to have contact with his players ( due to the lockout ) and no real way of knowing what affect the lost to the 7&9 Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the playoff's would have on his team, Payton had to be a little worry about his team's mind set going into this coming season. The one ace in a hole coach Payton had going for his-self was knowing his team leader and hall of frame QB Drew Brees was not going to let his teammates forget how their season ended. Brees using money out of his own pocket, got his team together and ran his own team workouts. If there was ever a team the needed this time together before the lockout ended it was the Saints. Payton has parlayed his QB's hard work with his own great coaching into an almost perfect start to the season and a big chance at dethroning Green Bay as super bowl champ's.
( 5 )
Rounding out my top 5 is coach Mike Shanahan of theWashington Redskins who has proven his handling of the Donavan McNabb situation was right and all us football know it all's were wrong. Shanahan also gave further credence to Eagles coach Andy Reid ( poor Andy needs badly to be right about something ) that McNabb has lost the ability to play quarterback in the NFL. Shanahan and owner Dan Snider own up to their's mistakes of last season and cut ties with the dead weight they carry on the team by saying goodbye to millions of dollars and parting ways with McNabb and the out of shape, I don't want to play the 3/4 defense Albert Haynesworth. In doing that Mike sent a massage to his team that he had the backing of his owner, so it was his way or the highway. Now with a strong defense and running game and also a quarterback who can run his system on offense. The Redskins are out to a 3&1 record and leading the dream team Eagles and the rest of the NFC east.
Although we are only a quarter of the way into this NFL season, theses five NFC coaches have been far and away the best at doing their jobs.
Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com