February 28, 2023
The heart of the NFL offseason is drawing near, with the NFL Combine fully underway and free agency just a few weeks from now.
With the Eagles playing deep into February, their coaching staff will return with a different look as both their coordinators left for new opportunities as head coaches.
Five teams have new skippers for 2023, a total that is actually relatively low compared to recent years of coaching chaos. Who is the best coach in all of football right now? Where do Nick Sirianni, Andy Reid, Doug Pederson and others rank in relation to one another?
Jimmy Kempski, our Eagles beat writer, Evan Macy, the managing sports editor, Shamus Clancy, the deputy sports editor and Nick Tricome, a staff writer each ranked all 32 head coaches with one guideline in mind, looking to craft a hierarchy based on "what have you done for me lately" as well as a full career's body of work.
We averaged out the rankings and will discuss them below.
Here is a look at the NFL head coach power rankings for 2023:
1. Andy Reid, Chiefs (last year: 2)
Evan Macy: No brainer here. A lot of the rest of our rankings will create some arguments among our readers. This one I don't think is really arguable. His resume is impeccable.
Shamus Clancy: I'm indifferent on Reid when it comes to early 2000s nostalgia, but he just won his second ring, has had his teams in legitimate contention for the last two decades and is likely the second-best offensive mind ever behind Bill Walsh.
2. Doug Pederson, Jaguars (last year: 12)
Evan: He is too high here. He's a fantastic coach who I am definitely fond of, but I think he deserves to be lower in the top five or ten.
Shamus: He brought the Jaguars back to respectability (were they ever there to begin with?) and actually won a playoff game, a rarity for Jacksonville. His aggressiveness has proved influential throughout the league and he still stands by those hallmarks. Trevor Lawrence under Pederson compared to Lawrence under Urban Meyer is a hell of a difference.
3. Nick Sirianni, Eagles (last year: 15)
Evan: Sirianni kind of got overlooked this year. He took a good team, and met expectations with them. Many other coach of the year narratives, like Brian Daboll's, emphasize getting the most out of a crappy team. I don't see how winning 14 games and being a score from a world championship isn't more impressive than leading a mediocre team to lose in the playoffs.
Shamus: Sirianni embodies the "dog mentality" he preaches to the Eagles and the team has taken on his identity. I don't expect the Birds' offense to miss a beat with a new offensive coordinator and play-caller in 2023 because of Sirianni's overarching presence.
4. Bill Belichick, Patriots (last year: 3)
Shamus: He's the 🐐 coach, but his teams in New England have floundered as of late, dropping him down in my own personal rankings.
5. Kyle Shanahan, 49ers (last year: 4)
Evan: Who knows what happens if the Eagles pass rush doesn't decimate all of San Francisco's active quarterbacks in the NFC title game.
6. Sean McDermott, Bills (last year: 6)
Nick Tricome: A good coach and a good team that unfortunately has to battle with Cincinnati and Kansas City for greatness for the foreseeable future.
7. Zac Taylor, Bengals (last year: 11)
Nick: Some questionable playcalling, but has had a team in contention every year since Joe Burrow returned healthy. Again, just has to battle Buffalo and Kansas City for supremacy for the foreseeable future.
8. Sean Payton, Broncos
Evan: Really intrigued to see how he handles Russell Wilson and the badly underachieving Broncos this next season.
Shamus: He's a Hall of Fame coach and a top-two play-caller in the 21st century, but I wonder where he handles himself after his short-lived retirement. Working magic with whatever's left of Russell Wilson could catapult him back to the top tier he inhabited for so long.
9. Mike Tomlin, Steelers (last year: 8)
Evan: Tomlin might deserve more praise. He just doesn't have losing seasons.
Shamus: There's something to say about consistently bringing a level of competency to an NFL team without ever truly falling off. Tomlin's great.
10. Sean McVay, Rams (last year: 1)
Evan: A fall from first to 10th might be unfair for an offensive genius who basically lost all his good players to injury last season.
Nick: But to Evan's point, maybe not the guy for a team that could be staring down a rebuild after so many win-now moves.
11. Dan Campbell, Lions (last year: 26)
Evan: The trajectory is extremely high for Campbell, who was an ideal Hard Knocks coach last summer.
Shamus: I love hilariously watching Campbell from afar and it's commendable the way he had the Lions fighting in 2022, but he's not quite the guy I would want as the head coach of my own team.
12. Pete Carroll, Seahawks (last year: 13)
Shamus: I thought Carroll was fading as he got up there in age, but he rebounded at 71 years old in the post-Russell Wilson era with a reinvigorated Seahawks team. I had him top five in my own rankings.
13. John Harbaugh, Ravens (last year: 10)
Nick: Much like Tomlin with the Steelers, Harbaugh has kept the Ravens pretty consistent for a long time, but after a rocky year and with Lamar Jackson's uncertain future, you do have to wonder if there's an end of the line coming.
14. Brian Daboll, Giants (last year: 27)
Evan: I'm sorry, he's overrated guys.
Nick: The job he did was commendable, but I'm not sure how sustainable.
15. Mike Vrabel, Titans (last year: 5)
Nick: The Titans fell apart last season, but I think it says a lot that they fired their GM and held on to him. Granted, after that decision, Tennessee dropped their remaining five games, though I think the roster gives Vrabel the benefit of the doubt for that one.
16. DeMeco Ryans, Texans
Evan: I covered Ryans when he played for the Eagles and watched him from afar as one of the best defensive coordinators in the league. He'll be calling the shots for an awful team in Houston but I wouldn't be surprised if they become respectable under his watch.
17. Shane Steichen, Colts
Shamus: Perhaps a hot take... Steichen was more influential when it came to the 2022 Eagles than Frank Reich was with the 2017 Eagles. Everything begins and ends with Indy's ever-changing quarterback situation, but Steichen pairing with someone like Bryce Young or Anthony Richardson could be the spark this franchise desperately needs.
18. Matt LaFleur, Packers (last year: 7)
Nick: I think LaFleur's success and the Packers' immediate future are highly dependent on Aaron Rodgers. He wasn't at his best for much of last season, and right now, we don't even know if he'll still be a Packer by the summer.
19. Kevin O'Connell, Vikings (last year: 24)
Nick: A 13-4 division winner that had a negative point differential and bowed right out of the playoffs. I don't think the Vikings are going to get away with that again.
20. Mike McCarthy, Cowboys (last year: 18)
Evan: He did lead an injured Dallas team to the playoffs. Are we underrating him here?
21. Mike McDaniel, Dolphins (last year: 22)
Nick: McDaniel was my coach of the year pick going into the season, then Tua Tagovailoa got badly concussed under circumstances that were entirely avoidable. The Dolphins did make the playoffs and nearly pulled off an upset over the Bills, and Miami may be a more consistent team going forward, but year one did leave me a lot more skeptical.
22. Frank Reich, Panthers (last year: 14)
Nick: Hey, anyone can take the reins of the NFC South right now, so you never know.
23. Robert Saleh, Jets (last year: 23)
Nick: The Jets had their issues at quarterback, but do have some good players and took some actually promising strides. They're in a brutal division, but Saleh and Joe Douglas do have them in a much better spot than where they were.
24. Brandon Staley, Chargers (last year: 17)
Evan: His game management is awful. The Chargers have a very good roster and perhaps they should have made a change here.
Shamus: Staley has actively harmed the development of Justin Herbert even as a defensive-oriented coach. Astounding stuff from this media darling.
25. Kevin Stefanski, Browns (last year: 16)
Nick: The Cleveland Browns have been a mess – or just haven't existed at all – for the majority of my life. I don't see how Stefanski fixes that.
26. Ron Rivera, Commanders (last year: 19)
Shamus: Can Washington even afford (literally, not figuratively) to fire Rivera? It's overdue, but everything feels overdue when it comes to this disaster of an organization.
27. Todd Bowles, Buccaneers
Shamus: He's the archetypal "elite coordinator, but not a good head coach" guy.
28. Jonathan Gannon, Cardinals
Shamus: How can Cardinals fans feel optimistic after watching Gannon's defense get slaughtered in the Super Bowl, only to see their team hire him shortly after? This has one-and-done potential to me.
29. Dennis Allen, Saints (last year: 28)
Nick: The Saints did beat the Eagles this year and there aren't many teams who can claim that. Still, Allen's in a weird spot trying to transition New Orleans out of the Drew Brees-Sean Payton era. I don't envy it.
30. Matt Eberflus, Bears (last year: 30)
Shamus: Eberflus is in a tough spot, almost as if he was set up to fail with this roster, maybe the NFL's worst this past year. If 2023 is another season where Chicago wins less than a handful of games and they look elsewhere at the quarterback position, Eberflus is likely gone without ever having a chance to put a stamp on this team. Bad organizations stay bad, right?
31. Arthur Smith, Falcons (last year: 31)
Shamus: He's just not an NFL head coach. Pretty simple. His work as the offensive coordinator in Tennessee may be overrated in retrospect.
32. Josh McDaniels, Raiders (last year: 20)
Nick: I don't know how it isn't common knowledge by now to never hire a Belichick assistant, and yet, here we are.
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