NFL.com has been dropping various lists and power rankings as we get closer to the opening date of training camps around the league. Yesterday, our Dave Holcomb took issue at how the site slighted the Falcons wide receivers on their lists. Today, we’re going to look at how NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison ranks the league’s head coaches.
No one should be questioning that Bill Belichick tops this list, no matter what you think about him and the New England Patriots. What can be analyzed closer is, does Falcons coach Dan Quinn deserve his rating at No. 11, just behind Mike Zimmer and one ahead of the Indianapolis Colts’ Frank Reich.
Quinn did come in and right the team after the Falcons began to spiral down under Mike Smith. Overall, in four seasons as the Falcons head coach Quinn’s record is 36-28 for a .563 winning percentage. In his second season at the helm he guided the Falcons to an 11-5 record and an appearance in Super Bowl LI. Quinn followed that up in 2017 with a 10-6 record to make the playoffs as an NFC Wild Card.
Should the Falcons 7-9 record last season really drop Quinn down into the second tier of NFL head coaches though? The Vikings have only made the playoffs twice in Zimmer’s five seasons in Minnesota. Yes, the Vikings went to the NFC Championship game in 2017 but could only follow up with an 8-7-1 finish last season. Zimmer has a .594 winning percentage as Minnesota’s head coach but is only 1-2 in the postseason.
Also, Anthony Lynn has done a great job turning the Los Angeles Chargers around in his two seasons as a head coach. Still, it’s a stretch to put him in the No. 8 spot with a resume of two seasons and one playoff appearance as a head coach.
Looking at Quinn’s four-year record with the Falcons, his defenses have not been the team’s strong point. The argument that those results should be laid at the feet of defensive coordinators Richard Smith and Marquand Manuel don’t hold water. Quinn came into Atlanta with the reputation of being a defensive genius due to the results he achieved in Seattle.
Still, Quinn has achieved better, more consistent results than Mike Zimmer has with the Vikings. Anthony Lynn might, eventually, be recognized as one of the top head coaches in the league but he’s only heading into his third season on the job in 2019.
Quinn is essentially being punished for the Falcons 2018 season, when injuries took a big toll on a talented roster. Heading into 2019, Dan Quinn is still among the top 10 best NFL coaches.