The PFW editorial staff was asked to rank the current crop of NFL head coaches from 1-32. The newest head coaches, especially those with no head-coaching experience on which to evaluate them, rank lower on the list than those head coaches who already have established track records — good or bad — at the pro level.
1. Bill Belichick — Might be one of the few meticulous planners who benefit from lockout.
2. Mike Tomlin — Brilliant coaching in 2010 with Big Ben saga; now freed of that.
3. Mike McCarthy — Trust is mutual between the coach and GM Ted Thompson.
4. Andy Reid — Will be questioned if Juan Castillo experiment goes awry.
5. Sean Payton — Knows he still can use Reggie Bush — at a far lower cost.
6. Tom Coughlin — Another coach who will account for every possibility this offseason.
7. John Harbaugh — Knows it is a critical season for Joe Flacco.
8. Rex Ryan — Has done more in first two seasons than many coaches do in a career.
9. Mike Smith — Keeping focus of young, talented team will be his prime mission.
10. Mike Shanahan — Many will question if he still has it if he can't produce a QB in D.C.
11. Lovie Smith — Panned at times locally, Smith just stays the course and keeps winning.
12. John Fox — Had string of .500-ish teams in Carolina, but rebuilding Broncos could use that.
13. Jim Caldwell — Some of Tony Dungy's former confidants are not there anymore.
14. Ken Whisenhunt — Get him a quarterback and he'll look a lot smarter.
15. Norv Turner — Shaky reputation took hit again with last season's failures.
16. Raheem Morris — Young gun slowly climbing the ladder with confidence.
17. Marvin Lewis — Often makes the most of some bad hands dealt to him.
18. Tony Sparano — Facing crucial season; must prove himself to impulsive owner.
19. Todd Haley — Seems like he can't help himself in terms of wanting control.
20. Pete Carroll — Rah-rah spirit obscures fact that he knows his X's and O's.
21. Jack Del Rio — Handling the QB situation could define his season, future in Jacksonville.
22. Chan Gailey — No one ever has (wisely) questioned his offensive acumen.
23. Gary Kubiak — Can he be great for one season? He might have to be.
24. Steve Spagnuolo — Garners great respect league-wide for his defensive schemes.
25. Jim Schwartz — Teaching his team to close out games was key development last season.
26. Jason Garrett — Followed Coach K in February to learn how a master runs his program.
27. Leslie Frazier — Win over Philly probably tipped scales for team to retain him as coach.
28. Ron Rivera — Finally gets his chance as Panthers try to build the Steelers South.
29. Jim Harbaugh — One of the more professional-appearing college coaches in some time.
30. Hue Jackson — In Oakland, dealing with Al Davis can be part of the coaching challenge.
31. Mike Munchak — Expect Titans to look a lot like the Jeff Fisher-run outfit.
32. Pat Shurmur — Comes with the most questions of any other first-year head coach.