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ESPN's excellent series listing the top 20 all time greatest NFL head coaches
finished where the Super Bowl began with Vince Lombardi. It's hard to argue with his place at the top of the list.
Lombardi introduced a football philosophy built upon discipline, precision and accountability to the suffering Green Bay Packers franchise. His influence can still be found in the game today and the NFL's greatest prize still bears his name.
The rankings were compiled by a select group of ESPN analysts that included Colin Cowherd, Mike Ditka, Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini and others. Check it out below:
- Vince Lombardi
- Bill Walsh
- Don Shula
- George Halas
- Chuck Noll
- Paul Brown
- Bill Belichick
- Tom Landry
- Joe Gibbs
- Curly Lambeau
- Bills Parcells
- John Madden
- Jimmy Johnson
- Tom Coughlin
- Bud Grant
- Hank Stram
- Marv Levy
- Sid Gillman
- Mike Shanahan
- Tony Dungy
That's a pretty strong list, but I'd argue some changes need to be made. I've already stated
that I believe John Madden should be rated higher, at least in the top 10. I'd also move Parcells into the top 10 -- at least -- and Joe Gibbs a few spots down (bias aside, he wont three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks).
It's hard not to consider Paul Brown as not a top five candidate, but I couldn't possibly move Chuck Noll, George Halas, Don Shula and Bill Walsh from their placings.
Placing Bill Belichick so high could draw some criticism, but he has won three Super Bowls and appeared in five during his time with the Patriots, and won two other Super Bowls as an assistant under Parcells.
Of that list, three are still coaching in the NFL (Belichick, Coughlin and Shanahan) and all three could add to their legacy, giving them an immediate bump on this list. Two are Washington Redskins coaches, three are Dallas Cowboys, two are New York Giants -- go the NFC East! -- and two are Green Bay Packers.
What do you think? Who should be added or removed from this list?
Greatest Coaches In NFL History [ESPN.go.com]