There is no doubt that head coaches can make or break a franchise. In fact the head coach is the CEO of the team. He gets the praise and takes the crticism. As stated by Vincent Frank at MSN.com
"“As we’ve seen with Bill Belichick in New England, coaching is an important component to winning in the NFL. On the other side of the ledger coaches like Hue Jackson and Marvin Lewis continue to fail at every turn.”"
I am not sure that I agree with his failure statement but I can’t fault his statement about Belichick.
Let’s take a look at the AFC South head coaches. To start there are no long term coaches in the AFC South. Two are brand new, one is in his second year, and one is in his fifth year. Also the AFC South looks very competitive and similar in talent level so the coach could be the key.
To begin I rank Bill O’Brien of the Houston Texans the best in the AFC South. The reason is simply that he has the most experience. After all he coached the team to three winning seasons and back to back division titles from 2014 to 2016. Also he proved his worth by replacing the icon Joe Paterno at Penn State during a time of unbelievable chaos and stress and managed to produce a team with an 8-4 record. In addition he ranked #12 (MSN.com) and #15 (Fansided) among all NFL coaches.
However our own Doug Marrone is a very close second. He took on the hapless Jaguars and made them a winner. Likewise he turned the Buffalo Bills into winners during his two years as head coach. Marrone also turned the Syracuse team around as their head coach. He has been excellent in three situations. To add he ranked #13(MSN.com) and #16(Fansided) compared to all 32 NFL coaches.
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Next in line is
the new head coach of the Tennessee Titans. He played 18 years in the NFL and chalked up three Super Bowl wins. In fact he played for the Pittsburgh Steeler and New England Patriots so he knows what it takes to win. Among all NFL coaches he ranked #26(MSN.com) and #29(Fansided).
Finally we look at Frank Reich. To start he has twenty six years experience as a player and coach in the NFL. He coached Carson Wentz and was offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles. Although he has waited a long time for his opportunity as a head coach he looks like a winner. He ranked #29(MSN.com) and #30(Fansided) when compared with other NFL head coaches.
As you can see the AFC South has an impressive group of head coaches. Above all they are winners with years of experience. The rankings among NFL coaches may be artificially low due to their lack of head coaching experience and I expect those numbers to climb next season.
The AFC South is an exciting division with excellent coaches and numerous star players. 2018 will be an exciting and competitive season.