NFL: Ranking all 32 head coaches from 'Elite' to 'Barely Qualified'

In the latest in our tier ranking lists, we turn our attention to the head coaches in the National Football League and where we believe they stack up amongst their peers. 

Head coaches in the NFL come in all shapes and sizes, and on top of that, they also come in differing abilities as well. 

As a result, there are some coaches who have managed to stay in their jobs for an awful long time, with Bill Belichick being in charge of the New England Patriots since the turn of the millennium, whilst this offseason also saw 10 new head coaches being appointed, with the vast majority of them being given their first stint as the big dog on the team.

We have already ranked coaches on how safe they are in their job heading into the season, but that isn’t necessarily a reflection of where they stand as head coaches. Say for instance, in a total hypothetical, Sean McVay at the Los Angeles Rams decides to resign at the end of the season, or has a falling out with ownership and loses his job, you imagine he wouldn’t be out of the league for long, such is his standing within the league after the past few years. 

That’s what this list is all about, looking at what the coaches have done so far in their career and where they stand among their peers. 

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Where do the Pittsburgh Steelers play?

Using, we have ranked the 32 NFL head coaches into the following categories:


The best that the league has to offer, have proved they are more than capable over the years

Highly Capable: 

Just missing that something extra that would put them into the top group

Above Average:

Not the kind of coach that can turn around a franchise on their own, but certainly not a disaster either

Middle Of The Road: 

Nothing particularly special, perhaps better suited to being a coordinator rather than having the top job

League Rookies/Too Early To Tell:

Those that are taking on the role of head coach in the NFL for the first time this year, still to be determined if they are up to scratch

Below Average:

Definitely promoted above their capabilities based on their career so far

Barely Qualified:

Lucky to even be in the league

With the categories explained, it’s time to get into the list itself, which, as always, is subjective and might not necessarily reflect what you or someone else might think about their capabilities:

Elite: Bill Belichick, Andy Reid, Mike Tomlin

Highly Capable: Pete Carroll, Mike McCarthy, Sean McVay, Ron Rivera, John Harbaugh

Above Average: Kliff Kingsbury, Sean McDermott, Matt LaFleur, Frank Reich, Mike Vrabel, Kyle Shanahan

Middle Of The Road: Zac Taylor, Todd Bowles, Brandon Staley, Doug Pederson, Josh McDaniels, Nick Sirianni

League Rookies/Too Early To Tell: Lovie Smith, Nathaniel Hackett, Kevin O’Connell, Brian Daboll, Matt Eberflus, Dennis Allen, Mike McDaniel

Below Average: Matt Rhule, Robert Saleh, Kevin Stefanski, Arthur Smith

Barely Qualified: Dan Campbell

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