Is Mike McCarthy better than his #6 ranking?


For the past two seasons, Elliot Harrison, the NFL Media analyst for has ranked all 32 NFL head coaches and for the second straight year; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is ranked sixth overall this year, he same as last.

Harrison’s top 10 (from 1-10) coaches in 2013 looked like this:

1. Bill Belichick

2. Jim Harbaugh

Mike McCarthy has brought a winning tradition to Green Bay.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

3. John Harbaugh

4. Tom Coughlin

5. Sean Payton

6. Mike McCarthy

7. Mike Tomlin

8. Mike Shanahan

9. Jeff Fisher

10. Andy Reid

Here is what Harrison said last year about the Packers’ head guy:

"The NFL’s most relentlessly aggressive play caller has been nothing but a success in Green Bay. If there has been any issue with McCarthy, it’s early losses in the postseason. That’s splitting hairs, though. He’s had one losing season in seven on the job, while teaming with Aaron Rodgers to scare every defense in the league. The Packers haven’t finished out of the top 10 in scoring since 2006, McCarthy’s first year running the show in Green Bay. (AP Photo/David Stluka)"

Now let’s fast forward to 2014.

Here is Harrison’s most recent list – the one where Mike McCarthy once again finished sixth:

1. Bill Belichick

2. Sean Payton

3. Jim Harbaugh

4. John Harbaugh

5. Tom Coughlin

6. Mike McCarthy

7. Pete Carrol

8. John Fox

9. Mike Tomlin

10. Andy Reid

Here’s what he had to say about the 2014 version of Mike McCarthy:

"Another top-notch head coach who has his club in the playoffs every year. Yes, McCarthy’s group has been one-and-done in two of the past three postseasons, but the fact is, this team has made it every season since 2009 — and the Pack won it all in 2010. In addition to being a fine overall head man, McCarthy is a masterful play-caller."

What he doesn’t mention is McCarthy’s ability to overcome adversity, especially when it comes to injuries.

What he doesn’t mention is McCarthy’s ability to overcome adversity, especially when it comes to injuries. There’s no mention that McCarthy was without their best quarterback and their second-best wide receiver in 2013 and still miraculously won the division. Remember those comeback wins against the Falcons and Cowboys last season?

Maybe McCarthy’s spot at #6 is fine, but it’s curious that Tom Coughlin lost only one spot in the standings and is still ahead of McCarthy. It’s also interesting that last year’s two Super Bowl Coaches Pete Carroll and John Fox broke into the top 10, but only at 7 and 8.

We could debate it all day, but I’m not going to argue with this list … there re just too many intangibles.

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  • I will say that I’m very pleased with McCarthy’s overall performance these past eight years. His 65 percent in wins is nothing short of great. He’s won one Super Bowl, four division titles, and only three seasons when he didn’t win double-digit games (8-8 in 2006, his first season; 6-10 in 2008, his first with Aaron Rodgers; and 8-7-1 last season).

    And with 21 seasons in the professional ranks (eight with Green Bay) it doesn’t seem like the 50-year-old is losing any steam. Recently he said he figured he was at halftime of his career as a head coach which would give him at least another eight years in Green Bay. That’s probably just about about right in seeing Aaron Rodgers’ career through to its conclusion.

    McCarthy certainly has his detractors, especially when it comes to play-calling, but if there’s any coach who is more consistent or dedicated to their goals, I’m not sure who it is.

    Below are McCarthy’s career statistics