"So this is where it ends?
This is where it all goes down?
This is what I don't love you,
It ain't the middle of the night,
And it ain't even raining outside!
It ain't exactly what I had in mind,
For goodbye ...
At a red light!
In the sunshine!
On a Sunday, nothing to say --
Don't even try!
Some are coming home;
Some are leaving town!
While my world's crashing down,
On a Sunday, in the sunshine?
At a red light ..."
Do you realize that exactly fifty nine days from right now, we’ll be exiting the Truman Sports Complex, having witnessed the first preseason game of the season?
(And thanks again, NFL schedule gurus, for scheduling a preseason game … in Kansas City … in August … for a 3:30pm kickoff. Jesus. I mean, it’s going to be 101 tomorrow – 101! On the sixteenth of June! It might be 112 come August 13th! (Pause). Not that I have a problem with that. No, seriously, it’s one of my rules in life: any day hot enough when you wake up, that the thought of putting ON a t-shirt seems like the most ridiculous idea in the world? Is a perfect weather day.)
In the interest of fairness and honesty – only one of those of which I can credibly be accused of living my life with – this is highly likely to be the last Chiefs season covered on this site. I honestly don’t have the free time I used to, to be able to post. I don’t have the desire I used to have, to crank out this poorly written stuff that about 15 people on an average day read. (bruce willis in “armageddon” voice) No, not poor – I said p*ss poor! Thanks Bruce. You’re the best.
But if the end is near, then let’s close this down properly … with the one annual gift to you I have almost never failed to provide: Stevo’s NFL Coaches Power Poll!!!!
As always, the ground rule reminders:
1. These are my rankings. They are based on nothing but my opinion of these 32 men who grace our sidelines and our televisions every Sunday from September to New Year’s.
2. A 1 ranking means I think you are Chuck Noll good. (I believe Mr. Noll is the greatest coach in NFL history. Deal with it.) A 32 ranking means you are in the company of such fine, fine disgraces such as Rich Kotite, Bruce Coslet, Al Groh, Joe Walton … hell, just pick a Jets coach from the last thirty years not named Bill Parcells, and you can make an argument they’re the worst coach in NFL history. Including you, Sal Alosi.
3. Every year there is one coach I irrationally love, who is ranked a solid 10-12 spots higher than he probably deserves to be. We’ll call this dude the “Wayne Fontes Memorial Coach”, out of respect for my favorite head coach in NFL history.
(I mean, how can you hate a guy whose owner, when asked about Mr. Fontes’ status, notes “well, I didn’t fire him, and he didn’t quit, so I guess he’ll be back next year”? How can you hate a man who inspired Chris Berman’s greatest nickname ever (“Rasputin”)? How can you hate a man openly mocked by his starting quarterback – who himself was possibly the biggest free agent bust of the 1990s? (He wasn’t – cue every Jets fan screaming “Neil F*cking O’Donnell!” in unison. But Scott Mitchell was eight layers of awful.)
And how in the hell can you hate a man whose firing literally caused the greatest running back in NFL history, to say "f*ck it, I quit" in response to said firing? I'm telling you, Wayne Fontes is highly underrated folks. Highly underrated.)
4. Wherever “Fat” Andy Reid lands? (And same for every other coach.) Every coach already listed, I would take “Fat” Andy Reid over. Every coach that appears after “Fat” Andy? I’d fire “Fat” Andy to hire.
That, incidentally, is what this entire post is born out of – after the Chiefs beat the donkeys in Week Four 2000, “The Voice of Reason” and I debated whether Gunther Cunningham was actually a decent head coach, or the luckiest sumbeach on the sideline. So we went through the list of coaches to see where Ol’ Confident and Classy ranked. I was shocked – shocked! – at how many incompetent idiots ran NFL franchises in 2000.
Sadly, there’s no Mike Martz, Mike Sherman, “The” Art Shell “Face”, “Drunk” Denny Green, “Drunk” Dennis Erickson, Mike “Meathead” Tice, Eric Mangini, “Coach Buffoon”, Mike Nolan, Josh McDaniels, Greg Schiano, Marty Mornhinweg, Rod Marinelli, Norval Eugene Turner, Dom Capers, Scott Linehan, Brad “Chilly” Childress, Dave Campo, or countless other god-awful sh*ttacular coaches from the early 2000s to kick around anymore.
But there is still Numero Thirty Two … who somehow is now coaching his THIRD different franchise, despite enjoying zero success in stops uno and dos!
That seems as good a place as any, to get this thing started …
Key: Rank (Previous Year’s Rank). Coach, Team. Comments / Reasoning.
And here is last year’s Power Poll for the uninformed, and / or the curious:
32 (NR). Mike Mularkey, Tennessee Titans. How in God’s name is Mike Mularkey running a NFL franchise? He sh*t the bed in Buffalo, would have probably raped said proverbial bed in Jacksonville if they hadn’t seen the light and pulled the plug after one season … but good ol’ Tennessee, they apparently see something in this failed stench of a coach that no other NFL franchise, or any Tennessee Titans fan, sees.
Poor Marcus Mariota. He might regress five seasons by Week Three, under Mr. Mularkey’s coaching acumen and wisdom.
(Also, poor Nicole. I have a great friend up in Dakotaland, who is a huge Titans fan. Needless to say, she's not looking forward to December 18th. And there's no way you can blame her, for dreading that roadie to Arrowhead.)
31 (32). Jim “Corpse” Caldwell, Detroit Lions. Ol’ Corpse moves up a spot due solely and completely to Mike Mularkey’s hire in Nashville. Trust me – Ol’ Corpse has earned his sh*ttacular ranking. (Cue every Lions fan and Colts fan nodding in abject agreement.)
30 (NR). Ben McAdoo, New York Giants. I have very few rules in life, but one I strictly believe in is this: if you’re gonna fire someone? You’d better make DAMNED sure his or her replacement, is a marked improvement over what you’re letting go. Ben McAdoo is not an improvement over Tom Coughlin. Not now, not ever. Of course, this being the Giants, they’ll keep Mr. McAdoo for six years, post six ten loss seasons, and then extend the guy for another couple years since “he’s turning the corner”. There’s a difference between loyalty and stupidity, Giants organization. Stop being stupid.
29 (NR). Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins. A two spot rise over his predecessor. That’s not intended as a compliment.
I hated this hire, by the way. Mr. Gase may be your stunning poop can, come January 2, 2017.
28 (30). gary “krap of” kubiak, satan’s squad. Can we just be honest here? Son Of Bum is the reason those people won the Lombardi. (That, and the single most indefensible play of Jamaal Charles’ career.) “krap of” kubiak was just along for the ride.
Having said that … am I the only one who thinks those people caught a gigantic break when brock “traitor” osweiler bolted for Houston? Would you want to pay that cowardly traitor $37 million dollars over the next two years to go (at best) 10-6 and get rolled in the Divisional Round? You can legitimately argue that cowardly traitor is the WORST starting quarterback in that division. And until Mr. Luck extends in a month or so, he’s the highest paid starting quarterback in that division. What a joke. Houston deserves so much better than Rick Smith at the helm.
You know, that’s not a bad idea – a Stevo’s NFL GM Power Poll! Because Ricky? You’re 32 … and there’s nobody else even in the running, for the “Whoever the Vikings GM in 1989 Was” Memorial worst GM designation, in the league.
(I guess this is where I note, when you run a NFL franchise that wins a division championship not even two years after appearing in a NFC Title Game, and you don't have a Wikipedia page devoted to you? You're eight layers of sh*ttacular. Take a bow, Mike Lynn ... whoever you are.)
27 (25). Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons. Honestly, you could put everyone from about 18 to 27 into a hat, draw out names, and rank them by that method. These next 8, 9, 10 head coaches are perfectly mediocre. They’re not going to embarrass you … but they’re not going to inspire you to (the postal service voice) such great heights.
26 (18). Mike McCoy, San Diego “Super” Chargers. I actually think Mr. McCoy is a decent head coach. Sh*t, anyone who can lead an offense led by Our Risen Lord and Savior Timothy R. Tebow to a Divisional Round berth knows his, uuh, sh*t. But let’s be honest here – the ONLY reason Mr. McCoy is still employed as a head coach, is because the “Super” Chargers had no idea what the future held when last season ended – namely, LA, San Diego, or (keane voice) somewhere only (they) know. Ditto for the next coach on this list …
25 (16). Jeff Fisher, Los Angeles Rams. At some point, looks stop working for you. (I wouldn’t know; I’m still better looking at 39, than 99.47% of the male population … and damned proud of it.) Jeff Fisher hasn’t posted a winning season since 2008. 2008! And yet he’s been employed every year since! Nice work if you can get it.
(And if you get it? Won’t you tell me how? )
24 (29). Todd Bowles, New York (fireman ed voice) J! E! T! S! Jets Jets Jets!!!!!!!
I actually feel bad for Mr. Bowles. This schedule is so brutal, I’m not sure The Hooded One could milk nine wins out of it. 6 of the first 9 (a stretch of 6 out of 8) on the road, and the home games are Cincinnati, Seattle, and Baltimore (who will rebound this year)? Dios con mio!
He should have risen higher than five spots, if I’m being honest. I just haven’t gotten over the no-show in Buffalo to end the season yet.
23 (NR). Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I like this hire. A lot. I think Tampa is going to be a force in the NFC over the next five years.
22 (15). Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys. Glad that Jerry didn’t overreact to one injury plagued season *.
(*: in my (rarely right, but also rarely humble) opinion, the single biggest mistake Jerry’s made in his tenure as the Cowboys guru, wasn’t firing Jimmy Johnson (it was inevitably going to happen), and it wasn’t hiring Barry Switzer (again, it was inevitably going to happen). The single biggest mistake he’s made, was firing Chan Gailey after the 1999 season collapsed, and died in the Metrodome in the wild card round. Chan Gailey took over the remnants of The Triplets, and bilked two playoff berths and a division title out of two seasons. Only one Cowboys head coach has ever failed to win at least two playoff games, and has a losing record – Mr. Gailey’s successor, Dave Campo, who went 15-33 in his three seasons (finishing 5-11 each and every year). The lesson? Don’t overreact when your season collapses due to irreplaceable injuries. (In 1999, Michael Irvin’s career ended in Week Four at Philadelphia, Moose Johnston’s career ended before the season began, Troy Aikman missed multiple starts, Greg Ellis blew out a (al michaels voice) knee in Week Two, and somehow, someway, this fatally flawed squad made the playoffs.
Don’t overreact, when injuries derail your season. On that, I know I’m right.)
21 (28). Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars. If the 2016 Jags are who I think they’re going to be? Mr. Bradley will be ten spots higher if another Stevo’s NFL Coaches Power Poll is posted. If they aren’t? Mr. Bradley won’t be included in said another Stevo’s NFL Coaches Power Poll; he’ll be unemployed.
20 (17). Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals. For the record, I’d have fired Mr. Lewis after the playoff defeat to Pittsburgh. For the same reason I’d have fired Marty Schottenheimer after the 1996 Chiefs season, and the same reason the Chicago Bulls fired Doug Collins after the 1989-1990 Bulls season.
At some point? You can’t take a team any farther. You’re not going to get them over the hump, past the finish line.
The 2016 Cincinnati Bengals are going 5-11 or worse. You heard it here first.
19 (10). “Sexy” Rexy Ryan, Buffalo Bills. If the 2016 Buffalo Bills are who I think they’re going to be? “Sexy” Rexy will be unemployed when I turn 40, a little over six months from now. If the 2016 Buffalo Bills aren’t who I think they’re going to be? “Sexy” Rexy will be at least five spots higher in any future Stevo’s NFL Coaches Power Poll.
18 (19). “Riverboat” Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers. He got taken to woodshed by Son of Bum ** in that Super Bowl, and given the business in the sport's biggest moment like few coaches have ever been given the business. I’m more down on Carolina entering this season than most … but I still think they’ll win the NFC South, and win at least a Wild Card Round game.
(**: let’s just address the Captain Oats in the room, shall we? I HATE the denver broncos. I DESPISE them. They are evil incarnate, and every single fan of those people is indwelt by at least a demon, if not satan himself. Having said that … I LOVE Son of Bum. I totally dig the guy. Always have, always will. I love people who don’t take themselves seriously … and I really love people who don’t give a sh*t about the moment; when the moment is so enjoyable? Enjoy it! (Note: I scoured YouTube! for video of his hiring as donkeys head coach in 1993; I found nothing. But if you remember the moment? That was priceless. And awesome.)
So I capitalize Son of Bum for the same reason I capitalize Real Mile High: you respect greatness, when you see it. (But you’ll never capitalize fake mile high, right?) F*ck no I won’t!)
17 (20). Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers. You can write in Sharpie ink “10-6, NFC Wild Card Team”, as a floor, for any team he coaches, no matter who is under center.
You also can write in Sharpie ink “10-6, NFC Wild Card Team”, as a ceiling, for nearly every team he coaches, no matter who is under center.
16 (NR). Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles. The highest rated first-time coach in this poll. I happen to be higher on Philly than most NFL fans three months out from the start of the season. (That, or just higher than most Philly fans. (Pause). On second thought, I’m not sure that outcome, is possible.) Doug Pederson impressed the hell out of me the last three years with the Chiefs. If you get a chance, go back and watch the game against the Bills on Thanksgiving weekend last year. That was an offensive coaching masterpiece (by both squads, to be fair). Mr. Pederson completely had Buffalo on their heels all day – and it ain’t like “Sexy” Rexy doesn’t know how to put together a defensive gameplan.
I totally see Philly as the “where the hell did they come from?!?!?!” stunning Wild Card team in the NFC. You’re gonna love this hire, Philly fan. You’re gonna love it.
15 (6). John Fox, Chicago Bears. The next three, four, five coaches to appear? Just pull out that mythical hat again, and draw names. You can’t go wrong with any of these guys.
14 (7). Chip Kelly, San Francisco 49ers. For those of you who question my sanity on this … you are aware the only non-Patriots team to win in Foxboro last year was coached by Chip, right? You are aware that the Eagles entered Week Sixteen against the Redskins controlling their own destiny, right? It’s not like last year was a complete and total debacle in Philadelphia. The Eagles collapsed under expectations, true … but they controlled their own destiny to win the division with two to play! And THAT got Coach Kelly fired?!?!?!?! He’ll turn the 49ers around if given a couple years.
(Which means he’ll be coaching elsewhere by the spring of 2018.)
13 (24). Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins. You can count on three fingers, the number of coaches to win a division during “Chainsaw” Dan Snyder’s reign of error: Norval Eugene Turner (1999) – fired the following season. shanarat (2012) – fired the next season. And Jay Gruden (2016).
Uuh … #sorrywill
12 (9). Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints. I’m curious to see what happens after this season. Mr. Payton has more than earned the right to a rebuilding year or two. Will he get it?
11 (11). Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks. Exactly where he was last year: at the bottom rung of the upper echelon.
That leaves ten men of vision, incomparable and unqualified success … and one of utter and total incompetence when it comes to clock management, left to rank.
Coming by Friday, Part Dos of the Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ NFL Coaches Power Poll. In some order, you’ll see the head coaches of the Patriots,
Texans raiders, “Super” Cardinals, Texans,
Colts, Steelers, Ravens, Vikings, our Kansas City (crowd voice) Chiefs! …
… and your Cleveland Browns?!?!?!?!?!?! …