Compiling the Best of the AFC North Coaching Staff
We have published the AFC North All Offensive Team and given you a chance to vote for the AFC North All Defensive Team, as we look to compete with the other Fansided NFL Network divisions. Now we want to see what you think about the coaches in the division. We want to know who you think is the best coach, not who you like the best, amongst the 3 major coaching positions: Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator. We will give some information about each and see what you the fan decide. Will you Cleveland Browns Fandom take over your decision making or will you vote based on what you think is right?
Mike Pettine – Cleveland Browns – Pettine is a first year head coach in the NFL. After years as a high school coach he joined the NFL ranks in 2001 with the Baltimore Ravens. He rose to outside linebacker coach in 2005. He moved on to the New York Jets as Rex Ryan’s defensive coordinator, though Ryan called all the plays, and then took over the Buffalo Bills DC spot last year. He is a hard nosed coach with very little track record to go on, but Cleveland fans have seemed to embrace him.
Marvin Lewis – Cincinnati Bengals – Lewis has been the Bengals head coach since 2003. A strong defensive coach he has lasted a long time under Mike Brown. He has only had 3 losing seasons, two of which included only 4 wins, in 10 seasons with the team. His overall record with the Bengals is 90-85-1 with 5 playoff appearances but no post season victories.
John Harbaugh – Baltimore Ravens – Harbaugh has been with the Ravens for 6 years, after being a special teams and defensive backs coach in Philadelphia. 2013 was the first season Harbaugh didn’t lead his team to the playoffs. 2012 was a special season, the end of the Ray Lewis era, which culminated in a Super Bowl win. Harbaugh has a 62-34 regular season record.
Mike Tomlin – Pittsburgh Steelers – Tomlin was seen as a surprise hire in 2007 by the Steelers. Tomlin had spent 1 years as the defensive coordinator in Minnesota before being hired. Originally thought to only being interviewed to fulfill the Rooney Rule, Tomlin blew the Steelers away and got the job. For all his success Tomlin’s Steelers have only made the playoffs 4 out of his 7 years. The highlight coming in his second season winning the Super Bowl. For his career Tomlin’s regular season record is 71-41 and includes 2 Super Bowl appearances with 1 victory.
Kyle Shanahan – Browns – Shanahan has long been directly connected to his father, Mike. Even in his time with the Houston Texans he was under a protege of his father, Gary Kubiak. This year is Shanahan’s first year outside of his dad’s shadows. His offense is most known for the Zone Blocking Scheme that has made stars out of a number of running backs. He also showed in Washington a high level of creativity and flexibility.
Hue Jackson – Bengals – Jackson is back for his second stint with the Bengals. Jackson has bounced around the NFL serving in Washington, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Baltimore and Oakland before returning to the Bengals. Jackson is known as an aggressive coach who finds creative ways to integrate his players skills. His teams have always been high scoring teams but either due to bad luck or his personality Jackson has never been able to stay on someplace for more then a few years.
Gary Kubiak – Ravens – Kubiak, fresh off losing his job with the Houston Texans, joined the Ravens this off-season. He was the head coach in Houston for 8 seasons, leading his team to playoffs twice. Prior to Houston, Kubiak was the offensive coordinator under Mike Shanahan in Denver for 11 seasons, winning 2 Super Bowl titles.
Todd Haley – Steelers – Haley, like Kubiak and Jackson, is a former head coach. Haley led the Kansas City Chiefs, being hired after leading the offense for the Super Bowl losing Arizona Cardinals. Haley only last 3 seasons in KC, leading the team to the playoffs once. He was then hired on as the Steelers offensive coordinator. His relationship with star QB Ben Roethlesberger has been tenuous as Haley likes a more fast paced, quick passing offense to Big Ben’s down the field approach. The two seem to be developing a stronger relationship over the past year.
Jim O’Neil – Browns – Little is known about O’Neil outside of diehard fans. He coached and recruited in college for years before joining Pettine with the Jets and the Bills. O’Neil is considered a riser in the coaching field but will be lumped together with Pettine as the head coach takes on a lot of the defensive responsibilities with the Browns.
Paul Guenther – Bengals – Similar to O’Neil, Guenther is not a known name. He takes over for long time defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who is now the head coach with the Vikings. The 42 year old Guenther takes over a star studded defense that should make him look good. He has been with the team since 2005 and was a head coach in college for 4 years as well.
Dan Pees – Ravens – Pees was the head coach at Kent State through some rough years, a 6 year record of 17-51. He joined the New England Patriots after that and was promoted to defensive coordinator after 2 seasons. Pees was the DC with New England for 5 years before choosing not to return. He caught on with the Baltimore Ravens and was promoted to DC last year when Chuck Pagano left to take the HC job in Indy.
Dick LeBeau – Steelers – Unlike the first two on this list, and much more then Pees, LeBeau is known around the league. A recent Hall of Fame inductee, LeBeau is seen as the master of the Zone Blitz. His career as a defensive coach is legendary and his ability to make the most out of a little is unheard of. The combination of Tomlin and LeBeau, the blending of the 4-3 and 3-4, has gone much better then anyone expected. The only purpose of the poll below is to see how big of a margin LeBeau wins by.