It’s hard to name six better NFL head coaches than Bill Belichick, but a group of football experts at ESPN has been able to do it.
In celebration of “the 100th anniversary of Vince Lombardi‘s birth,” ESPN has been unveiling its top 20 head coaches in NFL history, “saluting the finest innovators, motivators, tacticians, teachers and champions ever to stalk the sideline.”
Kicking off the list at No. 20 was Tony Dungy, followed by Mike Shanahan at No. 19. Bill Parcells checked in at No. 11, three behind legend Tom Landry, who claimed the eighth slot. While most football fans in New England weren’t expecting to see Belichick make an appearance until the very end, the group of ESPN football experts put him at No. 7, behind Paul Brown.
“His keen eye for talent and ability to get the most out of his players has helped the Patriots maintain a high level of play year after year without a drop-off, despite their usual late draft position in a salary-cap era,” said Kevin Stone.
“Demanding. I think that’s the word that best describes it,” former linebacker Tedy Bruschi said of The Hooded One. “He’s not going to be your best friend. He is demanding of you every second that you are in that facility and partially when you’re out of the facility also. He demands your concentration, your intelligence. Your physical being. Your effort. Everything that you can put into a football game, he demands it of you.”
Check out the voting panel below.
Chris Berman, Jeffri Chadiha, John Clayton, Colin Cowherd, Mike Ditka, Gregg Easterbrook, Herm Edwards, David Fleming, Ashley Fox, Greg Garber, Mike Golic, Suzy Kolber, Eric Mangini, Chris Mortensen, Sal Paolantonio, Bill Polian, Rick Reilly, Mike Sando, Adam Schefter, Ed Werder, Seth Wickersham, Trey Wingo