Angry Ward Wednesday: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of NFL Head Coaches

good_bad_ugly_poster_clint_eastwood_John_Harbaugh, Ron_Rivera, Freddie Kitchens, Meet_The_Matts, Angry_Ward_Calhoun, NFL Coaches

NEW YORK, NY – How the hell did it get to be November? It’s dark out at 4:30, Christmas decorations are already up, and the Giants and Jets have long since been eliminated from everything but the race to see who picks first in next year’s NFL Draft. Speaking of the NFL, it never ceases to amaze me how many bad  head coaches get employed by these billion dollar enterprises. How does this league even succeed with this high percentage of ineptitude at the top? So where does your team’s coach fall on the scale? Let’s break it down.


New England Patriots. As much as it pains us to admit, Bill Belichick is all alone in the “Good Coach Penthouse.” He’s a jerk, and a creep, and a Trump buddy, and whole lot of other things… but he’s also a winner. Life sucks so much more than we realize.

New Orleans Saints. Sean Payton took a perennial laughingstock and turned it into a perennial contender. He’s smarmy, but you’d take him to coach your team in a second.

Baltimore Ravens. John Harbaugh has quietly done more with less than maybe any coach out there AND won a Super Bowl. His brother is a dick, but what can you do?

Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll. Look, I don’t want to say anything nice about Pete Carroll. Let’s move on.

Los Angeles Rams. Sean McVay has done a lot repairing all the damage done by Jeff Fisher in a remarkably short period of time. He’s also responsible for NFL teams all wanting to hire Doogie Howser coaches now. We’ll see if he has staying power.

Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Reid is the best coach that’s never won anything.

good_bad_ugly_poster_clint_eastwood_John_Harbaugh, Ron_Rivera, Freddie Kitchens, Meet_The_Matts, Angry_Ward_Calhoun, NFL Coaches


Pittsburgh Steelers/Philadelphia Eagles. Look, both Mike Tomlin and Doug Pederson have won Super Bowls and, in all fairness, should probably be on the GOOD list. But f**k fair. I think they both have their strong points, but so does Short Matt.

Minnesota Vikings. Mike Zimmer is a fair head coach, which is enough to keep you in a job a long time. But he was better as a defensive coordinator,  just like Wade Phillips.

San Francisco 49ers. Kyle Shanahan is Zimmer, but on the offensive side of the ball. He turned Matt Ryan and the Falcons into a scoring juggernaut for one season, but any coach on a team that blows a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, can’t be all that good.

Carolina Panthers. Ron Rivera is like Styrofoam packing peanuts. What the hell are you supposed to do with him?

Indianapolis Colts. I like Frank Reich. He may turn out to be a great coach. As you’ll see there are a lot worse choices out there. Reich isn’t a surname I would want.

Los Angeles Chargers. Anthony Lynn doesn’t belong with the mouth-breathing, knuckle-draggers on the dregs list.

Chicago Bears. Matt Nagy, you lucky sonuvabitch, you’re on notice. You know you don’t belong here.


Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s not Doug Marrone’s fault that he coaches a team where there should be no team. The Jags are like the house in Poltergeist, and Marrone is Craig T. Nelson.

Atlanta Falcons. Dan Quinn sucks and may very well be fired by the time this column posts. I really feel for Julio Jones who has to play WITH Matt Ryan and FOR Dan Quinn.

Buffalo Bills. Sean McDermott is in the perfect place. He’s the hot wings of NFL coaches. And I don’t even know what that means.

Dallas Cowboys. Whatever Trump has on Lindsey Graham, Jason Garrett must have 5x that on Jerry Jones. How he’s kept his job for 10 years is one of the universe’s greatest mysteries.

Tennessee Titans. Mike Vrabel hoped to give his team a spark by starting Ryan Tannehill. That’s all you need to know.

Oakland Raiders. Jon Gruden fleeced Al Davis‘ bowl-cutted kid out of millions, so there’s that.

New York Giants. Pat Shurmur went from boring offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings to boring head coach of the Giants. Not sure what they saw in him. His Uncle Fritz shares the same cool name as everyone’s favorite animated x-rated cat.

Miami Dolphins. You could tell me that Brian Flores was a member of the Miami Sound Machine, rather than the Dolphins, and I’d definitely believe you.

Arizona Cardinals. If your name is Cliff and you spell it with a K, you do not have my respect.

Young Matt Patricia?

Detroit Lions. Matt Patricia looks like one of The Goonies, all grown up. I would not be at all surprised if he collected dryer lint.

Green Bay Packers. I HATE the Packers, and Matt LaFleur is a hockey name.

Houston Texans. Bill O’Brien is the Vince Lombardi of uninspired early-round playoff losses.

Cincinnati Bengals. I had to look up who coach of the Bengals was. Apparently it’s Zac Taylor, which is two-thirds of the band Hanson.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I recently saw someone compare Bruce Arians to Charlie the Starkist Tuna. That is spot-on.

Denver Broncos. Vic Fangio? I’m no Fangio.

Washington Snyders. Jay Gruden got sh!tcanned. Bill Callahan took over. Insert any coach with Daniel Snyder’s team for the next 10 years and there’s a good chance he’ll suck.


New York Jets. The faces Adam Gase makes are the same faces you’d make if you found out that Adam Gase had been hired to be your team’s head coach.

Cleveland Browns. Ladies and Gentlemen, there’s only one Freddie Kitchens. You could not duplicate the mastermind of the Browns if you tried. Not even if you had all the ingredients, which include a bag full of hammers, polyester slacks from Korvettes, and 10 gallons of Arby’s deep-fryer grease.

I’m way over my word limit this week. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, whose Knicks share the worst record in basketball.

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About Angry Ward 751 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.