Coaches in the NFL make a big difference on the field and within a organization. The right coach can steer your organization in the right path, and the wrong one will have you rebuilding your organization for a decade. Each year, we find teams that despite their circumstances, overachieve and beat expectations. The following coaches so far have done a tremendous job this season:
Sean Payton- New Orleans Saints
In Week 2, the New Orleans Saints lost QB Drew Brees to a thumb injury in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Many didn’t think that they would be able to hold it together with Teddy Bridgewater under center.
Since then, the Saints have not lost a game. They currently sit on top of the NFC South. Payton has done an amazing job utilizing the players he has. In Week 7 against the Chicago Bears, Payton was missing RB Alvin Kamara against the fourth-ranked defense. The result was a 36-25 victory. If Payton continues this trend, Coach of the Year should be in sight.
Matt LaFleur- Green Bay Packers
In the offseason, 39-year old Matt Lafleur was hired to become the head coach of the story franchise Green Bay Packers. Many were confused about the hire, given that their future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers only four years younger. Not to mention, his job as a offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans was pedestrian, as they ranked 25th in overall offensively at the time.
RB Aaron Jones is currently on pace to have a career year. Through eight games this season, his 8 rushing touchdowns match a career-high. The Packers are currently leading the NFC North and are gaining momentum as a Super Bowl contender.
Kyle Shanahan- San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers season is off to a great start, and Kyle Shanahan deserves credit for that. Last season, the 49ers ended the season with a 4-12 record. This season, they have already doubled their win total. Shanahan has the team clicking on both sides of the ball, as they are 2nd in rushing and total defense. They have also only committed the 4th-least amount of penalties in the NFL.
Bill Belicheck- New England Patriots
Through their undefeated start to the season, the New England Patriots have been nothing short of dominate. Regardless of multiple injuries, they are 1st in scoring and total points allowed. The Patriots have a chance to make NFL history for fewest points and touchdowns allowed in a season. If this play continues, Belichick may be adding another Coach of the Year to his resume.
John Harbaugh– Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are currently leading the AFC North, and Harbaugh has adjusted the offense to fit the players he has. Lamar Jackson is running more than ever, so the play-calling has revolved around that. As a result, the Ravens are 1st in rushing with 204 yards per game. Adjustments are what separates the good coaches from the greats, and Harbaugh is among the best.