Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
When the discussion comes up on the topic of the top coach in the NFL right now, rarely if ever is John Harbaugh mentioned.
The Baltimore Ravens are the only NFL team to make the post season the past five years in a row. Not coincidently, that is the same length of the head coaching tenure of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. However, Harbaugh's name is virtually never mentioned in the same sentence of those considered the top of the coaching totem pole.
Elliott Harrison of NFL.com just posted a story listing his list of the top ten NFL Head Coach Power Rankings and while John did make the list, he is only smack dab in the middle of it. Harrison ranks Harbs behind, in order, the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick (#1), the New York Giants' Tom Coughlin (#2), the Green Bay Packers' Mike McCarthy (#3) and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin (#4).
Behind John sits Andy Reid (#6), brother Jim (#7), John Fox (#8), Jeff Fisher (#9) and Rex Ryan (#10). John Harbaugh's Ravens defeated Belichick's Patriots twice last season, demolished Coughin's Giants, split with Tomlin's Steelers, stunned Fox's Broncos and edged his brother's 49ers in Super Bowl XVLII. On Tomlin and Fox defeated the Ravens last year but still that does not get Harbaugh any credit.
As Baltimore Beatdown frequent contributor Mr MaLoR posted recently as a comment under another story, take a look at Harbaugh's record compared to Tomlin, much less the rest of the league:
- 54-26 in regular season (.675)
- 2 AFC North Titles
- 5 playoff appearances
- 9-4 in playoffs (.693)
- 3 AFC Championship appearances
- 1 Superbowl appearance
- 1 Superbowl title
Tomlin in 6 seasons
- 66-33 in regular season (.656)
- 3 AFC North Titles
- 4 playoff appearances
- 5-3 in playoffs (.625)
- 2 AFC Championship appearances
- 2 Superbowl appearances
- 1 Superbowl title
And keep in mind that Tomlin was gift wrapped a Superbowl champion team already with a veteran QB. Harbaugh basically had to start from scratch and held his own, if not accomplished more in less time.
Sure, Belichick and Coughlin and have more Super Bowl victories than John does, but the NFL is a "What have you done for me lately" league. Coughlin and Tomlin didn't even make the playoffs last year, and while Belichick's team is an annual post season participant, they play in one of the NFL's weakest divisions (AFC East) with teams that can never seem to make the right personnel moves to catch them.
Speaking of the AFC "Least," how New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan made the top ten list is beyond me and indicative of the ridiculousness of the rankings themselves.
The stats don't lie and neither do the results. The combination of John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice has made the playoffs every year they've been together and while some of the other names may be considered better head coaches over the course of their entire NFL careers, John Harbaugh's success over the past five years towers over them all.