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John Harbaugh ranked among elite head coaches by PFF

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Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

PFF’s offseason rankings continued on Monday with Conor McQuiston ranking the league’s head coaches. For this exercise, coaches were placed into four tiers. The first tier was labeled as “Hall of Fame coaches” and consisted of only three names, including Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, and Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Harbaugh ranked second on the list, only behind Belichick. With six Super Bowl titles under his belt as head coach of the Patriots, Belichick is widely considered to be the greatest of all time, so it comes as no surprise that he tops the list. What may come as a surprise for some though, is Harbaugh ranking ahead of Reid, his former mentor with the Philadelphia Eagles. Both coaches have been staples of consistency for their respected franchises and both have won a Super Bowl, but PFF gives the edge to Harbaugh.

“Harbaugh’s head coaching career includes many iterations of offenses helmed by the typically solid yet unspectacular Joe Flacco that generally lacked upper-echelon talent,” McQuiston wrote. “Despite this, the Ravens have always fielded above-average offenses — and tremendous defenses.”

It is true that the majority of Harbaugh’s tenure in Baltimore has been built around top-notch defenses and excellent special teams. However, since shifting to quarterback Lamar Jackson during the 2018 season, the Ravens have become one of the league’s most exciting offenses, and Harbaugh deserves some of the credit for such a radical shift.

While Harbaugh’s lack of postseason success following Super Bowl XLVII has been used as criticism, the fact remains that any NFL organization would be lucky to have such a coach at the helm.