Number Five: Dennis Green
Marv Levy prior to joining the NFL ranks coached at New Mexico and Levy struck gold in Buffalo with Jim Kelly and their no huddle offense. Levy doesn't get the credit he should for being an offensive innovator but the way he utilized Thurman Thomas in the screen game (just ask Dolphins fans in the playoffs) to the crossing patterns of Andre Reid. The Bills are remembered for losing four super bowls, but the Bills are truly the original Best show on Turf that was even better because they played outside.
Coughlin after coaching at Boston College took the Jaguars to the AFC championship game and has won two Super Bowls in New York. Coughlin's teams have found magic in two separate seasons where they looked dead yet somehow turned it around to make runs in the playoffs. In the first Super Bowl win Coughlin's team beat an undefeated New England Patriots team, but the game before New York had to travel to Green Bay and defeat Brett Favre.
While Jimmy Johnson is remembered for the many locker room moments after a big where he yells "How Bout Them Cowboys" he could equally be remembered as a coach who flopped if he was given the same amount of patience given to some of the coaches who were recently fired. Give Jerry Jones credit here as he knew the rebuilding would take time and as much as we like to harp on his recent draft room blunders Jonson and Jones made the move to require what felt like Minnesotas entire draft of the late eighties and early nineties when they sent Herschel Walker in his blockbuster trade. Jimmy Johnson took the 1-15 Dallas Cowboys and turned them into a back to back super bowl champion team.
The West Coast Offense. Need I say more to knowledgeable football fans for why Bill Walsh should be number one on this list? The Cincinnati Bengals had Walsh right under their nose yet let him go when Coach Paul Brown appointed a Bill to run the team. Bill "Tiger" Johnson was selected as Brown's successor and Bill Walsh resigned immediately. Walsh would later coach at Stanford for two successful seasons when the San Francisco 49ers came calling. Walsh like Jimmy Johnson had a terrible record as a first year coach with the 49ers posting a 2-14 record. In 1979 Walsh selected a quarterback in the third round named Joe Montana from Notre Dame. Walsh who was jilted by the Bengals would go on to win three Super Bowls including two against the Bengals.
We live in a day where coaches are fired after one bad season and rarely does any coach have the luxury of an owner willing to stand by through a few years of growing pains as Walsh and Johnson were given. There is an art to knowing when to pull the trigger and fire a head coach. All of the coaches on this list had all pro quarterbacks to work with throughout their careers, which should make Chip Kelly and any other college coach ready to jump to the NFL very picky about which city they choose..
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