The NFC South has spent the past decade taking turns as the best teams to win the division. Overall, it’s been as competitive as any other division in the NFC. This year should be no different as the New Orleans Saints welcome back their old coach from suspension. The Saints had a disappointing season in 2012, and it was all due to the loss of their head man. They have a whole 16 games to repair the image after the multiple suspensions over “bounty gate.”
With Tampa Bay and Carolina on the rise, New Orleans won’t be the only team challenging Atlanta for division supremacy. The Saints proved that a head coach factors into the organization much more than wins and losses.
This hotly contested division should have many twists and turns and a playoff berth may come down to an important coaches decision. One play, one timeout, one bad call could determine whether or not a team is in the postseason or sent home packing for Christmas
Let’s rank the NFC South coaches.
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4. Greg Schiano- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Greg Schiano is a great coach and got off to a strong start in his first season with the Bucs. Yet by season’s end, there were rumors about Schiano getting replaced. His future depends on how well he and Josh Freeman get along on the field. Yes that means wins.
3. Ron Rivera- Carolina Panthers
Can Ron Rivera finally deliver a playoff berth with the talented Cam Newton at the helm? He’s had two seasons with Carolina and 2013 should be their best year yet. The Panthers are a dark horse pick to earn a postseason spot and they’ll need to win double digit games.
2. Mike Smith- Atlanta Falcons
Mike Smith had the Falcons a play away from a trip to the Super Bowl. Still, he is only second in our division rankings. This doesn’t make him any less of a coach in our opinion. Smith still has Atlanta on the rise. There’s even more pressure with the new Matt Ryan $100 million contract.
1. Sean Payton- New Orleans Saints
Sean Payton’s stature may have grown after his one year forced hiatus from the NFL. While the offense was clicking most of the time, New Orleans lacked the intangibles to make winning plays last season. Payton must help the defense improve drastically as well. If he does, they’ll be part of a handful of teams vying for a Super Bowl.