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Thursday, October 14, 2010
Do you approve of your head coach so far?

By Tim Graham

I've held off on posting weekly results from the SportsNation's NFL head coach approval ratings until we had a healthy sample of games.

More than a quarter into the season seems like long enough.

Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick lead the AFC East and are tied for 11th overall with tepid 76 percent approval ratings. Of course, they're also coaches who are despised by opposing fans, and those votes get thrown into the hopper, too.

Ryan's rating actually dipped after Monday night's victory against the Minnesota Vikings. He reached a season-best 86 percent after crushing the Buffalo Bills in Ralph Wilson Stadium a week earlier, but he's down 10 points from that.

Belichick has been on a steady climb since bottoming out at 53 percent with a loss to the New York Jets in Week 2. Even with a bye and the controversial trade of receiver Randy Moss, Belichick's rating went up six points this week.

Dolfans have loved Tony Sparano since he became their coach in 2008, but his ratings have dropped three straight weeks, something that has happened only once before in this poll. He never has slipped four weeks in a row. Sparano currently is at 69 percent.

The thrill of newness has worn off for Bills fans with Chan Gailey. His approval rating this week is 17 percent. That's not nearly Dick Jauron territory, and Gailey is comfortably above rock bottom as long as lighting rods such as Wade Phillips (7 percent), Mike Singletary (13 percent) and Brad Childress (14 percent) are still employed.

Gailey's peak so far this year was after a respectable effort against the New England Patriots in Week 3.