- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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We pick up our series in which ESPN.com’s resident scout, Matt Williamson, ranks the AFC South position-by-position.
Today, we examine coaches.
Williamson’s AFC South coach rankings:
1) Colts (Chuck Pagano)
2) Texans (Gary Kubiak)
3) Titans (Mike Munchak)
4) Jaguars (Gus Bradley)
Kuharsky: I think Kubiak is too conservative and needs to show he can make an offseason stylistic adjustment. I believe Pagano doesn’t get enough credit in some circles for the contributions he made from his sickbed last season. I can see the case either way for No. 1, but I’d go Kubiak based on his ability to manage people -- a quality Pagano seems to have as well.
Kubiak’s used it to help win two consecutive division titles, however, and Pagano has more still to prove. I love Bradley’s vibe, but I said the same thing about Munchak when he took over two years ago.
My questions for Williamson based off his list:
Your overall assessment please:
“This is far from a stacked division when talking about coaching overall compared to the rest of the league. There really are not any big dogs and overall, I am not enamored with Munchak while obviously the Jacksonville situation is extremely unproven.
Talk me through Pagano/Colts over Kubiak/Texans?
“Pagano over Kubiak was a tough one and I would put similar grades on these guys overall. Pagano obviously missed some of the season, but I can't get over that I actually thought the Colts would pick first overall for two straight years (after Luck the year before) when the 2012 season started. Clearly the Colts WAY exceeded those expectations.”
Who's the best defensive coordinator?
“I am a big fan of the defensive coaching staff in Houston and would say that coordinator (Wade Phillips) and staff is clearly the top group of assistants on either side of the ball.
“The top offensive coordinator is pretty hard to pin down right now, but I suppose that too goes to Houston (Rick Dennison, with Kubiak calling plays) somewhat by default. They do clearly have a pretty strict offensive plan in place and implement it well.”
As for me…
This list could change a lot in the next year. Bradley’s initial impression will start to tell us how he is as a head coach. Munchak has his most talented team in his third year. Pagano is in remission and lost the fill-in who won coach of the year in Bruce Arians. We need to see if Kubiak is married to things like conservative red zone play or if he will make changes.
Assistant coaches who have a real chance to help change things for their team: Titans senior assistant/defense Gregg Williams and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, Jaguars offensive line coach George Yarno and secondary coach DeWayne Walker, Colts offensive line coach Joe Gilbert, Texans linebackers coach Reggie Herring.