Our Power Rankings on head coaches will run Tuesday, and I just sent in my ballot with votes for the top 10.
PaytonI’m not going to reveal my whole ballot here, but I’ll tell you a little. I didn’t vote for an NFC South coach at No. 1, but New Orleans’ Sean Payton and Atlanta’s Mike Smith got votes, and the line between them was extremely close. I can’t reveal which one got the higher vote, but I’ll tell you I looked hard at the fact Smith has had a winning record in each of his three season. I’ll also tell you the Lombardi Trophy Payton won carried some weight.
I’ll tell you right now I didn’t include Carolina’s Ron Rivera or Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris. Rivera’s a rookie head coach, so there’s no way to judge him yet. I gave Morris strong consideration because I thought he did a great job in turning the Bucs from a 3-13 team in 2009 to a 10-6 squad in 2010. But I couldn’t quite put him in the top 10. There were at least two other guys with better credentials that I couldn’t even find room for on my ballot.