NFC South: NFL Coach Approval Ratings

Mike Smith's approval rating tumbles

November, 16, 2011
Mainly because I was curious, I just took a look at the NFL Coach Approval Ratings over on SportsNation.

I wanted to see where Atlanta’s Mike Smith stood after his decision to go for it on fourth down in overtime Sunday against the Saints backfired. Not surprisingly, Smith’s stock has dropped in the eyes of fans.

He currently has a 48-percent approval rating. That’s down from 64 percent heading into the New Orleans game. But Smith still has a better approval rating than two other NFC South coaches. He’s got a slight lead on Carolina’s Ron Rivera (47 percent). Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris is No. 25 in the league at 29 percent.

New Orleans’ Sean Payton is the only NFC South coach with an approval rating above 50 percent. Payton is tied for No. 6 in the NFL at 82 percent.

Mike Smith's approval rating falling

September, 29, 2011
For most of his four seasons in Atlanta, Mike Smith has fared pretty well in the SportsNation NFL Coach Approval Ratings. That has changed.

Smith, who often has had an approval rating of around 80 percent, has plummeted to 26 percent in the Week 4 voting. Only six coaches rank below him. Things like that tend to happen when you come into a season picked by some to win the Super Bowl and you start off 1-2. I'm guessing if there were a similar poll for coordinators, Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey would have an even lower approval rating than Smith.

But 1-2 doesn’t always mean low ratings. Carolina’s Ron Rivera also is 1-2, but 83 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing. He’s only one percent behind Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy, who is 3-0 and coming off a Super Bowl championship. Rivera also has the highest approval rating of any NFC South coach.

New Orleans’ Sean Payton is next at 82 percent and Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris is at 80 percent.

Ron Rivera has strong approval rating

September, 20, 2011
Ron Rivera hasn’t won a game yet, but he’s only slightly behind Raheem Morris and Sean Payton in SportsNation’s NFL Coach Approval Ratings.

This is what’s known as a honeymoon period. The Panthers, 2-14 a year ago, have lost two close games. That’s prompted 78 percent of the voters to give Rivera a thumbs up.

That’s only one percent behind Morris and Payton, whose teams each are 1-1. Atlanta’s Mike Smith is also 1-1, but he’s at 74 percent. I thought Smith and his staff did a good job Sunday night against the Eagles, although the clock management at the end of the game certainly could have been handled a bit more efficiently.

Raheem Morris meeting with approval

November, 1, 2010
I just took a look at the NFL Coach Approval Ratings over on SportsNation for the first time in a few weeks and got a huge surprise.

Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris has the highest rating of any NFC South coach. Yep, the same guy who went 3-13 and looked clueless for much of last year is winning over fans. That’s what happens when you’re 5-2. Now, if Morris could only sell some tickets.

Heck, Morris is the fourth-rated coach in the entire league with 85 percent of the voters approving of the job he’s doing with the Buccaneers. He’s one spot behind Bill Belichick. Seriously. Note to Morris: Print that page out and have your agent send a copy to One Buccaneer Place, addressed to Vice President in Charge of Contract Extensions.

Atlanta’s Mike Smith, who also has his team off to a 5-2 start, is just one spot behind Morris with an 84-percent approval rating.

New Orleans’ Sean Payton is in the middle of the pack at 76 percent and I think he would have topped 80 percent if he hadn’t called that pass play in the end zone to offensive-lineman-turned-eligible-receiver Zach Strief in Sunday night’s victory against Pittsburgh.

Then, there’s Carolina’s John Fox. Somewhat surprisingly, Fox has a 17-percent rating, which is a little higher than I expected. The two guys lower than him are Brad Childress and Wade Phillips, who have ratings in the single digits.

Payton tops ratings, Fox does not

September, 22, 2010
Just checked the weekly NFL Coach Approval Ratings over at SportsNation. No real surprises, but some interesting stuff in the NFC South.

New Orleans’ Sean Payton tops all NFL coaches with 92 percent of voters giving their approval. Kind of makes you wonder what the other eight percent expect from a coach?

On the other end of the spectrum, Carolina’s John Fox is third from the bottom at 15 percent. Only Wade Phillips and Brad Childress are below Fox and they’re going to be tough to beat.

Tampa Bay's Raheem Morris is up to a 74-percent approval rating. This guy took a beating from fans last season and it was justified. But I think Morris grew a lot from the experience and it looks like fans are starting to think this guy just might be able to coach.

Atlanta’s Mike Smith is back in good graces after his team bounced back with a 41-7 victory against Arizona. He’s at 84 percent.
As I do periodically, I just took a trip over to SportsNation to take a look at the latest NFL Coach Approval Ratings.

No surprise that New Orleans’ Sean Payton continues to be the most approved coach in the league. He’s at 95 percent, which begs the question, is Jim Haslett really doing five percent of the voting?

Nobody’s even close to Payton. Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis and Minnesota’s Brad Childress are next at 85 percent.

Appropriately, there’s a big drop off between Payton and the other NFC South coaches. Atlanta’s Mike Smith is at 70 percent. Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris is at a respectable (relatively speaking) 40 percent, which could be a sign the potential Josh Freeman is showing might be winning over some fans.

Then, there’s Carolina’s John Fox at 12 percent, which is only better than his season-low 10 percent in Week 7.
Posted by’s Pat Yasinskas

I just took a look at the Week 7 NFL Coach Approval Ratings and was astonished for two different reasons.

First, New Orleans’ Sean Payton leads all coaches with a 97-percent approval ranking. That certainly is deserved and what astonishes me is I don’t recall ever seeing a rating that high.

Second, I’m beyond flabbergasted that there are three percent of voters out there that don’t approve of what Payton’s doing. I’m guessing they’re Giants’ fans.

The NFC South is dominating the top of the ratings this week. Atlanta’s Mike Smith is tied for third at 92 percent. Carolina’s John Fox has climbed a bit with his team on a two-game winning streak. His rating is 36 percent and I’d guess he’s got a shot to hit 50 percent if the Panthers can win Sunday’s home game with Buffalo.

Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris isn’t quite at the bottom, but he’s close with a rating of 16 percent.

Posted by’s Pat Yasinskas

I took a trip over to SportsNation to get a look at the weekly NFL Coach Approval Ratings and was mildly surprised to see that Carolina’s John Fox has climbed out of the basement -- barely -- after the Week 2 games.

Fox was on the bottom last week and the Panthers lost again. His rating (19 percent) isn’t soaring yet, but there were five guys below him at the moment I looked at the voting. Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris was one spot ahead of Fox at 22 percent.

By the way, the Bill Cowher rumors are flying again. I said it before and I'll say it again: I don't see Cowher landing in Carolina even if the Panthers continue to lose and Fox is ousted. Just because Cowher went to North Carolina State and has a house in the Raleigh area doesn't mean he'll end up in Charlotte, which is more than a two-hour drive. Besides, if Cowher is going to coach, my guess is it will be in a bigger market.

Also, Carolina owner Jerry Richardson is a pretty sharp guy and he likes to learn from past mistakes. He hired a big-name, Super Bowl-winning coach once before. That guy's name was George Seifert and he ran the Panthers into the ground. If Richardson's going to make a move (and Fox has to lose a lot more games for that to happen), my guess is he would go with a fast-rising coordinator.

On the other end of the spectrum of approval ratings, New Orleans’ Sean Payton suddenly is a darling. He ranks second only to San Francisco’s Mike Singletary and has a 95 percent rating. Atlanta’s Mike Smith is tied for third at 94 percent. Just curious: Where in the world are the 6 percent who think Smith isn’t doing a good job? I’m guessing Bobby Petrino and Jim Mora must be doing some clicking.

Speaking of clicking, you can cast your vote or just view the approval ratings here.