QBs make good coaches appear great

September, 6, 2010
9/06/10
2:55
PM ET
Five thoughts on the Sporting News' rankings for NFL head coaches, which I know about because of this:
1. Timing can be everything. Awful nice of Matt Leinart to provide the testimonial for Ken Whisenhunt's No. 8 ranking. Leinart, obviously speaking before his release: "Just looking back at my rookie year, what we were as a team until now -- it's night and day. That’s due a lot to his philosophy and the attitude and discipline he’s brought to us. He’s been extremely hard on me, but I think it’s helped me to be mentally tougher and I think all that will pay off for both of us." In separate cities.

2. Someone has to be ranked last. Not sure what Steve Spagnuolo did to command that ranking, but a 1-15 record in his only season with the St. Louis Rams made him an easy target. Sam Bradford might wind up making him look a little more effective, which leads to the next point.

3. Quarterbacks make coaches look smart. The two highest-ranked coaches line up with Tom Brady and Drew Brees on their side, respectively. That helps.

4. Quarterbacks make coaches look dumb. The five lowest-ranked coaches played last season with unestablished quarterbacks. A question from Week 15 last season: What is more impressive, nearly beating the Houston Texans with sixth-round rookie Keith Null making his second career start for you (behind a line featuring Mark Setterstrom and John Greco), or needing four touchdown passes from Peyton Manning to eke out a victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars?

5. The jury is out on Mike Singletary and Pete Carroll. They were ranked 21st and 23rd, respectively. Singletary has a good enough team this season to rise in the rankings, Alex Smith permitting. I know the 49ers see Smith as only one piece of the puzzle, but he's also one link in the chain, to borrow another analogy.

Thoughts on the list?

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