Tom Curran rates the performance of the NFL's new coaches
No. 11: Tom Cable,
Utterly rudderless. Cable not only has been incapable of getting a decent effort out of his team on a regular basis, but he's also been involved in an altercation with an assistant that ended with the assistant nursing a broken jaw and Napa Valley Police considering whether or not to charge Cable in the alleged assault.
No. 9: Raheem Morris,
Tampa Bay Bucs
Morris seems like a hasty hiring after the hasty firing of Jon Gruden. And now the Bucs are adrift, seemingly disorganized and unsure what exactly their identity is. The only team remaining on their schedule they have a reasonable shot at beating is Carolina. They are a threat to go winless.
No. 9: Steve Spagnuolo,
St. Louis Rams
The Rams are 0-5, and there doesn't appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel for this team. The Rams have scored 10 or fewer in four of their games and have been shut out twice. They've allowed 28 or more in four of five. Ugh.
No. 8: Todd Haley,
Kansas City Chiefs
The best we can say about the Chiefs is that they haven't stopped trying. However, they are bereft of talent and have allowed 420 total yards or more to every team they faced that wasn't the Raiders. Haley's got his work cut out for himself.
No. 7: Eric Mangini,
The culture change in Cleveland continues. The team has now jettisoned both Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow, while their quarterback situation appears bleak with neither Brady Quinn nor Derek Anderson getting it done. Of course, they don't have much to throw to either. But the Browns did take the 4-1 Bengals to overtime and beat Buffalo.
No. 6: Jim Mora,
A so-so start for Mora in Seattle as his Seahawks have started out 2-3. But they are in the mix in the NFC West and, with Matt Hasselbeck back in the lineup, they just polished off Jacksonville 41-0. A very good sign.
No. 5: Rex Ryan,
New York Jets
Ryan took over a team with better-than-average talent and is getting better-than-average production out of it. Beyond that, he's given the Jets an identity which was missing, a purpose and an edge. The AFC East is certainly more entertaining since he's arrived.
No. 4: Jim Schwartz,
The Lions still lack defensive playmakers, but Schwartz has broken the chain of losses and kindled some hope in a franchise that hasn't seen that in some time. And he made the right call on rookie Matthew Stafford, didn't he?
No. 3: Mike Sinlgetary,
San Francisco 49ers
He's taken a roster with average talent and infused it with the mental toughness of an elite unit. They still have a ways to go, but the improvement from midseason of 2008 to October of 2009 has been remarkable.
No. 2 Jim Caldwell,
In replacing Tony Dungy, the hardest part for Jim Caldwell was staying out of the way in areas he needed to (i.e. the offense) and getting better performance from areas that needed it (i.e. the defense). Done and done. And Indy's overcome a fair number of injuries without a hitch to get to 5-0.
No. 1: Josh McDaniels,
The clouds of doom enveloping this franchise during the offseason have been blown away by a 5-0 start. McDaniels has made people forget Mike Shanahan, Kyle Orton and Brandon Marshall's bad behavior. That's a turnaround.