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Rotoworld: 2016 NFL head coach rankings

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Rotoworld: 2016 NFL head coach rankings

NBCSports' and Rotoworld's Pat Daugherty released his annual NFL head coach rankings on Thursday. Here are the Top 16 coaches. Also, be sure to check out the entire list here.

As I say every year, this list is an inexact science. Just seven active coaches have Super Bowl rings. You are what your record says you are, but with so many similar records, differences must be discerned. Recent success is certainly a tiebreaker. As is supporting cast. Has this coach ever made the playoffs without a future Hall-of-Famer at quarterback? Does he saddle himself with ineffective assistants? Playoff records are not the end-all be-all. Andy Reid has never won a Super Bowl, but he’s done pretty well for himself in 17 years as a head coach. He’s an easy target when history repeats itself in the form of an in-game mistake, less so when you consider the full weight of his résumé.

Most of all, I try to ask myself, who would I want coaching my team right now? Last year’s list can be found here. 2014’s is here.

1. Bill Belichick

Career Record: 223-113 (.664)
With The Patriots Since: 2000
Last Year’s Ranking: 1

The greatest coach of all time isn’t just riding on his reputation in the top spot. Bill Belichick, who is 187-69 (.730) over 16 years in New England, has won at least 12 games each of the past six seasons. To put that in perspective, Bill Parcells oversaw four 12-win campaigns. Bill Walsh, three. The Cleveland Browns have one 12-win season since joining the NFL in 1950. Belichick’s run of success isn’t just historic, it’s completely without peer or precedent.

The Patriots couldn’t defend their title in 2015, but nevertheless came within three points of the Super Bowl despite having one of the league’s worst offensive lines and running games. Their 2014 defensive MVP, Darrelle Revis, was playing for a divisional rival (who missed the playoffs). The central “argument” against Belichick — besides his “Controversies” section on Wikipedia — has always been that he’s a product of Tom Brady. Any reasonable observer can probably discern that 187-69 wasn’t built on the back of one player, but even unreasonable ones have to admit: Belichick was given the best player of his generation and knew what to do with him. Belichick is alone at the top, and will remain there for however long he continues coaching.

2. Pete Carroll

3. Bruce Arians

4. John Harbaugh

5. Andy Reid

[ROTOWORLD: Complete NFL News]

6. Mike McCarthy

Career Record: 104-55-1 (.653)
With The Packers Since: 2006
Last Year’s Ranking: 7

Life is a game of chance. Mike Pettine had Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel in Cleveland. Mike McCarthy has had Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Not that you should fault a man for his good fortune, especially when he takes advantage of it. McCarthy has missed the playoffs just twice in 10 years, and won a Lombardi. He also let a 15-1 team lose in the Divisional Round, and preferred field goals to the Super Bowl in last year’s NFC Championship Game. According to longtime Packers reporter Bob McGinn, it had been “25 years or more since a coach in Green Bay made more errors in allocating playing time” than McCarthy did in 2015. Twitter knew Jeff Janis could spark the Packers’ moribund receiver corps. It took two Hail Marys in a Divisional Round loss for McCarthy to finally see the light. Ultimately, these are nitpicks for a coach who has won 49 more games than he’s lost. If you coach 10 years, you’re bound to have some haunting losses. It’s just hard to shake the feeling that the McCarthy era could have been something more for the Packers, who aren’t going to have future Hall-of-Famers at quarterback forever.

7. Marvin Lewis

8. Ron Rivera

9. Mike Tomlin

10. Bill O’Brien

11. Mike Zimmer

12. Sean Payton

13. Todd Bowles

14. Jay Gruden

15. Gary Kubiak

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

16. John Fox

Career Record: 125-99 (.558)
With The Bears Since: 2015
Last Year’s Ranking: — —

Have you ever been sitting in traffic and noticed the signs on a telephone pole or stop sign? There’s usually one about a lost cat or someone offering guitar lessons. Maybe Spanish tutoring. Then there’s the house flippers, bootstrappers looking for rundown properties to buy on the cheap, gut, refurbish and sell for a profit. That’s John Fox. He comes into town in such a hurry that he barely even has time to communicate any clichés to the media. He tears out the rotted deck, puts down sod, replaces the smoke-ruined curtains. Maybe he even orders new carpet and countertops. What he doesn’t do is leave behind a finished product. There’s always the next house to flip. Fox makes his teams respectable in a hurry. The Bears went from embarrassing eyesore to inoffensive “Previous” option on the remote under his watch in 2015. What they didn’t do is look like a team ready to win the division any time soon. Fox might progress the Bears another level or two before GM Ryan Pace reaches the same conclusion John Elway did in Denver. This guy made the place livable, but it could still be so much nicer.

Read more at Rotoworld.com.

The Way We Hear It: Khalil Mack will probably play after all

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USA Today

The Way We Hear It: Khalil Mack will probably play after all

The Bears are back in Chicago and Tom Brady and the Patriots are in town! With a week of practice wrapping up today, here's what's been happening in the lead up to Sunday's Bears-Pats matchup: 

Adam Schefter: Bears plan on Khalil Mack playing vs. Patriots

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USA TODAY

Adam Schefter: Bears plan on Khalil Mack playing vs. Patriots

Khalil Mack has yet to miss a game in his NFL career. He doesn’t plan on breaking that streak on Sunday.

ESPN insider Adam Schefter told the “Kirk and Callahan show” on WEEI in Boston that the Bears expect their star pass rusher to play this week against the New England Patriots.

Mack missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with the ankle injury he suffered last week against the Miami Dolphins.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio indicated this week that the outside linebacker could potentially play even if he doesn’t practice due to the injury.

Assuming Mack does take the field on Sunday, he won’t be 100 percent, and it’s unclear how much of an impact he’ll be able to have.

Last week was his least productive game of the season, and he earned a career-low grade from Pro Football Focus, with two missed tackles and only one pressure generated on 33 pass-rushing snaps.

The Bears are going to need more from Mack to slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots offense that’s averaging nearly 40 points per game over the last three weeks.