Home AMERICAN FOOTBALL 13 current NFL coaches with a shot at Hall of Fame, ranked...

13 current NFL coaches with a shot at Hall of Fame, ranked by tiers with four absolute locks at the top

This past weekend, Don Coryell became the most recent former head coach to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An offensive innovator who enjoyed successful tenures with the Cardinals and Chargers, Coryell became the 29th former head coach to receive a gold jacket and bronze bust in Canton, Ohio. 

The induction of Coryell raises the following question: Which modern-day NFL coaches would have a legitimate Hall of Fame argument if their careers ended today? Several current coaches, given what they have already accomplished during their careers, would have a pretty compelling argument for future induction even if they never coached another game in the NFL.

With that in mind, we decided to predict which modern-day coaches have already put together Canton-worthy careers, and which ones may need to add a little bit more to the resume before hanging up their whistles for good.

As good as gold

Bill Belichick: No surprise here as Belichick is the only coach in NFL history with six Super Bowl rings and nine conference championships. He’s also one of three coaches in NFL history to win at least 300 games and will likely surpass Don Shula as the NFL’s all-time winningest coach. Belichick was also the only coach to go undefeated during a 16-game regular season. The fact that he hasn’t won much without Tom Brady shouldn’t diminish Belichick’s legacy as arguably the greatest coach in NFL history. 

Andy Reid: The longtime coaching veteran has punched his Hall of Fame ticket after leading the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl LIV three years ago. By winning Super Bowl LVII, Reid became only the 13th head coach to win multiple Super Bowls. Reid, who took the Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX, is one of just seven coaches to lead multiple franchises to the big game. A offensive guru, Reid has enjoyed memorable partnerships with quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Patrick Mahomes, among others. 

Mike Tomlin: Tomlin’s record of 16 straight non-losing seasons to begin his head coaching career is significant. The Steelers’ coach also has a Super Bowl win, two AFC titles and seven division titles. Tomlin is 16th all-time in regular season wins, and his .636 winning percentage is 10th all-time among coaches with 100 career wins. Tomlin has often done his best work with his back against the wall. The 2022 Steelers, for example, started 2-6 before rallying to finish with a 9-8 record. 

Pete Carroll: Carroll’s work in Seattle may be enough to convince future voters to look past his lack of success during his previous coaching stints with the Jets and Patriots. A decade ago, Carroll presided over one of most dominant defenses in modern-day NFL history, a unit that led to Seattle to the franchise’s first Super Bowl. Carroll’s Seahawks nearly won back-to-back titles before his questionable coaching decision cost him another ring. Bad call notwithstanding, Carroll’s impressive longevity and sustained success in Seattle makes him Canton-worthy. 

Could make it, but more work likely still needs to be done

Sean McVay: Longevity is the only reason why McVay isn’t considered a lock for the Hall of Fame, as he has only been a head coach for six seasons. The Rams’ 5-12 record last season didn’t help, either. But it’s also hard to ignore McVay’s incredible start to his head coaching career that started with him winning Coach of the Year while leading the Rams to the playoffs at age 31. McVay led the Rams to the Super Bowl a year later, and in 2021 he became the youngest head coach to win it all. Several more strong seasons should be enough to eventually seal McVay’s spot in Canton. 

John Harbaugh: While Harbaugh’s Super Bowl ring, 147 regular season wins, .607 career winning percentage and 11 postseason wins give him a good Hall of Fame argument, his team’s recent lack of postseason success would possibly be held against him if he was up for induction today. The Ravens have won just two playoff game since winning Super Bowl XLVII. What he does with Lamar Jackson moving forward may ultimately determine Harbaugh’s Hall of Fame fate. 

Sean Payton: Payton’s contributions to the NFL’s modern-day passing attack should help his future Hall of Fame argument, along with the fact that he led a franchise that had previously not had that much success to its first title. While “Bounty Gate” could possibly be held against him, it will be impossible to keep Payton out of Canton if he mimics the success he had in New Orleans in Denver in the coming years, especially if he achieves his coach of being the first head coach to win Super Bowls with two different franchises. 

Nice career, but currently short of Hall of Fame consideration

Mike McCarthy: McCarthy had a good run in Green Bay, with a Super Bowl win, 125 regular season victories and racking up nine playoff appearances in nearly 13 seasons in Green Bay. But the way things ended in Green Bay (he was fired 12 games into the 2018 season after a 4-7-1 start) and his lack of playoff success in Dallas has left his future Hall of Fame candidacy in question. But like Payton, you could all but start making McCarthy’s bust if he is able to win a second Super Bowl with a second franchise. 

Doug Pederson: Unlike McCarthy, Pederson may not necessarily have to get back to another Super Bowl to be considered a future Hall of Famer. Pederson, after all, led the Eagles to the franchise’s first Super Bowl win with a backup quarterback. He pulled off similar magic during last season, as the Jaguars surprised everyone by making the playoffs and winning a playoff game during Pederson’s first season. Similar magic moving forward will only strengthen Pederson’s argument. 

Ron Rivera: A two-time Coach of the Year, Rivera guided the Panthers to an NFC title in 2015 after Carolina went 15-1 in the regular season. Rivera guided the Panthers to three straight division titles before resurfacing in Washington in 2020. He’s had some success in Washington (he was named Coach of the Year in 2020 after leading the team to a surprising playoff berth), but Rivera will have to do more in the coming years if he is going to make a serious run at Canton. 

Currently out, but that could change with a Super Bowl win

Kyle Shanahan: Shanahan’s head coaching bonafides so far includes one Coach of the Year honor and one trip to the Super Bowl. He also led the 49ers to consecutive NFC Championship Game appearances over the last two years. Shanahan will have to win a Super Bowl, however, if he is going to be seriously considered for future Hall of Fame enshrinement. His father, two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach Mike Shanahan, is semifinalist for induction in 2024. 

Sean McDermott: It’s easy to forget that the Bills were in a pretty big rut before McDermott arrived in 2017. Since then, the Bills’ 62-35 record under McDermott is commendable, along with Buffalo’s streak of three consecutive AFC East titles and at one win in the last three postseasons. The Bills’ 4-5 postseason record under McDermott, however, leaves something to be desire. Like John Madden and the Raiders five decades earlier, McDermott and his Bills will have to find a way to get past the AFC’s other heavyweights if he is going to get serious Hall of Fame consideration down the road. 

Zac Taylor: Joe Burrow (understandably) gets more of the credit for the Bengals’ turnaround, but Taylor also deserves credit for helping change the culture in Cincinnati. Taylor has gotten his players to buy into his team-first philosophy, and the result has been back-to-back AFC title game appearances and one trip to the Super Bowl. He has a lot of work to do, but the 39-year-old Taylor has the time and the quarterback to move up this list in the coming years. 


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