A Condensed History of Super Bowl Winning Coaches

Less than ten games into his tenure, Mike Shanahan is already the subject of increasing scrutiny from the media and fans.  From his handling of Haynesworth, to the verbal gymnastics explaining McNabb’s benching, to the POST-BYE Eagles debacle, it hasn’t been a year one love-fest.  I don’t really know where I stand on Shanahan, his arrogance, or his orange glow, but I know one thing – I’m sick of people arguing against him using the “he never won a Super Bowl without John Elway” defense.  It’s become nothing more than a refrain, an easy-out for anybody who wants to argue against Shanahan without considering that Elway was 36 when they won, and it was his first as well.  By the way, don’t you need great players to win a Super Bowl?  You do, and that makes the Shanahan-Elway argument incredibly easy to apply to any Super Bowl winning head coach.    Just to demonstrate, here’s a history of Super Bowl winners:

Vince Lombardi never won it without Bart Starr.  Weeb Eubank only did it with Joe Namath. Hank Stram never won without Len Dawson.  Don McCafferty needed Earl Morrall AND Johnny Unitas to win one.  Tom Landry never got over the hump without Roger Staubach.  Bob Greise was under center for both of Don Shula’s Super Bowl wins, and Chuck Noll never did it without Terry Bradshaw, not to mention the Steel Curtain.  John Madden only did it with the Snake, and Tom Flores apparently couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag without Jim Plunkett. Poor Bill Walsh was never able to prove himself without Montana or Rice, and George Seifert rode the backs of Montana AND Young AND Rice (and Walsh). Mike Ditka never won one without Buddy Ryan.  Bill Parcells won two, but neither without the greatest linebacker of all time.  Jimmy Johnson never did squat without the Triplets, so of course Barry Switzer didn’t either. Mike Holmgren hasn’t made it back to the top without Favre, Shanahan of course needed Elway, Vermeil has one ring from Kurt Warner, Brian Billick got to ride the coattails of Ray Lewis and Marvin Lewis, and Bill Belichick has as many rings as I do without Tom Brady.  John Gruden only won once and it was with Tony Dungy’s roster, while Tony Dungy could only win with Peyton Manning.  Speaking of Mannings, Eli and one incredible catch let Tom Coughlin steal a ring.  In the meantime Bill Cowher never could quite do it without Ben Roethlisberger, and Mike Tomlin hasn’t either. And most recently but not least Sean Payton went along for the ride when Drew Brees put the Saints on his back in 2009. 

In conclusion, Joe Gibbs is the greatest coach of all time.


~ by Kidman on November 19, 2010.

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