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Real365: Despite Belichick banter, Gibbs is NFL's finest coach


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Despite Belichick banter, Gibbs is NFL's finest coach

These days, when thinking of the NFL's premier head coach, most automatically hand the honor to the New England Patriots ' Bill Belichick. It's certainly an understandable choice, since Belichick has won three Super Bowls this decade and has gone a stunning 11-2 in his postseason career. Undoubtedly, he's tremendous at what he does, and will one day be enshrined in Canton, Ohio's Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Although Belichick is an incredible head coach, one has to wonder why the Washington Redskins ' leader, Joe Gibbs, is never mentioned as the paramount man at his position. After all, he's won just as many Super Bowls as Belichick, but he's done it with a different quarterback each time.

Belichick, on the other hand, has accomplished his title triumvirate with Tom Brady, certainly the best QB the game has to offer today. Essentially, he's the modern-day version of former San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana, who won four Super Bowls in the Bay Area in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, Gibbs' Washington glory has come with Joe Theismann, Doug Williams (the league's first African-American QB to win it all) and Mark Rypien. Of that Super Bowl-winning trio, none were consistently great over their careers. Theismann's the best of the bunch, but his career was nowhere near Hall of Fame worthy. Still, he managed to help Gibbs win his first championship in 1982's strike-shortened season, when running back John Riggins famously ran over the Miami Dolphins ' defense in a 27-17 victory.

Williams performed brilliantly in Super Bowl XXII, as the Washington Redskins thrashed the Denver Broncos by a score of 42-10. In that game, Williams, a mediocre pro at best, threw for 340 yards and a quartet of touchdowns.

Lastly, Rypien capped off a storybook '91 season with an MVP performance in a 37-24 in Super Bowl XXVI over the Buffalo Bills. That, of course, was the last time Gibbs won a title. However, following the '92 season, he took over a decade off to catch up with his family and pursue auto racing interests.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder shockingly brought Gibbs out of his football retirement to return to D.C. prior to the 2004 season. Many believed Gibbs wouldn't get used to the nuances of a "different" NFL. Those people couldn't have been more wrong.

Although Gibbs went just 6-10 in his first year, he rebounded in '05, unexpectedly guiding the Redskins all the way to the NFC Divisional Playoff Round, where they bowed out to the Seattle Seahawks -the eventual conference champs.

With the new season looming less than three months away, Gibbs' Redskins are among a handful of teams that will have a good chance to be crowned champions. If Gibbs does, indeed, accomplish his ultimate goal, it would give the 65-year-old an incredible four Super Bowl victories. He'd likely have to do it with 35-year-old QB Mark Brunell at the helm. Considering the fact that Gibbs has already won with three passers who weren't elite, winning with Brunell doesn't seem impossible. He's been more than serviceable throughout his career.

Just like Gibbs' old teams, this one is expected to win with a great running game, terrific offensive line, dependable, small receivers and a fierce defense. If that's the case, the current version of the Redskins seem more than ready for the challenge.

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Nice read.

It's so hard to say who is THE greatest head coach of all time. Folks are relucant to make a firm choice b/c so many factors and variables go into it.

One thing is for sure.... when the words NFL Head Coaching Legends is used, Gibbs definitely belongs in that rarified air. :)

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Although the modern era tends to forget the past, there is no forgetting what Joe Gibbs has accomplished as an NFL coach. The argument is made that Gibbs had the Hogs and a great defense. Well the hogs were a combined unit of different players over the years, not one solid unit of players. Also, only one of those revolving defensive players on the Redskin's 3 superbowl teams will probably make the Hall of Fame.. (Darrell Green). However, I can assure you that Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymore and Teddy Bruski are all potential hall of famers one day whom play for Belichick. Another argument is free agency, which Belichick has done a masterful job during this era. But Gibbs winning superbowls with three different QB's, RB's, and defensive personel is the equivelant to the modern day salary cap ventures. As a coach it is easier to produce a winning football team with the same core group of guys, but to win consistantly with different players is always the measure of a good coach. Gibbs did it over a 10 year span in the NFC East, Belichick has about five more years to produce a decade of winning teams and the AFC East better get more competitive to even compare.

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Great article Bubba, thanks for posting it. Some of the comments made about the article (at the end of the page) really show the ignorance of the common fan that this article is attempting to correct. I submitted my own comment to try to set the record straight for them, since apparently they forgot what they had just read before they posted. :rolleyes:

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I'll add here what I posted in the reponses on to the article.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on this one. Gibbs is the most underrated coach of all time, IMO. As has been mentioned, he did win it all with 3 QBs that cant be considered in the "franchise" mold. Not to mention that he has turned the Redskins from the second losingest franchise of the past decade into a SB contender in JUST TWO YEARS. Belichick is an outstanding coach, for certain, but Gibbs is too. Who is better? Who knows, but one thing is sure. Gibbs is at least the second best coach in the league. All the haters will soon see, as the great Redskins have once again established themselves as the class of the league.

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The limitless success a Gibbs and Brady duo could accomplish is flat-out frightening. Too bad nobody will never see it.

We haven't had a chance yet to see what a Gibbs/ Campbell duo can accomplish. Hand picked, carefully coached and allowed to grow into the position, Campbell may very well end up being that franchise QB we have needed for so long.

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I'm going to try to be objective with this, but in my opinion, the most important thing to look at when ranking coaches are the following:

1) Number of Super Bowl wins

2) Number of NFC/AFC Championship wins

3) Number of Division wins

4) % of years winning super bowl

5) % of years winning AFC/NFC

6) % of years winning division

7) winning percentage (regular season)

Reasoning for these categories - by using number of SB's and a % you balance the need for a coach to be good each year with longevity. Same logic for the others. Only compare regular season records because post season records are already acounted for in SB's and Conf championships. Same could be said for overall record and div titles, but thought it was important enough to include.





3/11 (27%)---3/14 (21%)

3/11 (27%)---4/14 (28%)

4/11 (36%)---4/14 (28%)

99-77 (56%)--140-76 (65%)

1) Tie

2) Gibbs

3) Tie

4) Belichick

5) Gibbs

6) Belichick

7) Gibbs

So by my count.....Gibbs is +1 on Belichick. They are close, but Gibbs is better. I'm a homer, but I think this is fairly objective.....but throwing objectivity away, I think Gibbs wins on the intangibles too - ex. NFCE overall has been a tougher division to coach in, etc....

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Meanwhile, Gibbs' Washington glory has come with Joe Theismann, Doug Williams (the league's first African-American QB to win it all)

This reminds me....I was watching this thing on ESPN last year and these guys were talking about how a white RB hasn't had a 1,000 yard rushing season in however many years and this got me thinking....Is Gibbs the last coach to lead a white RB to a Super Bowl win and also the last coach to lead a black QB to a Super Bowl win?

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Yes...great read. But when Gibbs wins it all in the next couple years (hopefully this one! :D), he'll end up not getting any credit from his pundits...they'll all say it was b/c of GW and Saunders. :rolleyes:

That's okay though, because we're going to win another superbowl before Philly wins their first. :cheers:

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After he wins it all this year (and next), they should rename the trophy. :logo:

I wouldn't disagree.. If Gibbs comes back and wins 2 more before he steps down.. He will be undeniably the best coach to ever step onto a pro field

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