Who will be the next coach enshrined in Canton?


Dick Vermeil (left), Hall of Famer Marv Levy (right)

Of the 310 busts in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, only 24 belong to coaches. And there have been only two head coaches – Bill Parcells and Tony Dungy – in the last 11 induction classes. Parcells was enshrined in 2013; Dungy in 2016.

There are two coaches on the list of 25 semifinalists for the Class of 2018, Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson. Will one or both make the cut to the 15 finalists … and will one or both be enshrined in the Class of 2018? If not, who will be the next coach to receive a bust? That’s the subject of this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll. Here are your options:

Don Coryell. Coached 14 seasons with the Cardinals and Chargers, taking San Diego to two AFC title games. He won 57.2 percent of his career starts (111-83-1), taking his teams to the playoffs six times and winning five division titles. Coryell ranks 36th all-time in coaching victories. Father of the Air Coryell offense that led the NFL in passing five consecutive seasons (1979-83) at San Diego.

Tom Flores. Coached 12 seasons with the Raiders and Seahawks, winning two Super Bowls with the Raiders. He won 52.7 percent of his career starts (97-87-0), taking his teams to the playoffs five times and winning two division titles. Flores ranks 41st all-time in coaching victories. The first person in NFL history to win Super Bowl rings as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

Jimmy Johnson. Coached nine seasons with the Cowboys and Dolphins, winning two Super Bowls with Dallas. He won 55.6 percent of his games (80-64-0), taking his teams to the playoffs six times and winning two division titles. Johnson also oversaw the personnel side and engineered the Herschel Walker trade that provided enough premium draft picks to make the Cowboys the NFL’s Team of the Decade for the 1990s.

Chuck Knox. Coached 22 seasons with the Rams, Bills and Seahawks, taking his teams to four conference championship games. He won 53.3 percent of his games (186-147-1), taking his teams to the playoffs 11 times and winning eight division titles. Knox ranks ninth all-time in coaching victories. Known as Ground Chuck for his penchant for running the football, Knox became the first coach to win division titles with three different franchise.

Buddy Parker. Coached 15 seasons with thee Cardinals, Lions and Steelers, winning a pair of NFL championships with the Lions. He won 58.1 percent of his games (104-75-9), taking his teams to the playoffs three times with conference championships. Parker ranks 40th all-time in coaching victories. He squared off in all three of his NFL titles games against the Cleveland Browns and their Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown and Parker’s Lions won two of them.

Dan Reeves. Coached 23 seasons with the Broncos, Giants and Falcons, winning conference titles with both the Broncos and Falcons. He won 53.6 percent of his games (190-165-0), taking his team to the playoffs nine times and winning six division titles. Reeves ranks eighth all-time in coaching victories. Reeves participated in nine Super Bowls as a player and coach, second only to the 10 participations of Bill Belichick.

Marty Schottenheimer. Coached 21 seasons with the Browns, Chiefs, Chargers and Redskins, taking both the Browns and Chiefs to conference title games. He won 61.2 percent of his career games (200-126-1), taking his teams to the playoffs 13 times and winning eight division titles. Schottenheimer ranks seventh all-time in coaching victories. He suffered only two losing seasons in his career and hit 10 or more victories in 11 of his seasons.

Dick Vermeil. Coached 15 seasons with the Eagles, Rams and Chiefs, winning a Super Bowl with the Rams and also taking the Eagles to one. He won 52.4 percent of his career games (120-109-0), taking his teams to six playoffs and winning three division titles. Vermeil ranks 27th all-time in coaching victories. Vermeil also was a successful college football coach at UCLA before moving to the NFL, winning a Rose Bowl against No. 1-ranked Ohio State in 1976.

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9 Comments

  1. Scott Dochterman
    December 13, 2017
    Reply

    I hate to say it but Don Coryell was vastly overrated. Many of his schemes were rooted in Sid Gillman’s system and his offensive coordinator was Joe Gibbs. Coryell’s QB, TE and top WR all are HOFs. With that type of personnel, he should have at least one Super Bowl title and at least a couple of appearances.

    Coryell’s offenses were dynamic, true, but his Chargers twice lost in the playoffs to wild card teams despite home-field advantage. The Oilers were devastated by injuries yet completely outcoached the Chargers in the 1979 playoffs. The next year he lost to the Raiders, who were led by a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach who isn’t in the Hall of Fame, either.

    Just because Coryell’s teams were flashy and took advantage of massive rules changes, that’s no reason to hail him as some sort of guru. He was just a more exciting, far less successful version of Marty Schottenheimer. Or Coryell was a more personable version of Mike Martz.

    Buddy Parker deserves more consideration for his 1950s success. So does Tom Flores, who won two Super Bowls without a Hall of Fame QB. In fact Flores beat Coryell’s team in San Diego in the 1980 AFC title game with a second-team QB because his original starter broke his leg early in the season.

    Dan Reeves took four teams to Super Bowls and won division titles with three different organizations. His case should be heard. Dick Vermeil led reclamation projects to the playoffs in four different decades, took two teams to Super Bowls and won one. Vermeil deserves to have his case heard. It floors me that Jimmy Johnson isn’t in the Hall. It’s not like Jerry Jones coached the team from 1-15 to one of the NFL’s greatest dynasties.

    Honestly, you could put Mike Shanahan, Bill Cowher or Mike Holmgren on this list and I’d rate them higher than Coryell. He’s right where he should be, the Hall of Very Good alongside Bum Phillips, George Seifert and Chuck Knox. It’s too bad Coryell continuously takes up vital real estate every year when one of these other good-to-great coaches deserve to have their case heard by voters.

    • December 18, 2017
      Reply

      SD,
      Well stated on All points

      I’m a Huge Don Coryell Fan, but all your points re: Tom Flores are true, and he is Not any less deserving than Coryell

      D. Coryell should have been Inducted while he was Alive

      Tom Flores will be 82yrs old for the 2019 Class, he is not getting any younger

      “…SO DOES TOM FLORES (deserves more consideration), WHO WON TWO SUPER BOWLS WITHOUT A HALL OF FAME QB.
      (D. Coryell had a 1st Ballot HOF QB)

      IN FACT FLORES BEAT CORYELL’S TEAM IN SAN DIEGO IN THE 1980 AFC TITLE GAME WITH A SECOND-TEAM QB BECAUSE HIS ORIGINAL STARTER BROKE HIS LEG EARLY IN THE SEASON.
      (T.F. is 11 – 5 vs Coryell 10x HOF Semifinalist)

      IT’S TOO BAD CORYELL CONTINUOUSLY TAKES UP VITAL REAL ESTATE EVERY YEAR WHEN ONE OF THESE OTHER GOOD-TO-GREAT COACHES DESERVE TO HAVE THEIR CASE HEARD BY VOTERS…”
      (Again, no problem with Don Coryell, but Tom Flores is deserving as well & 1st eligible 30yrs ago has NEVER been a Semifinalist!)

      See RQ’s comments on Tom Flores below your comment

  2. Rich Quodomine
    December 18, 2017
    Reply

    If the question is “Who Will Be?” then the answer is Jimmy Johnson. Titles, wins, he has them all. He passes the eye test. If the question is “Who Should Be?” then I nominate Flores. First off, he coached in a very different era, and while it is tough to quantify the impact of anti-Latino racism in terms of opportunities, his contribution to the game remains immeasurable. He should be in by what I loosely call the “Larry Doby rule” where body of work and the time in which that work existed matter more than any one particular statistic like wins. He has 4 rings, he won in big games on all levels, and he was even successful with the ever-mercurial Al Davis as owner and de facto GM. He’s been a lot quieter than most post-retirement, and I think that works against him when it shouldn’t. The squeakiest wheel may get the most oil, but I’d vote for Flores if I had a vote.

    • Sports Fan
      December 18, 2017
      Reply

      RQ,
      Well…Well Stated!

      “‘WHO SHOULD BE? THEN I NOMINATE FLORES.

      FIRST OFF, HE COACHED IN A VERY DIFFERENT ERA, AND WHILE IT IS TOUGH TO QUANTIFY THE IMPACT OF ANTI-LATINO RACISM IN TERMS OF OPPORTUNITIES, HIS CONTRIBUTION TO THE GAME REMAINS IMMEASURABLE.

      HE SHOULD BE IN BY WHAT I LOOSELY CALL THE “LARRY DOBY RULE” WHERE BODY OF WORK AND THE TIME IN WHICH THAT WORK EXISTED MATTER MORE THAN ANY ONE PARTICULAR STATISTIC LIKE WINS.

      HE HAS 4 RINGS, HE WON IN BIG GAMES ON ALL LEVELS, AND HE WAS EVEN SUCCESSFUL WITH THE EVER-MERCURIAL AL DAVIS AS OWNER AND DE FACTO GM.

      HE’S BEEN A LOT QUIETER THAN MOST POST-RETIREMENT, AND I THINK THAT WORKS AGAINST HIM WHEN IT SHOULDN’T.

      THE SQUEAKIEST WHEEL MAY GET THE MOST OIL, BUT I’D VOTE FOR FLORES IF I HAD A VOTE”

  3. December 18, 2017
    Reply

    (submitted this Comment right after RG released his post, but TOF did not show this Comment, so here it is again)

    ATTN: NFL & Professional Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF) & PFHOF Voters —

    Important link —

    Link 1:
    http://pfhof.blogspot.com/

    — Re: Coach Tom Flores

    — “Can you write the history of the game without him?” — NO —
    & —
    — Is he “forever intertwined in the fabric of AFL & NFL history?” — YES —

    — Pass it on, use all forms of social media and thank you —

    He will be turning 82 yrs old for the next #PFHOF2019 #PFHOF19 Class

    Get him Inducted while He/Family can still enjoy this Honor

    48 Voters need #48ForFlores

    National Football League
    Oakland Raiders
    Los Angeles Raiders
    Raider
    ProFootball
    Pro Football
    HOF

  4. December 18, 2017
    Reply

    NFL
    Professional Football Hall of Fame
    All 48 Voters
    Ron Borges
    Rick Gosselin
    Clark Judge
    TOF Network

    Each Coach listed here are deserving of Induction for various reasons
    Tom Flores is not any less deserving than each one of these Coaches, including the two (2) Excellent Coaches who are presently Semifinalists

  5. December 18, 2017
    Reply

    RG – TOF,
    Your post reads:
    “Of the 310 busts in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, only 24 belong to coaches. And there has been only one head coach – Bill Parcells – in the last 11 induction classes. Parcells was enshrined in 2013”

    Tony Dungy – 2016 Class?

    Also, is there a reason why TOF is not allowing specific Comments to show here?

    • December 19, 2017
      Reply

      You are correct, sir. Made the change. Thank you

  6. Jon Crumiller
    December 22, 2017
    Reply

    The Hall of Very Good is enshrining a lot of people lately.

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