Ranking NFL Head Coach/QB Combos- Part II


Football is the ultimate team sport.  With that said, the quarterback is not only the most important position in the game, but in all of sports.  What makes a great quarterback work well is usually the relationship he has with his head coach, even if the coach knows just to leave his star alone.

To get you fully prepared for the NFL season we are continuing our countdown series as we move to the best head coach/quarterback combinations.

In our first volume, we ranked the worst head coach/quarterback combinations entering the 2015 season.

We move up the list just a bit in volume two.

27. New York Jets- Todd Bowles/Geno Smith

Quarterback Geno Smith was voted the league’s worst starting quarterback for the last two seasons.  That obviously isn’t a good thing.  Todd Bowles has his first head coaching job.  With that combination, it’s actually amazing that the Jets aren’t further down the list.

It’s not that big of a leap to believe that Smith will be better as he enters his third season.  The Jets surrounded him with weapons as they acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall to go along with Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and rookie Devin Smith.

With Todd Bowles commanding the already solid defense, Geno and the Jets could make a playoff push in 2015.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars- Gus Bradley/Blake Bortles

Both Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley and quarterback Blake Bortles have all the potential in the world.  That potential equated to just three wins a season ago.

Bortles struggled mightily as any rookie quarterback would with a leaky offensive line, no real go-to receiver and no real running game to lean on.  It was clearly a recipe for disaster.

All it takes is one interview to realize that Gus Bradley is going to be a star in the coaching profession.  He’s quite possibly the most charismatic NFL coach this side of Pete Carroll and he’s with an organization that has showed patience as they’ve completely gutted the roster.

The Jaguars restocked somewhat this offseason and they should be more competitive in 2015.  The playoffs aren’t on the horizon quite yet, but if quarterback Blake Bortles can take his improved mechanics into the offseason the Jaguars will be a young, exciting offense to watch.

25. Washington Redskins- Jay Gruden/Robert Griffin, III

After a magical rookie season in which RG3 led the Redskins to an NFC East title, he hasn’t accomplished much else.

Head coach Jay Gruden has accomplished less than Griffin.

The No. 25 ranking is actually being quite kind considering the direction that the offense seems to be headed in.  Griffin has to learn how to play quarterback from the pocket and Gruden doesn’t appear to be in his corner.  That has all the makings of a disastrous season.

Still, the ‘Skins have weapons on offense, an improved offensive line and a running game to lean on.  There are plenty of reasons why the combination can reverse the trend and have success in 2015.

24. Chicago Bears- John Fox/Jay Cutler

John Fox gets his turn as the very latest “Jay Cutler Whisperer,” tasked with trying to extract the seemingly limitless talent out of the Bears inconsistent signal caller.

Good luck with that.

Cutler can make every throw, is an intelligent guy and more athletic than he’s given credit for.

So what’s missing? 

Leadership qualities, clutch play and overall consistency.

Although the Bears traded away Brandon Marshall, the selected Kevin White in the first round of the NFL Draft and still have an elite wide receiver in Alshon Jeffery.  The pieces are there for Cutler to achieve great things and maybe a head coach with the resume of John Fox can get the most out of him.

23. Oakland Raiders- Jack Del Rio/Derek Carr

The Oakland Raiders franchise has been a mess since losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.  There’s legitimate optimism for the first time in a long time thanks to 2014 second-round pick Derek Carr.

Carr played awfully well last season and was arguably the best rookie quarterback in the NFL, despite having major issues on the offensive line, no legitimate No. 1 receiver and a poor running game.  The team added some pieces on the line and used their first round pick on former Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Enter Jack Del Rio who hasn’t accomplished much as a head coach, but is a respected presence in the Bay Area going back to his USC days.  Del Rio completely supports Carr and look for the Raiders to play a more “control the clock” brand of football in 2015, asking less of Carr.  Oakland resides in a tough division, but look for immediate improvement this season.




About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.