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ESPN Analysts Rank Mike Tomlin As Second Best Coach In NFL

It's that time of year! Lists galore in the NFL media landscape. 'The best draft classes'; 'the biggest busts'; you name it, there's somebody out there making a list about it. A panel of eight NFL writers at ESPN decided they'd tally up their collective votes and see who the top-ten NFL coaches were in their minds.

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Here's their top five.

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  1. Bill Belichick
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  3. Mike Tomlin
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  5. Andy Reid
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  7. Mike McCarthy
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  9. Sean Payton
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New England Patriots head honcho, Bill Belichik, received all eight first place votes. The guy can flat out coach, but isn't this the same coach who cost his team mightily with his poor decision making in this year's playoffs? Obviously one decision doesn't make a body of work, but what has Belichik really won without Tom Brady under center? Not a whole lot.

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Tomlin meanwhile finished with the most second place votes (four). Only John Clayton who ranked him fifth, and Mike Sando who pegged him sixth had the Steelers Super Bowl winning coach outside of their top three.

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Sando explained why he voted Tomlin fifth this way:

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"I favored coaches that walked into tough situations, won relatively quickly and then sustained the improvement over more than one season," Sando said in a statement issued through an NFC West blog spokesman. "Tomlin took over a healthy operation and kept it going. He deserves credit for that -- I ranked him sixth -- but not as much credit as if he had produced similar results after taking over a struggling franchise.

"We should view the success Bill Cowher enjoyed in a similar context. Both worked for an outstanding organization."

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Well, no sense in arguing really, but I'd say that Tomlin has done more than just 'kept it going' in Pittsburgh. No losing seasons, one Super Bowl title, another SB appearance, and trips to the playoffs in three of his four seasons.

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Check out the rest of the top ten list, as well as who just barely missed the cut. And from the sound of it, you can expect the crew to put together similar individual 'Power Rankings' in the forthcoming weeks and months.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.