A reader of the ESPN NFC West blog posed the question to Mike Sando (the ESPN NFC West blogger) wondering who he thought was the best coach in the NFC West and why. After some discussion, he comes to the conclusion that Ken Whisenhunt is.
Around here, that should really be no surprise. We are aware of the job he has done, even when 2010 was a pile of poo.
At a glance, it is a silly question to even ask. Jim Harbaugh has yet to coach an NFL game in his life, so the jury will be out on him with his job with the 49ers. Steve Spagnuolo has a career record of 8-24, although he did lead a Rams team from 1-15 in 2009 to 7-9 in 2010 and one win away from a playoff berth and division championship.
The only other guy is Pete Carroll up in Seattle, who is in his second coaching go 'round. Carroll matches Whisenhunt's .500 career record (Carroll is 40-40, while Whiz is 32-32) and he did coach the Seahawks to an NFC West championship and a playoff victory over the 2009 Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
Now, while I have gone from blind Whisenhunt disciple to one that wants to see 2011 to see if he can turn around the ship and create something more like what he had in the previous three seasons., it is still very clear that he is the cream of the coaching crop in this division.
That is, for right now.
Carroll and Spagnuolo both have their respective teams going in the right direction. The Cardinals hope to be after this offseason. The 49ers are a mystery.
We will have to see after 2011 if anything changes