One game doesn't make a career.
The odds are that Jim Haslett of the New Orleans Saints and Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles are two of the fastest rising coaches in the game--college or pro--yet that's hard to prove every time out.
This time particularly.
In the NFL's two games of the week:
The Denver Broncos, who are also superbly coached, will be at New Orleans, which Haslett has led to the top of the NFC West.
The Tennessee Titans, who are first in the AFC Central, will be at Philadelphia, which Reid has led to first in the NFC East.
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The Better Coach Wins
More than any other American pastime, football, I'd say, is a game of coaching.
Across any reasonable period of time, good coaches win, the others don't.
Thus, the upward surge of a good new leader is one of the more exciting realities of life in the NFL.
And Haslett and Reid seem to be surging.
Haslett, the rookie conqueror of the St. Louis Rams Sunday, is 7-1 in his last eight games after turning around one of the most determined losing franchises in the 81 years of the NFL, a New Orleans team that went 16-40 under its last two coaches.
Reid, who is 8-2 in his last 10 after after a last-place finish as a 1999 rookie, can become one of the few in NFL history to rise in one season from worst to first.
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Good Coaching: Good Passing
The great coaches always choose, or develop, great quarterbacks.
It was in the 1960s, for example, that Green Bay Coach Vince Lombardi promoted an obscure, low-round draft choice: eventual Hall of Famer Bart Starr.