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Coughlin took the expansion Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game in their second season.
He led them to four straight playoff appearances, capped by a 14-2 season, at a point when most expansion franchises are still trying to assemble a competitive roster.
But what if your organization has been in the doldrums for years?
Your team lacks cohesion; your players lack fundamentals.
You think of Jerome Bettis, Ben Roethlisberger, Kevin Greene, Troy Polamalu, Greg Lloyd and Hines Ward.
And of course you think of Cowher, wearing both his joy and rage on his sleeve, coaching like he would grab a helmet at any moment to teach some punt returner a lesson.
And if his Jets were hammered by the Colts, the Super Bowl might not be the spectacle it is today, and the NFL-AFL merger would not have been as smooth as it was. Only a handful of the coaches ranked above him can make a similar boast.
Ditka's coaching peak was brief, his Bears devastating on defense but a little too old-fashioned on offense to repeat the glory of the 1985 season. Weeb Ewbank won two of the most important, legendary games in football history: the so-called Greatest Game Ever Played (the 1958 Colts-Giants NFL championship) and Super Bowl III (his AFL Jets defeating Don Shula's heavy-favorite Colts). The 1958 game is talked about in hushed whispers for its impact on pro football's popularity, for the advent of sudden-death overtime and for the sheer number of Hall of Famers on the field that day (including Ewbank, but not headlined by him).
His Saints were big on bluster but short on results. Super Bowl III is all about Joe Namath and guarantees, even though Ewbank was instrumental in developing the run-heavy game plan that led to the Jets upset.
Jimmy Johnson was a great coach for three years which felt like an eternity to the Cowboys' opponents).
Johnson arrived from the University of Miami during a time of upheaval in Dallas: Jerry Jones had just bought the team, the Tom Landry old guard was unceremoniously shown the door, and the 1987 strike had caused a rift between fans and many formerly beloved players.