Total seasons in playoffs
With record and winning percentage
19 – Don Shula (19-17, .528)
18 – Tom Landry (20-16, .556)
13 – Marty Schottenheimer (5-13, .278)
12 – Chuck Noll (16-8, .667)
12 – Mike Holmgren (13-11, .542)
12 – Bud Grant (10-12, .455)
11 – Tony Dungy (9-10, .474)
11 – Chuck Knox (7-11, .389)
11 – Paul Brown (4-8, .333)
10 – Joe Gibbs (17-7, .708)
10 – Bill Parcells (11-8, .579)
10 – Bill Cowher (12-9, .571)
10 – Steve Owen (2-8, .200)
If you’ll note, the difference between Dungy’s playoff record and most of the coaches on this list is negligible. 9-10 is pretty normal. These are some of the best coaches in history, and other than Joe Gibbs and Chuck Noll, there isn’t a huge number on the board. Winning percentages within a game or two of .500 are basically the norm for great coaches in the playoffs.
Once again, we see that the playoffs are a crapshoot and NOT the best measure of a coach, team or player. The sample sizes are too small, and one good or bad game skews the data. The next time you hear someone mention Dungy’s playoff record, remind them of Paul Brown’s. Or remind them, that one more title run, or one more lucky bounce and his playoff record would be among the best. Small sample sizes are the best way to make yourself look stupid in sports.
In other news, Jim Caldwell is the new head coach. I was honestly worried that we’ll see a major defensive regression without Tony, but then I thought about the Bucs defensive rankings under Kiffin after Tony left. Let’s just hope that Ron Meeks doesn’t get hired by anyone this year. The system is sound, and should endure even after the man who installed it leaves.
Lots of great Dungy stuff all day on ESPN. In an interview, John Clayton mentioned that Dungy might have a hard time getting in to the HoF with Shanahan and Holmgren also in the mix. Both of those guys will be coaching again within 5 years. Secondly, Dungy crushes both of them in terms of Hall of Fame merits. I don’t see them being a factor.