Is Joe Gibbs the Most Underrated Coach in NFL History?

The Washington NFL franchise, with a history spanning over 90 years, has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Since Daniel Snyder bought the team in 1999, the franchise has mostly struggled. However, with new owner Josh Harris set to take over, fans are hopeful for a turnaround.

During Snyder’s ownership, a rare highlight was bringing legendary coach Joe Gibbs out of retirement for a second stint. Though Gibbs didn’t reach the heights of his first tenure, he still led the team to two playoff appearances in four seasons, which was impressive under the circumstances.

In his first 12 years with Washington, Gibbs led the team to four Super Bowls, winning three of them with three different quarterbacks—an incredible achievement. Despite this, Gibbs often doesn’t get the recognition he deserves when discussing the greatest NFL coaches.

The Case for Joe Gibbs

Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick recently praised Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, suggesting he could be the greatest coach of all time. Coaches like Reid, Bill Belichick, and Bill Walsh are frequently mentioned in such debates, but Gibbs rarely is.

Gibbs’ accomplishments are noteworthy. Winning three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks, none of whom are in the Hall of Fame, is a testament to his coaching prowess. His ability to succeed with different teams and players is unmatched.

Recognition and Respect

NFL writer Clark Judge recently highlighted Gibbs’ unique achievements, arguing that Gibbs deserves more recognition. Judge pointed out that while Gibbs might not be universally seen as the greatest coach of all time, he is certainly among the elite.

Gibbs’ first tenure with Washington was the most successful period in the franchise’s history. His second stint, though under challenging conditions, was also impressive. Despite this, Gibbs is often overlooked in discussions about the greatest NFL coaches.

Why Isn’t Gibbs Mentioned More Often?

Several factors contribute to Gibbs being overlooked. Recency bias likely plays a role, as Washington has struggled in recent years, making Gibbs’ successes seem distant. Additionally, the franchise’s decline under Snyder’s ownership has overshadowed its past glories.


Joe Gibbs is undoubtedly one of the greatest football coaches of all time. His achievements with Washington, especially winning three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks, are unparalleled. While he may not always be mentioned alongside Belichick or Reid, Gibbs’ legacy in the NFL is secure.

Washington fans deeply respect and admire Gibbs, a sentiment that spans generations. As debates about the greatest NFL coaches continue, Gibbs’ name deserves to be included. His contributions to the sport and the impact he had on his teams make him one of the most underrated coaches in NFL history.

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