When I asked players inside the Atlanta Falcons locker room which coach they would most like to play for other than Mike Smith, most all of them came up with the same answer: Pete Carroll.
They talked about how "cool" Carroll was and how much his Seattle Seahawks seem to gravitate toward him.
Such an opinion was shared by many around the league, as Carroll got 22.5 percent of the vote in the NFL Nation poll to finish ahead of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin (13.8), and Denver Broncos coach John Fox (7.8).
It was somewhat of a surprise not to see Smith among the top vote-getters. From what I’ve observed, he is well respected by his players and by opposing players as well. He can be intense on the sideline, but he’s not afraid to show emotion when someone makes an outstanding play.
Even at practice, there is a general sense among the players that Smith is just an overall good guy. Plus he’s a winner, with just one losing season since taking over the Falcons in 2008.
But you can’t go wrong with Carroll, Tomlin, or Fox. That’s why two of them are getting ready to square off in the Super Bowl and the other one already has a ring in his collection.