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Where do NFC South coaches rank?

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Sporting News Today ranked all 32 head coaches and New Orleans' Sean Payton tops the NFC South guys.

Payton's ranked No. 6. Atlanta's Mike Smith is No. 8, Carolina's John Fox is No. 9 and Tampa Bay's Raheem Morris is No. 31.

I'm going to rank the NFC South coaches individually and as staffs next week, as part of our series on NFC South position rankings. I haven't done the rankings yet, but I'll respectfully disagree with the way the NFC South guys are ranked in this poll.

I can tell you right now Smith and Fox will occupy the top two spots, although I'm not sure what order they'll be in. Payton's a lock for third and Morris for fourth. Morris is last because he's untested -- for now.

One other thing I found interesting in the Sporting News Today rankings was the comment on Fox:

"He is a players' coach and a great motivator. The players love playing for him.''

Umm, I don't think Julius Peppers wrote that. Fox definitely built a reputation as a players' coach in his first year or two. Sometimes, people change and I don't know that players view Fox, who I think remains an excellent Xs and Os coach, the way they once did.