To judge whose the greatest head coach of all-time in the NFL you first have to know what is the job of the head coach and what his responsibilities are and what you expect from him. To me at least the job of the head coach is of course to win and win at least a good deal more than he loses. And make the playoffs and be successful in the playoffs. But more than that the job of the head coach is to get the best out of his team with the players and talent that he has.
A head coach could inherit a young inexperienced team that doesn’t have that much talent. And not make the playoffs and not even come close to having a winning season. But could still have a successful season if he gets the most out of his players that he possibly can and perhaps even overachieves. And that team wins a few games that they shouldn’t have because they were playing better teams. And a coach could have a very talented and experienced football team and have an unsuccessful season. Even if they make the playoffs especially if they go out early in the playoffs or lose the conference championship. When that coach had the best team in the league that year.
And based on these standards Vince Lombardi is definitely the best head coach in the history of the NFL. Because no head coach ever got more out of his players and was a better motivator than Vince Lombardi. Because he always knew what he wanted from his team. What type of team he wanted to have on both offense and defense. The available talent that he had and how to get the most out of his talent. And a perfect example of this is the year before Lombardi arrived in Green Bay.
The Packers were 1-11 and in Lombardi’s first season in Green Bay, they were 7-5 their first winning season in eleven years and Lombardi had basically the same team to work with in 1959 than the previous Packers coach had in 1958. But the difference being that Lombardi knew how to get the most out of the players that he had. He knew where to play them and how to use them on both sides of the ball. In 1958 the Packers had a talented football team. But in 1959 the Packers were a good football team, which was the difference.
The difference between a good head coach and a bad head coach is of course the good coach knows what he is doing and the bad coach spends most of his time trying to figure it out and experimenting. But the reason why the good coach knows what he is doing is, because he knows what type of team he has. And then sets expectations for his team and player based on that. And then knows how to get the most out of the players that he has and Vince Lombardi is simply the best at this.