The sport of football is no joke. Someone who can function in the role of head coach is truly a leader of men in the NFL. By virtue of the violence involved in football, you have to be a player who embraces the pain. Some would say people like that are a bit crazy — and they might be right — but it takes a special person to be able to reel these men in to focus on one common goal. It goes without saying that it isn’t a job for just any ol’ body. Check out these 13 players who would make great NFL head coaches.

1. Michael Irvin

The energy that NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin possesses is infectious. Known as the spiritual force that propelled the Dallas Cowboys to their last bit of Super Bowl success, teammates would run through a wall for Irvin. Nowadays, he can be seen on FS1’s “Undisputed” sitting opposite Skip Bayless. It’s there where he imparts his knowledge of the game and breaks down plans intricately. With his experience, and ability to motivate and lead, he certainly has the attributes to make a great coach.

2. Marcus Spears

On ESPN, Marcus Spears approaches his analysis from a place of pragmatism. His perspective comes from experience playing for two flagship legacy teams with the LSU Tigers and the Dallas Cowboys. Spears knows what it is like to have the pressure of a team’s legacy put upon you, but it’s his poise that has always shined in his delivery on television, as well the attention to detail he played with on the field. The way the All-American conveys information alone is a benefit to all players in his vicinity. His ability to command a room elicits respect and could certainly lend itself well to a career in coaching.

3. Patrick Mahomes

A winner of three Super Bowls in the past five years, Patrick Mahomes could be considered the measuring stick for greatness in the NFL. As a quarterback, his position inherently makes him an extension of the head coach. Mahomes leads his men every week and makes decisions when the options seem slim. His greatest characteristic is the ability to execute against adversity. When you’re able to have your team buy into your strategy, you can accomplish almost anything in the world of sports.

4. Russell Wilson

In recent years, Russell Wilson hasn’t played under the best of circumstances. With Sean Payton leading the Denver Broncos last season, it was widely known that he wasn’t a fan of the quarterback that he inherited. And although Wilson wasn’t embraced by his head coach due to differences in play styles, he showed up.

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, Wilson was the subject of contract talks in the event his stint in Denver didn’t go well. He handled these conversations with grace and professionalism. Wilson could certainly impart his wisdom while coaching a team; not to mention, he has championship pedigree.

5. Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark is one of the most passionate analysts on television. Having won a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a safety, his defensive perspective is crucial. As Clark also made the Pro Bowl in 2011, he is known to have been one of the most proficient at his position. The zeal that he brought to his broadcasting career is proof that he seeks to excel in any new endeavor. That same zeal could serve him well if he ever chose to go into coaching.

6. Shannon Sharpe

Everyone loves “Unc,” don't they? A Pro Football Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion, Shannon Sharpe unequivocally knows the game of football. These days, you can find him on ESPN’s “First Take” and hosting his own wildly successful podcast, “Club Shay Shay.” It isn’t too difficult to imagine him bringing the same energy he takes to all his endeavors to the sidelines and invigorating his team as a head coach.

7. Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts has put the Philadelphia Eagles in the limelight over the last few years. He is the Hemi engine that powers that machine. Having made his first trip to the Super Bowl after the 2022 season, Hurts is learning exactly what it takes to make it to football’s biggest stage. At only 25 years old, his career is just warming up. Once his playing days are over, the many gems Hurts has picked up on and off the field could aid him in continuing to be a leader of men in a coaching position.

8. Randy Moss

Randy Moss is known as one of the best wide receivers of all-time. He, like many others on this list, excels at multiple disciplines. As good as Moss was on the field, he’s equally great on screen as an analyst. His energy and charisma are palpable, and he is also an effective communicator. Being one of the best at his position means that he understands the importance of discipline. He knows that practice and promptness is paramount. These qualities could be the foundations to establish himself and could make him a great head coach one day.

9. Michael Vick

Michael Vick is one of the most revolutionary athletes to ever play the game. He is the one many of today’s Black quarterbacks watch and emulate. One of the first quarterbacks to really make a living by frequently running the ball, Vick knew what his strengths were. He understood how to accentuate his positive attributes, which could help him excel as a coach as much as it helped him as a player.

10. Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis is one of those players whose personality lends itself so well to connecting with people. As a Hall of Fame linebacker, Lewis really was the voice of his whole team. Having won two Super Bowls and becoming MVP in one, Lewis absolutely knows what it takes to win in the NFL. His ability to inspire the teams that he played on could transfer well into a coaching career.

11. Terrell Owens

If Terrell Owens isn’t the greatest wide receiver of all-time, then he just might be the most well-known. He has gained so much great information to share throughout his impressive career. Owens’ touchdown reception total ranked third-most in NFL history at the time that he retired. With his technical skill and passion for the game, Owens could make for a great head coach.

12. Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL. He is a two-time league MVP who knows how to be comfortable under the bright lights of big games. Jackson persevered through a litany of contract talks as he sought to negotiate the proper deal for himself. Every week, he proves his worth with preparation. That’s the sort of mentality that is needed to be passed down from coach to player, which could make Jackson a great contender for head coach.

13. Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch is known for his charm as well as great game play. Leaning into the moniker “Beast Mode,” Lynch made his name as a legendary running back who, at most times, was unstoppable. His relatable way of communicating propelled him to win the Super Bowl and go to five Pro Bowls. This double-edged sword of ruthless field strategy and precise communication could give Lynch the upper hand in leading a team as a head coach.