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Top 20 Irish in NFL

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Tom Brady, Colm Kaepernick head NFL’s Irish top twenty
Irish Americans very prominent in America’s most popular game  
By James O’Shea
The NFL is a rich environment for Irish influence. Possibly the two best quarterbacks in the league have Irish roots as have all four of  the final AFC and NFC division coaches for this year and several top owners.
With the Super Bowl around the corner it is time to take a look at the men that matter from the gridiron to the sidelines to the owners booth.
1. Tom Brady: ”Tom Terrific” three Super Bowl titles and MVP of the big game twice. His roots are County Cavan and he has that fiery Irish temperament that won’t take defeat lightly. Among the all-time greats.
2. Colm Kaepernick: Biological grandson of Margaret Anne Curran from Cork, though he is adopted. The successor-in-waiting to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, especially if he wins the Super Bowl this year.
3 Jim Harbaugh:  San Francisco coach is great-grandson of Margaret Malone born in Ireland. A devout Irish Catholic, he often goes on overseas religious missions. Much better coach than player, huge success with Stanford and now at San Francisco.
4. Pete Carroll: Two of his grandparents were Irish emigrants. ironically he grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Did a super job with USC and now has Seattle poised to go win their first Super Bowl
5. Tom Coughlin: Former Catholic seminarian from Waterloo, New York. Cagey old New York Giants coach pulled off two Super Bowl victories against all odds. Still one of the best in the business despite a bad 2013.
6. John Fox:  Wily  Denver Broncos coach has his team in Super Bowl mode again. Tipperary roots and is a tough old cuss as he proved when coming back after heart surgery this year.
 7. Mick McCarthy: Took the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl winners circle in 2010 when they defeated his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. 
He holds the  toughest coaching job in the league arguably given the outsize reputation of Lombardi and always being in his shadow. Lombardi would love this working class son of an Irish fireman and pub owner.
8.Rex Ryan: The mouth of the south has clammed up lately but still is an outsized personality coaching the New York Jets. He needs a Super Bowl trophy though to make his legend last.
9.Bill O’Brien: Just named coach of the Houston Texans, formerly with Penn State where he achieved a remarkable turnaround. Previous to that he was with the New England Patriots.
10. John Harbaugh (see info on brother above) won Super Bowl with Baltimore in 2012 against all the odds
11. Chip Kelly: Philadelphia coach had great success with his first year coaching. New England native brought his Oregon turbo-charged run and gun style to the pros and it really paid off.
12. Sean Payton New Orleans coach:  Patrick Sean Payton was called after the Irish rosary priest Father Patrick Peyton. He didn’t need the rosary though to win the Super Bowl in 2009.
13.. Mike McCoy: first season in charge of  the  San Diego Chargers and he led them to the playoffs against Denver and gave Peyton and company a fright. A real comer among new head coaches.
14. Dan Rooney: Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers and former US ambassador to Ireland, one of the true gentlemen of the game who will always be remembered for the Rooney rule which mandated that African Americans be interviewed for head coaching jobs.
15. Pat Bowlen: Owner of the Denver Broncos is from an Irish Canadian oil  family. He has overseen the Broncos march to one of the best franchises in the NFL and the decision to grab Peyton Manning will long rank as an incredibly smart move.
 Bowlen has been a member of the American Ireland Fund Dinner Committee for the past 22 years and a Trustee for the Irish Community Center for 11 years.
.16. John Mara: New York Giants CEO and co-owner: Son of the legendary Wellington Mara, John Kevin Mara has continued the family tradition in excellence when it comes to the Giants organization, winning two recent Super Bowls. 
17. Andy Dalton: Red-haired Dalton quarterbacks the Cincinnati Bengals and led them to the playoffs this year but combusted against San Diego. Nevertheless he has led Cincinnati to the playoffs his first three years in the league.
18. Matt Ryan: “Matty Ice” quarterbacks the Atlanta Falcons and brought them to the verge of the Super Bowl in 2012 but lost to San Francisco in the NFC title game at home. A Philadelphia Irish kid, he was a star performer at Boston College in his college  days
19. Ryan FitzPatrick: Tennessee Titans quarterback is a Harvard graduate and allegedly scored one of the highest scores in IQ testing for NFL players. He  has a mixed record on the field however and has become a second stringer after an initially promising career.
20. Mike Shanahan: FIred Washington Redskins coach had a much happier career with denver where he lead them to the Super Bowl in 1997 and 998.
A devout Catholic and a Chicago area Irish kid his own career ended after a serious football collision after which his heart stopped and he has given the last rites.
Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick head IrishCentral's top twenty list of Irish Americans who are very prominent in America’s most popular game. The NFL is a rich environment for Irish influence. Possibly the two best quarterbacks in the league have Irish roots as have all four of the final AFC and NFC division coaches for this year along with several top owners.
With the Super Bowl around the corner it is time to take a look at the men that matter from the gridiron to the sidelines to the owner's booth.
1. Tom Brady: ”Tom Terrific” three Super Bowl titles and MVP of the big game twice. His roots are County Cavan and he has that fiery Irish temperament that won’t take defeat lightly. Among the all-time greats.
2. Colin Kaepernick: Biological grandson of Margaret Anne Curran from Cork, though he is adopted. The successor-in-waiting to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, especially if he wins the Super Bowl this year.
3. Jim Harbaugh:  San Francisco coach is great-grandson of Margaret Malone born in Ireland. A devout Irish Catholic, he often goes on overseas religious missions. Much better coach than player; huge success with Stanford and now at San Francisco.
4. Pete Carroll: Two of his grandparents were Irish emigrants. Ironically he grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Did a super job with USC and now has Seattle poised to go win their first Super Bowl.
5. Tom Coughlin: Former Catholic seminarian from Waterloo, NY. Cagey old New York Giants coach pulled off two Super Bowl victories against all odds. Still one of the best in the business despite a bad 2013.
6. John Fox: Wily Denver Broncos coach has his team in Super Bowl mode again. Tipperary roots and is a tough old cuss, as he proved when coming back after heart surgery this year.
7. Mick McCarthy: Took the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl winner's circle in 2010 when they defeated his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. He holds, arguably, the toughest coaching job in the league given the outsize reputation of Vince Lombardi. McCarthy is always in his shadow. Lombardi would love this working class son of an Irish fireman and pub owner.
8. Rex Ryan: The 'Mouth of the South' has clammed up lately, but is still an outsized personality coaching the New York Jets. He needs a Super Bowl trophy, though, to make his legend last.
9.Bill O’Brien: Just named coach of the Houston Texans, formerly with Penn State where he achieved a remarkable turnaround. Prior to that he was with the New England Patriots.
10. John Harbaugh: (see info on brother above) Won Super Bowl with Baltimore in 2012 against all the odds
11. Chip Kelly: Philadelphia coach had great success in his first year coaching the Eagles. New England native brought his Oregon turbo-charged run and gun style to the pros and it really paid off.
12. Sean Payton: New Orleans coach Patrick Sean Payton was named after the Irish "Rosary Priest" Father Patrick Peyton. He didn’t need the Rosary, though, to win the Super Bowl in 2009.
13. Mike McCoy: first season in charge of  the  San Diego Chargers and he led them to the playoffs against Denver and gave Peyton and company a fright. A real comer among new head coaches.
14. Dan Rooney: Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers and former US ambassador to Ireland, one of the true gentlemen of the game who will always be remembered for the Rooney rule which mandated that African Americans be interviewed for head coaching jobs.
15. Pat Bowlen: Owner of the Denver Broncos, from an Irish Canadian oil  family. He has overseen the Broncos' march to the top, to be one of the best franchises in the NFL. His decision to grab Peyton Manning will long rank as an incredibly smart move. Bowlen has been a member of the American Ireland Fund Dinner Committee for the past 22 years and a Trustee for the Irish Community Center for 11 years.
16. John Mara: New York Giants CEO and co-owner. Son of the legendary Wellington Mara, John Kevin Mara has continued the family tradition in excellence when it comes to the Giants organization, winning two recent Super Bowls.
17. Andy Dalton: Red-haired Dalton quarterbacks the Cincinnati Bengals and led them to the playoffs this year, but imploded against San Diego. Nevertheless, he has led Cincinnati to the playoffs his first three years in the league.
18. Matt Ryan: “Matty Ice,” quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, brought them to the verge of the Super Bowl in 2012, but lost to San Francisco in the NFC title game at home. A Philadelphia Irish kid, he was a star performer at Boston College in his college  days.
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick: Tennessee Titans quarterback is a Harvard graduate and allegedly has one of the highest IQ's among NFL players. He  has a mixed record on the field, however, and has become a second stringer after an initially promising start to his career.
20. Mike Shanahan: Fired Washington Redskins coach had a much happier career with Denver, where he lead them to the Super Bowl in 1997 and 1998. A devout Catholic and a Chicago area Irish kid, his own career ended after a serious collision on the field after which his heart stopped and he was given last rites.

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