Plenty of candidates for coach of the year

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After flagging the candidates to get canned in two weeks, it’s only fair to flip it around to look at the coaches who are doing it better than anyone else. And in a season where the MVP is already obvious, the coach of the year is anything but.

Here’s a look at the candidates, in alphabetical order.

Pete Carroll, Seahawks: The Seahawks have overachieved for a second straight year, and they could end up being the No. 1 seed in the NFC. If they are, Carroll deserves recognition for quickly retooling a fading championship team into an emerging championship team.

John Harbaugh, Ravens: Who expected the Ravens to be this good? Harbaugh had the vision for building an offense around Lamar Jackson, and Harbaugh has gotten the most out of a defense that lost plenty of parts and added several new ones. To take the No. 1 seed from the Patriots is no small feat, and the Ravens are on the cusp of pulling it off.

Matt LaFleur, Packers: He walked into a potential cheesecurd buzzsaw, but LaFleur has taken charge of the situation, boosting the Packers to 10 wins in 13 games (maybe 11 in 14, if they win today). To do that with a team that had missed the playoffs in two straight seasons is significant, and LaFleur has earned consideration, especially if the Packers end up with a bye.

Sean McDermott, Bills:  Overlooked all season long, the Bills have a shot at ending New England’s hammerlock on the AFC East. If the Bills pull it off, McDermott should pull some votes.

Sean Payton, Saints: Five games without Drew Brees? Five wins. Payton has done some of his best coaching ever, getting the Saints to shake off a pair of heartbreaking playoff exits and to put together another great season. They’ll need to climb back at least to the No. 2 seed for Payton to be a viable candidate.

Kyle Shanahan, 49ers: After last season, questions were swirling about his future in San Francisco. Now, he’s among the elite coaches in the NFL, drawing up plays that confound defenses and currently holding the No. 1 seed in the ultra-competitive NFC. If the 49ers finish in that spot, he deserves serious consideration.

Mike Tomlin, Steelers: Without question, Tomlin has done the best coaching of his career this season. Overmatched in almost every game, Tomlin has willed the Steelers to winning eight of 10 games. If they get to the playoffs after starting 0-3 and with injuries nearly wiping out their offense, Tomlin should be the favorite.

Mike Vrabel, Titans: Down and out at 2-4, the Titans flipped from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill and haven’t looked back. If the Titans get to the playoffs, Vrabel should get some love. If they barely miss it, some will wonder why he didn’t switch to Tannehill sooner.

26 responses to “Plenty of candidates for coach of the year

  1. LaFleur has done very well in his first year, many rival fans thought he had no chance of making the playoffs, which he likely will, but I would be shocked and probably even dissapointed if anyone but Tomlin wins it.

    While everyone says he did it without Bell and Brown, Bell wasn’t around last season, and Browns seems as if he was addition by subtraction, the big reason I feel he deserves it is I I thought with Big Ben playing well they would be lucky to be .500 he went down, they traded away what I thought what was going be easily a top 10 pick for Fitzpatrick, and he has prooved me wrong with Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges. Maybe I underestimated the Steelers, but I feel he is getting the most out the talent on his team.

  2. ….and the fact that Bill Bellichick doesn’t even get a nomination just shows how he keeps getting ignored in these post season awards. I know he doesn’t care a bit, but his fans do. The Coach of the Year award should be renamed, the 2nd best coach of the year award.

    You know it, I know know it, and the coach who wins it KNOWS it.

  3. Right now, I would go with Shanahan or Harbaugh, but both of them have done it with some amazing players on the roster. Tomlin is doing it with a motley crew on offense, and a defense that he has had a big part in shaping. If Tomlin ends at 11-5, or even 10-6, he certainly deserves as much consideration as anyone else.

    And I continue to be astonished that Pats fans still cannot spell the name of their coach. (patfanken says: December 15, 2019 at 4:20 pm ….and the fact that Bill Bellichick). Really? More than 20 years and you can’t get his name right? What a fan.

  4. ….and the fact that Bill Bellichick doesn’t even get a nomination just shows how he keeps getting ignored in these post season awards. I know he doesn’t care a bit, but his fans do. The Coach of the Year award should be renamed, the 2nd best coach of the year award.

    You know it, I know know it, and the coach who wins it KNOWS it.
    _________
    Most Valuable Cheater! There ya go 😉

  5. patfanken says:
    December 15, 2019 at 4:20 pm
    ….and the fact that Bill Bellichick doesn’t even get a nomination just shows how he keeps getting ignored in these post season awards.
    ===================
    Why would BELICHICK get COTY of the year consideration? He is coaching a team that has won 3 of the last 4 Super Bowls in a season when they are not even assured of a first round bye. That’s a heck of a coaching job, way better than Harbaugh (likely to get top seed in the AFC, or Shanahan (possibly getting top seed in the NFC, or McDermott (6-10 last year, 9-4 as of the time of this post).

    Maybe 7th best coach of the year? You know it, I know know it, and the coach who wins COTY KNOWS it. Apparently Pats fans are the only ones unaware…

  6. Tomlin
    Harbaugh
    McDermott
    LaFleur*

    *I would never give a rookie HC CotY, especially one inheriting A-A-Ron.

  7. I am a Packer fan, but before you write articles or buy into the LaFleur buzz you need to watch a few Packer games. It looks about like the McCarthy offense with a slightly larger dose of Aaron Jones and Rodgers unable to find his receivers.
    Am I glad they’ve won some games, hell yes, but I’m expecting a One and Done in the playoffs.

  8. I’m just going to go ahead and say Who cares about Coach of the Year? That’s like one step up from Ed Block courage award or something.
    No offense

  9. C’mon man. Y’all pick the Seahawks to win 4 games each of the last two seasons and Carroll has them win double digit games BOTH seasons and potentially a #1 seed this year.

  10. I’d be willing to bet not a single name on that list cares. For that matter they probably don’t want it! Let’s look at the last 5 winners of the AP version which is the one most people reference:

    2018 Matt Nagy: Lost the locker room this year
    2017 Sean McVay: Still OK but team is not doing well
    2016 Jason Garrett: On the hot seat
    2015 Ron Rivera: Fired
    2014 Bruce Arians: Fired

  11. I think Zimmer should be on this list too.

    And if somehow the Vikings were to pull off winning the Division (not likely with the Packers having the Lions in Week 17) then he should be STRONGLY considered.

    If the Packers had not been gifted two of their games by referee mistakes, the Vikings would have wrapped up the Division already.

    And I can count on my pinky the number of analysts that predicted the Vikings to be at 10 or more wins.

  12. Once again, no respect for Sean Payton!
    with 3 days to prepare, he completely changes the offense to suit Bridgewater, and beats Seattle in Seattle, then wins 4 more straight…then, CHANGES BACK to the Drew Brees concepts with record-breaking results…

  13. I read threads like this and realize the term fan really does mean fanatic. There is one guy who is the clear coach of the year, McDermott. He has done more with less and is 6-1 on the road.

    Runner up is Harbaugh, who not only has done a great job with a young QB, he has totally changed the scheme to fit his talent.

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