PFT’s NFL 2022 coach of the year: Brian Daboll

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles
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The coach of the year typically refers to the coach whose team most exceeded the general expectations that existed before the season started. In 2022, plenty of coaches fell into that category. One managed to take his team to the playoffs under circumstances that seemed unlikely to the point of no chance in hell.

In a division that saw none of the four teams finish under .500 after 17 games were played, the Giants landed as the No. 6 seed in the conference, making it to the playoffs for only the second time in more than a decade, and for the first time since 2016.

Brian Daboll did it with a roster largely devoid of established talent. The two most important players on the roster — quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley — were in contract years. The defense was a work in progress. The offensive line had been a liability, for years. The receivers were no-name castoffs, the bizarro version of Frank Sinatra’s “if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere” assessment of New York, New York.

And yet somehow, Daboll and the Giants cobbled together enough wins to get in.

There weren’t many signature wins. Beating the Titans on the road in Week One stands out, as does overpowering a then-potent Packers team in London. The Giants otherwise took care of business just often enough to emerge with sufficient wins to do that which few thought they’d be able to do, especially with a new coach and a new G.M.

There were other very worthy coaches. Kyle Shanahan took the 49ers to the No. 2 seed in the NFC despite losing a pair of starting quarterbacks to injury. He also effectively integrated running back Christian McCaffrey into an offense that helped spark a run of 10 straight victories, which nearly delivered the top seed in the conference. It didn’t hurt to have the best defense in the league.

In Jacksonville, Doug Pederson cleaned up Urban Meyer’s mess quickly, capturing first place in one of the weakest divisions in football — and laying the foundation for a bright future. Dan Campbell managed to propel the Lions from 1-6 to the fringes of the postseason; Mike Tomlin did the same with the Steelers, after starting 2-6 and willing the team to a winning record.

In Seattle, Pete Carroll took a team in which few believed back to the playoffs, without Russell Wilson — and with a defense that was a far cry from the Legion of Boom.

Then there’s the Vikings. First-year coach Kevin O’Connell managed to lead the team through one close win after another, finishing with a league-record 11 one-score games, even though the 13-4 Vikings ultimately were outscored by their opponents.

Another first-year coach, Mike McDaniel of the Dolphins, got his team to the playoffs despite multiple concussion issues with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and a late-season five-game winning streak.

Bills coach Sean McDermott led his team through one adversity after another, putting them in position to perhaps finally get back to the Super Bowl for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid took a retooled offense to the No. 1 seed. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni had his team looking dominant for much of the season, capturing the top seed in the NFC.

There were indeed many great coaching jobs in 2022. But Daboll gets the nod for taking a Giants team that looked to be destined for yet another non-playoff season into the tournament.

67 responses to “PFT’s NFL 2022 coach of the year: Brian Daboll

  1. The bias is always to vote for a coach who had decent results on a team that was a hot mess before their arrival. There’s something to be said for that, but it’s part of why the Coach of the Year almost never goes on to win the Super Bowl. For me the best coach this year has been Shanahan, hands down, no contest.

  2. Daboll is a good coach, but Shanahan deserves the “Coach of the Year” award. Shanahan devised a system that has allowed the Niners to thrive with 3 different Quarterbacks.

    Look at the other teams that had to play with their backup QBs. Miami will be one and done. The Ravens will lose, too. And don’t forget the Jets and the other teams that playedwith backup QBs…they all lost too many game.

  3. I will respectfully suggest Campbell in Detroit for my vote. But as is pointed out there are many worthy candidates this year. IMO

  4. It’s definitely Doug Peterson IMO. Jaguars were a disaster a year ago, unbelievable what he has accomplished after Urban’s reign of incompetence.

    I’m just glad we have a coach that plays to win, and has the respect of the players that play hard for him, even with a limited roster. The playoff spot was well deserved. It’s been a few rough years of bad coaching, and playing not to lose. No fan enjoys that.

  5. As an Eagles fan I’m partial to Doug Pederson getting this, but there’s no doubt that Daboll turned the Giants around QUICKLY. They showed flashes of the old Giants teams with smash mouth defense and conservative ball control. Although they still have much to improve on, you gotta start somewhere. NFC East is looking to be wild in the next few years.

  6. Wow, this is a really bad pick. Every year there’s a somewhat crappy team that sneaks into the playoffs. Most of the time, luck is the reason for overperformance. There’s at least 5 coaches more deserving. Sirianni (not even mentioned ?!?), Pederson, Shannahan and Carroll are way better choices.

  7. Everyone points to an improved Daniel Jones, but his stats are pretty similar to prior years—especially yards per attempt. I think resurrecting Barkley was the important factor for the giants offense. Daboll joined the bills in 2018, but this has a very 2017 bills vibe. HC got a team with little talent to the playoffs. Don’t worry about playoff results and use this season as a springboard.

  8. A worthy candidate. But certainly not coach of the year, considering the other bodies of work you also mentioned. Pedersen, McConnell, Shanahan, even Carroll had more deserving seasons.

  9. How on earth could you choose Daboll over Pederson? Any coach that would have followed Urban Meyer and gone to the playoffs needs to be the vote. Dougie P. deserves that award.

  10. I would go with Lovie Smith for hosing the Texans out of the 1st pick on his way out. That was hilarious…

  11. If not Shanahan, I would give the honor to Carroll. Shanahan has shown he is worthy, given his rookie QB, total team preparedness every week & ultimately their dominance the past 10 weeks. Carroll’s a close second for the team’s extreme success in beating everybody’s expectations and making the playoffs.

  12. You really can’t go wrong with Daboll, Sirianni, Dougie Fresh, Pete Carroll, could throw in Stefanski in Minnesota…I have one that hasn’t been mentioned yet & hear me out: Sean McDermott.

    the coaches above have all done better with their teams than expectation. The Bills have finished about where everyone picked them to finish but the way he handled the Damar Hamlin situation was the most important & impressive thing from a coach I’ve seen with the way he helped hold the bills & maybe even the bengals together to an extent..maybe the most impressive job ever. Maybe that shouldn’t qualify him for this award, that’s up to the voters but it should absolutely be mentioned when discussing the award

  13. Vikings fan, but I think I’d have to agree with Knightwanderer – the way Campbell turned around the Lions after an abysmal start to ending up a whisker from making the playoffs was some excellent coaching. Not sure I’d discount O’Connell, though; taking a team out of the playoffs the year before to a 13 win season is pretty impressive, especially dealing with the worst defense in the league. A lot of worthy candidates this year. Can’t really argue too much, whoever wins Coach of the Year this year.

  14. Sorry I left out Dan Campbell’s name! Ok, you folks can go back to your exaggerated & unfounded outrage because your team’s coach might not win & you think he should

  15. It’s definitely Doug Peterson IMO. Jaguars were a disaster a year ago, unbelievable what he has accomplished after Urban’s reign of incompetence.

    I’m just glad we have a coach that plays to win, and has the respect of the players that play hard for him, even with a limited roster. The playoff spot was well deserved. It’s been a few rough years of bad coaching, and playing not to lose. No fan enjoys that.


    Doug Pederson plays to win????

    How about throwing the Philly/Washington game before getting fired!

  16. Wah the coach of my team isn’t listed. Lots Of great options this year. PHI, NYG, SF, DET, Jax all could have their coaches selected.

  17. Sorry Doug Pederson is Coach of the Year. When you take a team who had the worst record in the NFL the past two seasons and win the division, your #1. Campbell, Shanahan and Sirianni would be above Daboll IMO.

  18. “Chiefs coach Andy Reid took a retooled offense to the No. 1 seed.”

    A little overstated, no?

  19. Lots of pretty good choices but I would 100% give it to Dougie P of the Jag’s he was brought in to a beyond horrendous envionment and look where they are now. Trevor Lawrence is most improved for sure too.

  20. Daboll did good work, but I’d put what Pederson has accomplished head and shoulders above it. They went from further in the dumps than were the Giants to actually winning their division. Bigger swing in wins, culture, and division standing. Don’t see any measure by which Pederson is less deserving.

    I’d also put Carroll and Campbell ahead, and for deft navigating of season challenges, Shanahan and Tomlin.

  21. KOC and the Vikings have been discounted all season. Why should this be any different. I’ve never seen such hate for a 13-4 team in my life.

    The Vikings are a fun team to root for. Yet, the level of disgust over this team and their record is mind-boggling.

  22. VisionTim says:
    January 13, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    Daboll is a good pick because he’s new at this, gives him the edge over Pederson.


    Good point. Though I would say that new or not, going from 4th to 1st in your division is more of an accomplishment than going from 4th to 3rd.

  23. Gettleman gets some credit here too. He did make some solid draft picks just was poor at picking coaches. It should be a rule now to not hire Belicheat assistants.

  24. I think Daboll’s doing a great job but he’s not COY. It’s Doug Pederson, hands down. Not even close. The Jags were a dumpster fire on and off the field, and have been for a long time. He’s got them not only to the playoffs, but they won the the division. Amazing.

  25. You missed this one. If Jags beat Chargers and Giants lose it makes it a no brainer. Still a no brainer considering the mess Doug had to clean up. This wasn’t just clean up on aisle 10, it was clean up the whole store.

  26. Dan Campbell will always be my Coach of the Year. Keep bitin’ them kneecaps, Dan! Keep bitin’ them kneecaps…

  27. Daboll starts out 7-2 but then goes 2-5-1 in his last eight games. I think there are several better candidates for coach of the year.

  28. There are a lot of worthy picks. Mine would have been Dan Campbell. He not only made something out of this team, he’s made an entire fanbase actually believe in the Lions. That’s no small feat. Football has been the fourth sport in this town for a long time. Fans are finally throwing away the paper bags and proudly supporting this team. It’s kind of awesome to see.

  29. Not a lot of love for O’Connell in these comments, but a lot of love for guys who took bad teams to 9 wins. I have news for you. It’s a lot easier to lift a bad team to a mediocre team than it is to lift a mediocre team to a good team. I get it, everyone hates the Vikings because they didn’t lose enough games for their point differential. Do you really think it’s luck to take a team with the worst defense in the league to 13 wins and 11-0 in one-score games? The difference between this year and last year is the coach, who completely changed the atmosphere around the team and made Kirk Cousins into one of the most clutch quarterbacks in the league.

  30. BB won this before the season began. Some people just can’t see his genius when it’s right in front of them.

  31. Doug Pederson has done a nice job but he won the worst division in football with a franchise QB. Daboll won with Daniel Jones. End of discussion.

  32. How dare the Vikings win all those close games!
    ….it really seems to have triggered many.

    Sorry folks…..those wins still count despite the point differentials.

  33. KC is starting 4 or 5 rookies on their defense, over 1/3rd of that part of the team – if that’s not retooling, I don’t know what is. Their offense has a slew of new receivers, but those guys are mostly veterans with one rookie toting the rock.

    Chiefs offense leads the league in a few critical categories, but it’s their defense that has kept this team in contention.

  34. Not really related, but “toting the rock” is about the lamest football cliche in history, yet it still appears. People, let’s relegate that to the dung heap of history already!

  35. I’ve seen Executive of the year. Head Coach of the year. To me, it’s all part and parcel of the organization – coaching and roster decisions go hand and hand. Daboll’s a good choice. The Giants as an organization took big strides this year, and I think the award should be given to the organization as a whole. Looks like they got it right with the GM and Head Coach and should be a team to be reckoned with going forward.

  36. Dougy P/Campbell/Daboll…wouldn’t be able to argue with any of those guys. Daboll did turn around a floundering org, though, so I’m OK with Daboll.

  37. knightwanderer says:
    January 13, 2023 at 11:50 am
    I will respectfully suggest Campbell in Detroit for my vote. But as is pointed out there are many worthy candidates this year. IMO
    It’s called “Coach of the Year”, not “Coach over a 6 week period”. No, a team that does not make the playoffs cannot possibly have the coach of the year.

  38. And who picked the Vikings to go 13-4 and absolutely destroy that division? I was told and saw anywhere between 4-13 to 7-10 as predictions. Nobody said 13-4. And absolutely nobody said Cousins would take this team to the playoffs. As a matter of fact, most of you still say he is garbage. So how does a coach with a garbage QB, 31st ranked D, take a team to 13-4 and the 3 seed? Coach of the Year? K-O-C!

  39. billshistorian says:
    January 13, 2023 at 12:02 pm
    Everyone points to an improved Daniel Jones, but his stats are pretty similar to prior years—especially yards per attempt.

    Daniel Jones is also number one in the league at interception percentage (1.1%) for starting QBs… that can’t be overstated, given his past with turnovers. 5 interceptions and 3 lost fumbles in 17 games is FAR better than his previous efforts.

  40. bleedsteal says:
    January 13, 2023 at 12:28 pm
    Doug Pederson all day! #1 pick in 21 and 22 to Division Champs!
    Slow your roll. They were 9-8 in a craptastic division. If they lose week 18, they aren’t even in the playoffs.

  41. Shanahan’s team is loaded, giving him the award would have been ridiculous. Pederson should have gotten it but Daboll is a decent choice. I don’t think people understand how incompetent Urban Meyer was and what he did to that team. He did not even know who Aaron Donald was when they were looking at film.

  42. How could you not choose Mike Tomlin? Are you unaware that he went 9-8 and almost made the playoffs? GO STEELERS!

  43. Sean McDermott is just an also-ran? He guided his team to a record of 13-3, losing the 3 games by a total of 8 points. He had to withstand a rash of injuries, at times starting 2 rookies and 2 second-year players in the defensive secondary. He led them through 2 blizzards, one dumping nearly 7 feet of snow on his home stadium, forcing them to play a home game in someone else’s stadium, while the other forced his team to stay in Chicago and miss Christmas morning with their families. Then ultimately, he had to deal with the aftermath of nearly having one of his players die on the field. As someone else pointed out, Daboll’s Giants went 2-5-1 down the stretch. Someone else thought that Pedersen should get it for “changing Jacksonville’s culture in one year”. Sean McDermott took over a team that hadn’t made the playoffs in 17 years and got them to the post season his first year. He has had them among the elite in the league for the past 3 seasons. The only year they didn’t make the playoffs was 2018, when they had to jettison all of the wasted cap space from Evan earlier regime. No coach has accomplished more over the last 5 years than McDermott, but he has never been awarded the COY. Inexplicable.

  44. “How could you not choose Mediocre Mike Tomlin from Pittsburgh?”. I’ll tell you why: because SIX lst yr coaches got their teams to the playoffs, while Tomlin failed. Tomlin mangled the QB situation to a lovely 2-6 start. Overrated to the national media, but the local media knows he overspent his effectiveness.

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