The Associated Press has announced its finalists for coach of the year and the list includes three strong contenders.
Brian Daboll, Kyle Shanahan, and Doug Pederson are the three head coaches up for the award.
Daboll — who was PFT’s coach of the year — took a Giants team that had not finished above .500 since 2016 and finished 9-7-1. The club went from 31st in both points scored and total yards in consecutive years under former head coach Joe Judge to No. 15 in points and No. 18 in total yards.
Shanahan’s 49ers team started the season with Trey Lance at quarterback but then went to Jimmy Garoppolo when Lance got hurt. And when Garoppolo was injured, the team turned to the last pick of the draft in quarterback Brock Purdy. San Francisco nevertheless won the NFC West at 13-4 and finished No. 5 in total yards and No. 6 in points scored.
After last year’s disaster under former head coach Urban Meyer, the Jaguars won the AFC South in the first season of Pederson’s tenure. Trevor Lawrence looked a lot more like a franchise quarterback in his second season, throwing for 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions in the regular season. As a rookie in 2021, Lawrence finished tied for the league lead with 17 interceptions and tossed just 12 touchdowns.
The AP coach of the year winner will be announced at NFL Honors on Feb. 9.