NFL Coach of the Year?

Who do you think should be the NFL’s coach of the year?

Tony Dungy – the team is going to have the same record or better as last year, but he finally got that defense to match the offense

Marvin Lewis – the Bengals have a winning record and are going to the playoffs for the first time since running water came to the USA

Lovie Smith – somehow has a team with no offense and a rookie QB going to the playoffs

Mike Holmgren – hopefully manages to get the underachieving label removed from the Seahawks

Mike Tice – somehow has the Vikings in the playoff hunt even though there was talk he’d lose his job at the beginning of the season. Losing Culpepper and Moss sure didn’t help, but somehow they’re still in it. Brad Johnson may turn out to be the best free agent signing of the off season (note to Bears – you COULD have signed him and might be the favorite for the SB right now if you had)

All the coaches listed are good ones who have enjoyed a lot of success this year, but I gotta go with Lovie Smith. He’s done the most with the least talent, which in my mind is the sign of a good coach. Tice would be a close runner up on the same criteria.

Dungy is the coach of the year IMO. He has realized his weaknesses and gradually improved until he has a juggernaut. Even then many coaches lose focus and fail, but he has gone through a tough schedule and handily beaten everyone. Have they even had a close game?

The way this award seems to be judged favors Lovie Smith. Overachieving players is the ticket. There’s too much obvious talent on the Colts and Bengals rosters. The Seahawks were in the playoffs last season - the award usually goes to a “Worst-to-First” type team. The Vikings are too late and there’s too much controversy surrounding them.

Yeah, Tice doesn’t get the award (the ticket scalping thing last year won’t help either). I’d put money on Dungy if he gets the undefeated season, otherwise Lovie Smith has done a tremendous job with a team that no sane person thought would be in this position this late in the year.

Who thinks Tice will still be loved in the Twin Cities when the Vikings lose their last three games of the season?

Oh… and Smith for sure for all the reasons Bill stated PLUS the fact that he’s black can only work in his favor as a protected-class minority coach.

p.s. what about Saban?

Indianapolis has had several games decided by a single shutdown. Week 2 off the top of my head against Jacksonville was a 10-3 game, which I’d say qualifies as close.

Dungy and his crew deserve a lot of credit for being 13-0 but I don’t think he’s coach of the year. Keep in mind that his amazing record is due in no small part to the easiest first-half schedule in the league (the only two teams with winning records Indy played in its first 8 games were Jacksonville and New England, and I don’t know if New England should count).

Nearly 25% (3) of Indianapolis’s wins come from playing San Fransisco and Houston (twice!). Those are probably the two worst teams in the league; I don’t think any other team out there got that many games against 'em.

I can’t believe I just read that.

p.s. what about Saban?

If he ends up at 9-7, sure, Wannstedt, but I’m not sure a 5 game swing really is coach of the year material.

Indianapolis has had several games decided by a single shutdown.

Assuming you meant “touchdown”, that’s pretty goddamn amazing – not only have they not lost a game, they haven’t even had it come down to some crazy last ditch play, field goal attempt, field goal miss, or dubious play call. They just clearly win every game they’re in.

How dominant are the Colts? They lead the league in scoring and are ranked #2 in scoring defense. I think the last team that was ranked similarly were the 96 Packers (#1 offense and #1 defense).

I hate bizarre typos.

Anyway - no doubt about it, Indy is an impressive team this year. They are certainly the best in the league at this point - the wins over the steelers and especially Cincinatti cemented that. I just don’t think that makes Dungy the top coach in the NFL this year.

Oh I agree, given that his team was 13-3 last year. A lot of people think that the best coaching job goes to the guy that either A.) made a bad team good or B.) made a bunch of minimal talent competitive. Last year I would have given the honors to John Fox since it’s nearly impossible to make a team that’s like 1-7 or whatever play hard for the rest of the season. Same rationale applies to Tice this year.

So all that said, I’d probably give it to Lovie Smith this year, but honestly, I think that’s more like an award for Rivera than Smith.

I think there’s enough talent parity in the NFL that making a bad team good isn’t nearly as difficult as making a good team great.

Lovie Smith is not dealing with a complete and utter lack of talent. He had a good defense to begin with, and made it a great one. I wouldn’t confuse the Bears’ defense ability to cover the flaws of their offense with Lovie Smith having done more with less; it’s more of a case of him making do with what he does have.

So I’d have to go with Dungy, myself.