Now that 2016 is over, our NFL expert Richard Corbally has chosen his NFL coaches of the year across four categories…
Head Coach of the year contenders:
Bill Belichek: New England Patriots
Jason Garrett: Dalles Cowboys
Jack Del Rio: Oakland Raiders
Dan Quinn: Atlanta Falcons
Winner: Jack Del Rio; Oakland Raiders
Any of the other three coaches could easily have won this award, and there is a case for each coach, But “Black Jack” Del Rio takes the award because he has taken a franchise in disarray (and with a losing culture) to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, and in the process his side have won eight games by seven points or less.
He has coached to win games rather than trying not to lose, which was emphasized in week one when the Raiders went for a two point conversion in order to beat the Saints, rather than take one point and send it to overtime.
This tweet at ESPN set the tone for the badass attitude Del Rio was putting back in the Raiders.
This side could have possibly made a Superbowl run if Derek Carr hadn’t broken his leg. Nevertheless, to go 12-4 when playing so many close matches is very impressive.
Offensive Coordinator of the year contenders:
Josh Mcdaniels: New England Patriots
Scott Lenihan: Dallas Cowboys
Anthony Lynn: Buffalo Bills
Kyle Shanahan: Atlanta Falcons
Winner: Josh Mcdaniels New England Patriots
McDaniels takes the award simply because he has had to construct and reboot this offense on numerous occasions. Whether it was dealing with injuries to Rob Gronkowski, Deon Lewis or Tom Brady’s suspension, the Patriots’ offense has kept rolling.
In week three the Patriots faced the Houston Texans – who are now in the playoff – without their first two starting QBs (Tom Brady or Jimmy Garopollo) or their best receiver Rob Gronkowski, yet they were able to win comfortably 0-27 with rookie Jacoby Brissett at QB, and an offense centered around LaGarrent Blount.
I can’t think of any other team in the league who could win that game while missing so many major pieces. McDaniels deserves credit for this and deserves a head-coaching job next year.
One stat that jumps out to me is that the Patriots started 3 different QBs this season and only had 2 interceptions, which should speak volumes to how well they are coached.
Defensive Coordinator of the year contenders:
Steve Spagnuolo: New York Giants
Bob Sutton: Kansas City Cheifs
Rod Marinelli: Dallas Cowboys
Romeo Crenel: Houston Texans
Winner: Steve Spagnuolo: New York Giants
The Giants have been weak on defense the last number of years and never looked particularly intimidating. But against some of the NFL best offenses this year they have been brilliant, holding the Saints, Cowboys and Lions to just 16, 7 and 6 points in crucial games of the season.
In the offseason the Giants took some risky moves paying for free agents like Olivia Vernon, Janoris Jenkins and Keenan Robinson, as well as paying their own free agent Jason Pierre Paul, despite the fact he was recovering from a firework accident.
The moves have paid off and this Giants team has made the playoffs for the first time since 2011, and if this is anything like their last two playoff appearances, there will be another Lombardi Trophy for the Giants.
Spagnuolo deserves a lot of credit for their turn around in fortune.
General Manager of the Year contender:
Kevin Colbert: Pittsburg Steelers
Ozzie Newsome: Baltimore Ravens
Jerry Jones (or who ever overrules Jerry on every pick and makes the correct decision): Dallas Cowboys
Jon Robinson: Tennessee Titans
Winner: Jon Robinson Tennessee Titans
Robinson wins this because the Titans became a fun team to watch for the first time since 2000, and when you look at the Browns it’s obvious that turning a bad team into a good team is not easy.
The Titans offensive line went from being the ranked number 26th in 2015 to 6th in 2016, picking Jack Conklin with the number 8th overall pick was the first big step for this team.
They then added running backs Demarco Murray in free agency and Derrick Henry in the draft and went onto have the third best rushing attack in this year’s NFL.
Having an identity for a team is important and Robinson has done well to build an identity as a dominant rushing team. They defeated excellent teams this year such as the Packers and Chiefs, all while setting themselves up well for next year by having the number 5 and 18 pick in this years draft as well as multiple picks in other rounds after trading last years first overall pick to the Rams.
The Titans had six rookies starting on their team this year, so expect Robinson to continue to improve his team in 2017 with all those draft picks.