The Associated Press just released its 2023 NFL Coach of the Year short list, and there has been a lot of rumbling as a result. The list contains three remarkable coaches: Kyle Shanahan, Brian Daboll and Doug Pederson. But there is also one glaring omission, one that is bordering on ludicrous, to say the least.
That decision is the exclusion of the Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Sirianni, whose team outperformed preseason expectations as he turned a potential average quarterback into an MVP contender.
Philadelphia smashed its projected win total of 9.5 wins, as he won a staggering 14 games. Sirianni also built an offensive around the strengths of Jalen Hurts, coached Jason Kelce to an All-Pro nod and led the Eagles to the No. 1 seed in the NFC. He should be on that list at the very least, but apparently AP voters felt differently.
The top three candidates for the NFL Coach of the Year Award
Asides from the Sirianni snub, the other coaches on the short list are fantastic choices.
#3, Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has long been seen as a genius coach, and his track record speaks for itself. Shannan had yet another solid season with San Francisco, taking his team to the NFC championship game.
His biggest coaching achievement this season has been to navigate a potential QB crisis and still make the conference title game. Few coaches in NFL history can boast of it, but none with a so-called "Mr. Irrelevant."
#2, Brian Daboll, New York Giants
Then there's New York Giants coach Brian Daboll, who helped lead the Giants to an unlikely playoff berth. The Giants started off this season on a hot streak, even though they returned to earth after Week 10.
The Giants faithful will be eternally grateful to Daboll, as he helped revitalize the careers of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. Moreover, even Odell Beckham Jr. was flirting with returning to the Giants at some point in the season. When that happens, it's obvious that you are doing something right.
#1, Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Finally, we have the Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson, who took the Jaguars from the worst team in the league to a divisional-round playoff game. He helped Trevor Lawrence turn his young career around. Pederson has long been seen as one of the better offensive minds in football, and this season he showed just that.
Why Doug Pederson is the favorite to win: While all three have a shot at Coach of the Year, we cannot stop admiring what Doug Pederson has done in Jacksonville. Taking a team from the lottery to the playoffs is quite the fear; how he did it is nothing short of astronomical. That's why Pederson is our favorite to win the Coach of the Year award.
Past Five Winners of the Coach of the Year Award
Here are the past five winners of the Coach of the Year Award
2021: Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
2020: Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns
2019: John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
2018: Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears
2017: Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
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