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From the Press Box: Coach of the Year, MVP Edition

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From the Press Box: Coach of the Year, MVP Edition

Last week we talked about the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, as well as the Comeback Player of the Year awards.

This week we get down to the nitty-gritty—Coach of the Year and MVP.

I think there are some worthy contenders this year, as there always are. Chip Kelly in Philadelphia, Bruce Arians in Arizona, Andy Reid in Kansas City and Ron Rivera in Carolina all stand out to me.

Sure, you can make an argument for Bill Belichick considering the injuries the Patriots overcame, and you could possibly argue that Rex Ryan took the New York Jets further than was expected.

But ultimately I feel like neither of those two really did anything so noteworthy compared to some of the others.

The two guys it really comes down to for me are Kelly and Arians, though Rivera gets a close third.

Rivera went from being on the hot seat to getting his team a first round bye. It's hard to balance that with his previous two seasons accounting for a pretty dismal 13-19 record—what changed? Was it the departure of offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and the addition of Mike Shula?

It's hard to put a finger on it and it doesn't feel like the success was purely coaching. They did run more effectively on the offensive side but their pass game was ranked No. 29 in the NFL. They did see a big turnaround in overall defense, going from No. 23 to No. 2 overall.

Again though, while Rivera made some bold moves (Hence the nickname "Riverboat Ron") he also made some bad ones as well.

Arians took a team which was abysmal offensively and helped make them the No. 12 offense in the NFL. He managed to make Carson Palmer—who looked awful in Oakland—look solid and nearly made the playoffs with a team most thought would be an outright joke this year.

The Eagles had more offensive talent—they were the No. 15 ranked offense in 2012—but took it to the next level under Kelly. The Eagles were hit and miss for part of the season due to injury, but they ended as the No. 2 offense in the NFL. Nick Foles was absolutely fantastic and LeSean McCoy had a career year.

Defensively the Eagles continue to struggle, though as always it's more due to a talent deficit  than a failure of scheme.

Still, the edge for me goes to Arians. He too had personnel issues with the Cardinals offense—especially along the offensive line—but managed to improve that offense despite this.

I do give props to Reid in Kansas City, but that defense has been filled with talent for some time. As impressive as the Chiefs' early run was, dropping five out of seven games to end the season was ugly—even if you take away the official-assisted loss in Week 17.

MVP—now that's easy.

For me it's Peyton Manning.

I am impressed with how Tom Brady played with almost nobody to throw to but Manning's year has been unreal so it is hard to argue Brady at the end of the day.

All the records he broke, the dominating performances on an almost weekly basis (thanks for nothing Colts and Patriots) and his overall continued dominance since most of us wrote him off prior to the 2012 season add up to an MVP in my book.

I did consider a contrarian argument that Aaron Rodgers was the MVP due to the struggles the Packers had when he was out and the difference he made in Week 17.

But you don't win awards by your absence so, as much fun as that is,  I can't argue that with a straight face.

Those are my thoughts on a lot (though not all) of the awards for the 2013 NFL season.

If you have questions as to why, let me know and I will answer them as best I can at some point soon.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bomdad's picture

Just a question, at the end of the season do you consider playcalling at all when pondering coach of the year? Clock management? Or just wins?

Stroh's picture

Usually goes to a coach who took over a poor team and turned them into immediate winners. In that situation a likely candidate is Andy Reid in KC, Bruce Ariens in AZ or maybe Chip Kelly in Philly.

guenaj's picture

No question...

Coach=Belicheck

MVP=Manning

Doubt that Belicheck wins it, but he should

Phatgzus's picture

Yup, Belicheat or Kelly should win it, followed distantly by Rivera. I'm surprised Payton and even Tomlin and McCoy aren't getting any recognition.

guenaj's picture

yeah, Rivera and Kelly have done a nice job, but there is no way I would give it to anyone but Bellichick. I really don't like him that much, but give credit when it is due. Just because the Patriots have been so good for so many years people forget what they have been through THIS year and how he has somehow kept them as one of the best teams in the league. They have a pretty average team overall with two superstars... Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick.
All of their injuries and how they have responded is incredible.

Bomdad's picture

Tomlin didn't go for two with less than 12 minutes left vs the. Packers. Terrible coaching.

RunAndHyde's picture

Andy Reid....the chiefs sucked last year.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Reid. The chiefs won, I think two games last year. Had half their probowlers not got concussed today, they would've advanced.

MarkinMadison's picture

The Eagles have been a broken record the last few years. Mounds of talent. Vick gets hurt for part of the season. The team goes south. Finds a way to rally when he comes back.

Enter Kelly.

Vick goes down, again, and this time he does not come back. Foles comes in. I don't hear anyone comparing Nick Foles to Tom Brady. I heard a lot of pundits saying, "It's a nice novelty, but you can't run this college crap in the NFL for more than a couple of weeks, everyone will wear out." Funny thing, they lost five of their first eight, but only one of their last eight. Granted, like the Packers, their schedule was a bit front-loaded.

The only difference I see between the 2013 Eagles and past vintages is the change at coach. And I love Andy Reid. But Kelly has brought something a bit different to the NFL and it helped his team get into the playoffs this year. Maybe it won't work long term. Then again, maybe this is the future.

JackintheBox's picture

Coach of the year: MM....why; this team wen't into the season filled with all the confidence in the world, got decimated with injuries (most in league??) and still managed to not fall apart AND reach the P.O's using a 2nd WW mantra - keep calm and carry on....ever tried to make an omelette out of egg shells and and some old capers (no pun intended)....well there you go. MVP: Manning sure...or after tonight when the pack wins...Rodgers.... ;)

Phatgzus's picture

True they made the Playoffs and I think MM did a helluva job keeping them afloat and focused, yet they wouldn't have made the Playoffs if the Bears and Lions weren't absolute rubbish; plus it's not like the Pack were bad last year, fair or un- that counts against him.

JackintheBox's picture

So if they suck...we should all suck...they play the same teams and I don't always agree with MM on playcalls, but the Leos sucked with an athletic superior team (true...they are better on paper) and their coach was fired, yet no packer coach have been fired yet (maybe they know something we don't???) and you blame the players....TT can't keep a team alive on draft picks only...needs to re-inforce on free A's....knowing this; MM made the P.O's on replacements....yeah; coach of the year in my book.

Preston's picture

I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and coverage!
Keep up the great works guys I've incorporated you guys to my own
blogroll.

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