Jared Goff looked like a completely different player in his second year thanks to Sean McVay. Plus, the rookie head coach guided his
the top of the league in scoring offense.
It's very hard to pick one coach. There were a lot of great jobs done this season, but I chose Doug Marrone because of the way he lifted the
Jaguars from perennial losers to division champs. He instilled discipline and toughness in the Jags and played to the strength of the team (defense) in his coaching strategy, which allowed Jacksonville to be successful.
Rams games from the press box all season, I was able to watch Sean McVay work his magic. The players bought in and that resulted in a ton of career-best performances up and down the roster.
Somebody needs to give Doug Pederson his due.
Carson Wentz matured into an MVP candidate under his watch. The
Eagles won 13 games despite dealing with an assortment of major injuries (including the losses of Wentz and perennial Pro Bowler Jason Peters). There were even rumors that
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was angling for Pederson's job earlier in the year.
All sorts of reasons for the
Eagles to implode. They didn't -- because of their head coach.
There are a number of deserving candidates this year, but the turnaround in Los Angeles was so stark that McVay
must be the winner.
Jared Goff and
Todd Gurley were getting labeled "busts" just last year, and they led
2017's highest-scoring offense, thanks to McVay's ingenuity and leadership.
There are plenty of good candidates for this award, but my winner is Sean McVay. The 2016
Rams were still one of the league's punchlines and plenty of people had already written off
Jared Goff's career. Then McVay (with a bit of an assist from Wade Phillips) injected new life into the roster and served notice that the
Rams could be a problem in the NFC for the foreseeable future.
Coming into the season, nobody expected the
Eagles to handedly win the division. Doug Pederson is a great play-caller, which helped
Carson Wentz become a bona fide MVP candidate in Year 2. With Pederson, Philly will be in the postseason conversation for years to come.
Nobody saw the
Jets winning five games this season, especially after losing so many veterans in the offseason and to injury. Todd Bowles coached his tail off and deserves credit for how the team competed.
Jacksonville Jaguars won
THREE games in 2016 and were minutes away from playing in
Super Bowl LII a year later. If Doug Marrone isn't acknowledged for this transformation, it's a crime.
In 2016, the
Rams went 4-12, while first overall draft pick
Jared Goff won zero of his seven starts at quarterback. Then Sean McVay took over, lifting Los Angeles to an NFC West title and Goff to the
Pro Bowl. McVay changed the culture of an organization that hadn't enjoyed a winning season since 2003. And, at 30 when he was hired, McVay opened a door for other young coaches.
I also considered
Eagles coach Doug Pederson for this honor.
my pick to begin the season, so I'm not backing off that now. I know
Eagles fans will be upset because Doug Pederson is being disrespected. Your team is in the
Super Bowl, so you're fine. And really, you didn't witness the dregs of the Jeff Fisher offense first hand, so you might not understand just how bad things were in Los Angeles last season. It's like upgrading from an old-school NES to an airplane, because Fisher's offense and McVay's offense were two different things.
Rams' turnaround was second only to Jacksonville's in my eyes, and Sean McVay was the reason this team won the NFC West for the first time since 2003.