Quinn brought the Seattle mentality to Atlanta and has built a good defense that flexed its muscle in the playoffs. His offense has exploded this year with the best one-two punch in the run game (
Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman), the best WR2 (Mohamed Sanu) in the league and, of course, the headline playmakers (
Matt Ryan and Julio Jones).
Belichick's the best coach ever. The
Patriots went 14-2 with Brady missing four games and
Rob Gronkowski missing half the year with injuries. Don't take the wins, losses and division titles for granted.
Jason Garrett wrung 13 wins out of a team that was unexpectedly starting a fourth-round pick at quarterback after the two guys ahead of him on the depth chart -- one of whom was
Tony Romo --
with injuries. I thought Garrett did a great job delegating responsibility to the offensive coordinator, and I think his actions on the sideline were those of a winner.
It definitely helps having a potential MVP under center, but Dan Quinn piloted the league's most dynamic offense and a young (but steadily improving) defense to an NFC South division title.
Going 3-1 without
Tom Brady. Going 14-2 without
Rob Gronkowski for half the season.
Leading the league in points allowed after trading
Jamie Collins. This award should reflect offseason planning, fundamentals coaching and weekly game plans. No coach does it all better as a package than Bill Belichick.
Looking back to
Week 1, the
Dolphins had plenty of opportunities to beat the
Seahawks and the 12s, but they didn't take advantage. Adam Gase's group
slid to 1-4 before he flipped a switch. The
Dolphins won nine of their last 11 games and made the playoffs for the first time since 2008. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but Gase turned this franchise around in his first year as head coach.
After the 2015 meltdown, Quinn coached this team to a 11-5 record and a second seed in the NFC playoffs.
Jack Del Rio's aggressive style paid off for the
Raiders (12-4). His team looked like a
Super Bowl contender for a majority of the season. It's just unfortunate the injury bug hit the star QB.
After watching what Bill Belichick did in the first four weeks of the season, it's clear that he can win under any circumstance. It's one thing to win with
Tom Brady, but he was able to do it with
There are plenty of great candidates beyond Jason Garrett for this award, but none of those guys had to open the year without the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart and with a rookie starting at running back. Garrett did an amazing job of helping
Dak Prescott grow. He also kept the
Tony Romo drama from capsizing a team that rolled to the NFC East title.
Andy Reid's the pick here. Look, watch back
that AFC divisional playoff game. Yes, I know this is a regular-season award, but the playoffs really expose how little the
Chiefs have in elite NFL talent. And yet they were the No. 2 seed in the AFC. It's amazing how Reid's able to pull this off every year. Have him coach the
Chargers and they are a playoff team. Have him coach the
Rams -- playoff team. Have him coach the
Browns ... Well, he's not a miracle-worker. Just the best coach in the business.
It's impressive what Adam Gase was able to do in his first year with the
Dolphins. They won a lot of close games on their way to a 10-win season and a playoff berth. He brought them a long way from the 6-10 season in 2015.
Garrett leading his team to the NFC's top seed with a rookie quarterback, rookie running back -- and
Dez Bryant for a few weeks -- is the year's best coaching achievement.
After finishing 8-8 in his first year with Atlanta, Dan Quinn has led his team to an 11-5 record and division title. Since he arrived in Atlanta, he's brought in the right players who fit the culture that he wants to build. He is turning the
Falcons into a stout, young defensive unit like he had in Seattle. The
Falcons have put together good draft classes in the last few years, and Quinn and his staff are doing a great job at developing these guys.
A lot of attention was on Jason Garrett in Dallas, but I'm looking a little south. Houston's Bill O'Brien did so much with so little. He again had a team with a less-than-stellar quarterback (Brock Osweiler) and no
J.J. Watt, and he was still able to make the playoffs and win a game.
Dan Quinn has maximized the talent in Atlanta this season. There is no way I saw this coming back in training camp. I thought the
Falcons would be better than last season, based on offseason moves (acquiring
Alex Mack and Mohamed Sanu), upgrading the defense in the draft and readjusting the offense to better fit
Matt Ryan. However, I did not see them being in the