The Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) selected Panthers head coach Ron Rivera as Coach of the Year (COY), Jets general manager Mike MacCagnan as Executive of the Year (EOY), and Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips as co-Assistant Coaches of the Year (ECOY).
Rivera won after leading the Panthers to a 15-1 regular season record. MacCagnan won after turning the Jets from a bottom feeder to a playoff contender with savvy additions over the offseason. Phillips won after leading the Broncos to one of the best defenses in the league and Jackson won after leading "a Bengals offense that used varied looks and inventive play calls on the way to a 12-4 record and the AFC North title."
Yeah, that Jackson one is pretty weak.
In fact, the Patriots have been snubbed for the fifth straight season.
The PFWA named Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as Most Valuable Player, which means that no member of the Patriots have won MVP, COY, EOY, or ECOY in any of the five straight seasons they've reached the AFC Conference Championship, including two Super Bowl appearances and one victory.
Someone's doing something to get New England to the final four; apparently that's to the detriment of personal accolades.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady last won COY and MVP, respectively, in 2010. Former general manager Scott Pioli was the last Patriots executive to win EOY in 2007. Former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was the last Patriots coach to win ECOY.
That's insane to me.
The coaching awards seem to go to "best-non Belichick", while EOY is guaranteed to whichever bottom ten team reaches the subsequent year's playoff.
How about an executive that has taken advantage of market inefficiencies to move from 3-4 to 4-3, flipped an entire secondary twice, drafted one of the best young defenses in the league, and reached a fifth straight conference championship? Doesn't that deserve an EOY award?
How about a head coach that navigated through the most injuries in the entire league, including twice as many as any other real contender, battled through an offseason of the dumbest controversy in sports history, and reached a fifth straight conference championship? Doesn't that deserve a COY award?
How about a coordinator that has led the most imaginative offense, changed the entire psychology behind the necessity of a rushing attack, and put together one of the greatest postseason runs in NFL history? Doesn't that deserve an ECOY award?
That's okay. The Patriots will be back in the final four next season and they will probably be overlooked for more individual accolades as they move towards team goals.