The NFL’s Coach of the Year award does not necessarily honor the best head coach in football, but the one who has been able to direct the biggest one-season turnaround. This methodology used by the voters makes it near impossible for Bill Belichick to win the trophy.
Thus far, the top coach in football has earned the award just three times. For comparison, Ron Rivera has won it twice. Belichick’s dynasty-era New England Patriots were simply too dominant to qualify him for realistic contention unless the team accomplished something historic — like going 16-0 — or no other candidate emerged.
It is therefore no surprise that Belichick is again not among the favorites to be named Coach of the Year this upcoming season. In fact, his odds are just the eighth best at the moment.
Among the seven coaches ahead of him is even one of his former assistants (via DraftKings Sportsbook):
- Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers: +1400
- Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos: +1600
- Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins: +1600
- Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers: +1800
- Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills: +1800
- Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns: +1800
- Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders: +1800
- Bill Belichick, New England Patriots: +2000
Josh McDaniels served as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator between 2012 and 2021, and left to take over the Raiders’ vacant head coaching position earlier this year. Las Vegas, which also hired New England director of player personnel Dave Ziegler, had an aggressive offseason and appears positioned to improve on its 10-7 record last season.
The oddsmakers certainly feel that the club can do that, and that it will make a big enough jump for McDaniels to earn Coach of the Year honors over his long-time boss.
Of course, McDaniels’ odds are also longer than some others. The favorite, at the moment, is the Charger’ Brandon Staley; Los Angeles went 9-8 last year.