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, it’s only fair to flip it around to look at the coaches who are doing it better than anyone else. And in a season where the MVP is already obvious, the coach of the year is anything but.Here’s a look at the candidates, in alphabetical order.Pete Carroll, Seahawks: The Seahawks have overachieved for a second straight year, and they could end up being the No. 1 seed in the NFC. If they are, Carroll deserves recognition for quickly retooling a fading championship team into an emerging championship team.John Harbaugh, Ravens: Who expected the Ravens to be this good? Harbaugh had the vision for building an offense around Lamar Jackson, and Harbaugh has gotten the most out of a defense that lost plenty of parts and added several new ones. To take the No. 1 seed from the Patriots is no small feat, and the Ravens are on the cusp of pulling it off.Matt LaFleur, Packers: He walked into a potential cheesecurd buzzsaw White Trent Murphy Jerseys
, but LaFleur has taken charge of the situation, boosting the Packers to 10 wins in 13 games (maybe 11 in 14, if they win today). To do that with a team that had missed the playoffs in two straight seasons is significant, and LaFleur has earned consideration, especially if the Packers end up with a bye.Sean McDermott, Bills: Overlooked all season long, the Bills have a shot at ending New England’s hammerlock on the AFC East. If the Bills pull it off, McDermott should pull some votes.Sean Payton, Saints: Five games without Drew Brees? Five wins. Payton has done some of his best coaching ever, getting the Saints to shake off a pair of heartbreaking playoff exits and to put together another great season. They’ll need to climb back at least to the No. 2 seed for Payton to be a viable candidate.Kyle Shanahan Trent Murphy Jerseys 2019
, 49ers: After last season, questions were swirling about his future in San Francisco. Now, he’s among the elite coaches in the NFL, drawing up plays that confound defenses and currently holding the No. 1 seed in the ultra-competitive NFC. If the 49ers finish in that spot, he deserves serious consideration.Mike Tomlin, Steelers: Without question, Tomlin has done the best coaching of his career this season. Overmatched in almost every game, Tomlin has willed the Steelers to winning eight of 10 games. If they get to the playoffs after starting 0-3 and with injuries nearly wiping out their offense, Tomlin should be the favorite.Mike Vrabel, Titans: Down and out at 2-4 White Chris Ivory Jerseys
, the Titans flipped from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill and haven’t looked back. If the Titans get to the playoffs, Vrabel should get some love. If they barely miss it, some will wonder why he didn’t switch to Tannehill sooner. With the perpetual debate about the appropriate amount of preseason games (the correct answer is between some-I-guess and way-less-than-four), Ron Rivera has his own idea.The Panthers coach suggested that joint practices, like the ones he just completed with the Bills in advance of Friday’s game, are better for preparing a team.“I would do a mix of them if I could,” Rivera said, via Rick Bonnell of the . “If you can get two teams together focused on working and developing, then you can help each other out a lot.”His perspective is interesting, since he played in the days of two-a-days and much longer camps Chris Ivory Jerseys 2019
, and he said the demands are different now.“Training camp used to be where you had to bring everybody [someplace] and get them into shape. Now they’re in shape and it’s about managing [the balance of practice and injury risk].“I’m not sure that playing as many [preseason] games is as important as it used to be. But things like [joint practices] are invaluable, as far as coaching tools.”For one thing, starters actually get extended work in joint practices, unlike a lot of these preseason epics the NFL is charging their poor fans full fare for. And because coaches can control the environment (with agreed-upon stipulations like no contact for quarterbacks or certain other players, and no tolerating fighting), there’s a chance to let things develop without as much fear. But there’s still an increased intensity that’s natural when an opponent is introduced.Until owners can replace the revenue, it’s hard to imagine them giving up an extra gate, but Rivera’s not the first coach to suggest that far fewer preseason games are necessary to get a team for the regular season.