On Thursday night the biggest names in professional football gathered for the annual NFL Honors ceremony. Among the hardware handed out at the event was the Coach of the Year award, which went to Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans.
Coach of the Year: Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
After a strong season and a first-round loss last year, expectations were even higher for the Tennessee Titans headed into the 2021 season. And after eight games, they did not disappoint. Mike Vrabel’s team jumped out to a .602 start, which included an absolute thumping of the Kansas City Chiefs, the defending AFC Champs. Then Derrick Henry went down in the midst of an MVP-worthy campaign, in Week 8, and the Titans were pretty much written off entirely after that.
But it was not to be. The Titans bounced right back the next week to beat the Rams. After two losses to end the month of November, they fought back and finished the season 12-5, earning the top seed in the AFC.
Coaching isn’t strictly about a team’s win-loss record. That’s a big part of it, but when a coach can pull his squad through adversity—like losing their best player—and still come out on top of the conference, that’s what separates good from great.