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NFL Coach of the Year finalists named for 2023

The NFL Coach of the Year pool is a deep one this season.

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll talks with quarterback Daniel Jones during NFC divisional playoff game in Philadelphia Photo by J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

The NFL will hand out the Coach of the Year award at the NFL Honors program on Thursday, February 9, but ahead of it finalists were announced on January 25. This is arguably the deepest pool of finalists among the NFL’s major awards, with a case to be made for each of the candidates. Weirdly, the NFL announced five finalists, but the Associated Press only announced three.

Coach of the Year finalists

Kyle Shanahan, 49ers

The 49ers have an incredibly deep roster, which could be a ding against Shanahan. However, he likely surged further into contention because of Brock Purdy. The 49ers went through three quarterbacks due to injury and they finished with the second-best record in the NFC after having to send out the last pick of the most recent draft for six starts and most of a seventh game. Purdy was impressive, but Shanahan deserves a ton of credit for putting Mr. Irrelevant in a position to succeed at the toughest position on the field.

Brian Daboll, Giants

A relatively easy metric for making Daboll’s case comes down to wins and losses. A year ago, the Giants finished 4-13 after an embarrassing two-year stint under head coach Joe Judge. In his first year, Daboll guided the Giants to a 9-7-1 record and likely helped Daniel Jones earn a huge payday.

Doug Pederson, Jaguars

The case for Pederson is similar to the case for Daboll. A year ago, the Jaguars finished 3-14 during a disastrous season “led” by Urban Meyer. He was a joke of a coach and was fired after 13 games. Jacksonville brought in Pederson and quickly turned things around, finishing 9-8 and winning the AFC South. Trent Baalke deserves credit for some of the roster overhaul, but Pederson has a solid case for Coach of the Year.

Nick Sirianni, Eagles (not in AP article)

The Eagles finished the season tied with the Chiefs for the best record in the NFL, and that came in spite of losing quarterback Jalen Hurts for two games. It’s unclear how much credit for Hurts’ breakout 2022 season belongs to Sirianni and his staff vs. Hurts’ own ability, but Sirianni deserves some measure of credit.

Sean McDermott, Bills (not in AP article)

The Bills keep on chugging along, winning the AFC East for a third straight year. They were on track to claim the top seed in the AFC before their Week 17 game with the Bengals was canceled. As long as McDermott and QB Josh Allen are paired together, McDermott will be regularly in the running for Coach of the Year.