When you think about who should be the National Football League Coach of the Year, you usually think of a head coach. This year, the honor has gone to an assistant coach with Bruce Arians winning the award after going 9-3 while filling in for Chuck Pagano with the Indianapolis Colts. Pagano actually finished second in the voting so the Colts ended up with the two best coaches of the league in theory this season. There is zero doubt though that Arians deserved this award.
Everything that Arians went through, having to quickly come in after Pagano got ill and the fact he put together a winning stretch of games for Indianapolis was amazing. The expectations in Indianapolis weren’t terribly high this season with No. 1 pick Andrew Luck taking over but Indianapolis with Arians made it all the way into the playoffs. I never saw that coming at all and it is a testament to how great Arians was during his 12 games as head coach.
Arians will get to be the full-time head coach next season when he takes over the Arizona Cardinals but the job he did this season may never be done again by an assistant coach. I don’t think that we will see another assistant coach ever win this award again either. It is such a weird story but any time a coach can come in and do what Arians did is unreal to me. The fans in Arizona can only hope that Arians comes in and does something similar to their team starting next season.