By: Vonora Lewis
The playoffs are officially in effect and this weekend are the divisional games. Three coaches have stood out for their outstanding performances this year. These coaches are being considered for coach of the year because of their excellent leadership, determination, and the ability to build players to the best of their abilities. Those coaches are the following;
1. Kevin Stefanski
Hands down, Kevin Stefanski deserves to be the Coach of the Year. The rookie head coach has done things that others could not imagine. The Browns recorded an 11-5 record. The Browns have not had a winning record since 2007 (which was a 10-6 record), and they did not make it to the playoffs. Stefanski’s leadership changed Baker completely and now the Browns are back in the Playoffs.
The Steelers were favored to win the Wild Card game. Before the game, Kevin Stefanski and the offensive line coach/ assistant head coach were placed on the Covid-19 list. Due to the leadership of the special team’s coach Mike Priefer, the Browns not only won the game, but they also knocked out their divisional rival. An abysmal 2019 season performance to battling the Chiefs in the divisional round is serious growth. Browny points are in order for Stefanski’s doing.
2. Sean McDermott
The Buffalo Bills have been in the shadow of the Patriots, but now they sit a game out from competing for the Lombardi. McDermott was the force behind the AFC East crown. McDermott was hired by the Bills in 2017. In his first season with the Bills, he was able to guide his team to a winning record. Over McDermott’s four years with the Bills, he has a 36-26 record. However, the last two years he has a 23-9 record, which has sent the Bills to the playoffs in each season. Under McDermott’s leadership, the Bills have won their first playoff game in 18 years.
Since McDermott’s arrival, he was able to create a system that has turned the Bills from a bye week to the team that is feared all across the AFC. Under Sean McDermott’s leadership, Josh Allen is another name in the running for MVP this year. Also, under his leadership, the Bills beat one of their biggest headaches, the New England Patriots, twice this season. McDermott changed the offense when he arrived. Last year the Bills acquired Cole Beasley and this year they got Stefon Diggs. By adding these two pieces to the Bills offense, Josh Allen now has the weapons he needs for a solid offense.
3. Matt LaFleur
The Green Bay Packers have been on fire for the past two years. Matt LaFleur has been something that most coaches haven’t been, and that’s dominant on a consistent basis. When LaFleur first got to Green Bay, there was some push back. He’s a young mind being paired with a credible ego in A-Rod. LaFleur has been the Packers head coach for two seasons. Within those two seasons, he has a record of 26-6, which is beyond impressive. The ability to go 13-3 two seasons in a row and make it to the NFC Championship game launches LaFleur to the coaches of the year conversation.
The connection between Matt LaFleur and his star quarterback Aaron Rogers is excellent. The two mesh perfectly together. Aaron Rogers, Aaron Jones, and Devante Adams have been playing one of their best years in the game. Rodgers can possibly win MVP and Devante Adams had an All-Star season and a stellar fantasy football season. Due to LaFleur’s leadership, the Packers were the scariest team in the NFC. Sitting 13-3 and preparing to face the Los Angeles Rams Saturday afternoon.