The Detroit Lions are getting some postseason award recognition, but Dan Campbell was somehow left out as a finalist for Coach of the Year.
A run of Player of the Week awards this season has yielded some recognition for the Detroit Lions on postseason teams put together by the AP and PFWA. With the finalists for NFL Coach of the Year set to come out at some point soon, Dan Campbell felt like a shoo-in.
On Wednesday morning the Associated Press released its three finalists for Coach of the Year. Brian Daboll, Kyle Shanahan and Doug Pederson. The NFL’s Twitter account expanded the list to five finalists, with Nick Sirianni and Sean McDermott added to the aforementioned three. The AP is the official list, but Campbell is nowhere to be found on the NFL’s five. He apparently wasn’t among the top-five vote getters then.
Lions players noticed.
Dan Campbell couldn’t have done much more to be a Coach of the Year finalist
Aidan Hutchinson is one of three finalists for Rookie of the Year. As is offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, one of three finalists for Assistant Coach of the Year. But Campbell’s omission, from a list of three or five finalists for Coach of the Year, is a snub.
Campbell and Pederson’s teams both had great late-season turnarounds to reach the same record. The Jaguars won their division, and that’s where the argument for Pederson over Campbell ends. Sirianni and McDermott are tougher arguments, for or against being a finalist over Campbell based on the NFL’s list.
"It would absolutely be an honor because there are some really good coaches that deserve that,” Campbell said. “But to me, there are better ones out there than me, by the job they did this year. Daboll would be one of those, just did a heck of a job. Doug Pederson. I can go down the list. Yeah, I’d be honored, but there are some coaches that would be really worthy of that.”"
Winning Coach of the Year was unlikely, since the Lions didn’t make the playoffs. But it’d be hard to find five head coaches in the league who did a better job overall, all things considered, than Campbell did this year.