Awards and recognition…
Regular season is over so it’s time for the people of the Roundtable to give out some recognition to who they think merits praise as well as who should get the awards for MVP, Coach of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the NFL.
1) Which firing so far in the NFL has been the most shocking? Why?
Chad: To me there hasn’t been a real surprise as far as a firing would go. The closest might be McCoy of SD just because he has made the playoffs and had injuries this year; but back to back losing seasons can be hard to digest especially with a likely move to LA in the very near future.
Dan: Honestly, I don’t think any head coach firing was shocking, but, I think the least deserving of the group who have been canned so far was Chip Kelly.
He only was there for a short time, dealt with a ton of quarterback issues along with a bad overall team and I think more of the blame landed on the GM but with them firing the GM, they wanted to clean house and the coach got the boot as well.
One thing that you can give credit to Chip Kelly for, though, is that he did want San Francisco to grab Dak Prescott, yet the GM denied him. I wonder how well he would’ve done in that environment, but if he had put up the same numbers in SF as in Dallas, SF might have competed for the NFC West crown.
Earl: I should not be shocked because their record was so bad this season but I’m surprised that Chip Kelly got fired. The 49ers desperately need stability and once again they have fired a head coach after one year. Hopefully, they will get the next hire correct, but, after letting Harbaugh go off to Michigan, then firing Jim Tomsula and Kelly in quick succession, San Francisco needs to really hit a home-run in order to get their team back on top.
David: I’ll be honest, I can’t say one job that opened that shouldn’t be. I guess Bradley should have gotten another year, but that’s a defensible firing as well.
2) In your opinion is there a coach who still has a job that should have been fired? Why?
Chad: For this I question I will say the hottest seat for next year will be Todd Bowles in New York if there is not some sign of improvement or winning from the Jets he will be gone.
Dan: Yes and he’s only a couple hours south of me in Chicago. His name is John Fox. With the issues the Bears have had all season and missing out on several games they should’ve won and from the locker room drama, etc, he should’ve been let go. The team was horrible.
There were problems with Cutler and John Fox. Alshon Jeffery and John Fox. Upper management seemed to have issues with John Fox, yet, here John Fox sits. Still with a job. A lot of players had stated their frustrations with Fox throughout the season. With the other bad teams firing their coach, why not give Fox the boot as well?
Earl: Every year I say it’s Marvin Lewis and this year is no different. It is time for the Cincinnati Bengals to reverse course and bring in a new head coach. Marvin has served a long time in Cincinnati and the Bengals have absolutely nothing to show for it. Time to fire Marvin and begin again.
David: I look at Marvin Lewis and I wonder how he’s still employed, but then again, who is better that’s out there? As far as replaceable coaches go, Chuck gained another year by making the playoffs, and most of the bad coaches got fired. I think there are more bad GMs than bad coaches for the first time in a long time.
3) Who is the coach of the year in the NFL? Why?
Chad: Adam Gase of the Dolphins for getting into the playoffs especially with Tannehill going down towards the end of the season.
Dan: While I would love to say Mike McCarthy due to the turn-around they pulled with six games left to reach the post-season, I have to give it to Jack Del Rio in Oakland.
He led an Oakland Raider team, who weren’t very high up on people’s boards, to a playoff title and 1 game from the division title. Granted Derek Carr is out now with his season-ending injury, but he made a huge change in that organization and made them a playoff team. I wasn’t expecting it. I don’t think many were expecting what they did this season.
He’s my Coach of the Year.
Earl: In my mind it has to be Jack Del Rio. The Raiders might have limped into the playoffs due to the injury to Derek Carr but Del Rio coached the Raiders to their first winning season in 14 years. For ending the season 12-4, he should be a unanimous choice.
David: The Hoodie. Lost 2 of his best front seven on defense, and his QB for the first 4 weeks, and again had crappy draft picks. Yet churned out the best record in football and again made the AFC East his bitch.
4) Who is the defensive player of the year in the NFL? Why?
Chad: Landon Collins his improvement in the secondary is a bog reason why the Giants are back in the playoffs and beat the #1 seed Cowboys twice.
Dan: Von Miller is Defensive Player of the Year. He had a great season with a worse defensive team than last year’s Super Bowl winning team. He was just as dominant. With Watt taking over 3-of-4 Defensive Player of the Year awards, I think Von Miller should finally get his turn to win. He was a huge piece in the strong Denver D this season and constantly put pressure on opponents in the backfield as well as pressure on the QB in passing situations. He was the best defensive player this season and he’s my easy winner.
Earl: It could be Landon Collins, Eric Berry, Khalil Mack, Vic Beasley, and gosh knows who else. There have been a few dominant players in the NFL this year. I feel like there is literally no wrong answer, and whoever wins, there could be four or five other players who would deserve the award.
I’ll go with Beasley just because I have to pick someone.
David: Khalil Mack. He’s made the Raiders scary again, and again, I have to mention I called that on draft day.
5) Who is the MVP in the NFL? Why?
Chad: For me it’s Matt Ryan being healthy all year and guiding the Falcons to a NFC South Crown and a First Round Bye in the NFC Playoffs.
Dan: This one is tough.
Do I go with Derek Carr who led the Raiders to a playoff birth? Do I pick Tom Brady even though he missed a quarter of the season and came into the season at 3-1, but he still had a great season? Do I pick Matt Ryan who had great numbers, but also a lot of help on offense in driving Atlanta to a two seed in the NFC? Or, do I pick Aaron Rodgers, who led the Packers, without a running game or much help on defense — besides in recent weeks– to a 10-6 record and a division title which should’ve came easy?
Well, I have to do it. My selection for the NFL MVP is Aaron Rodgers.
While, I like the other players, Aaron Rodgers did what nobody else did. He went the final six games without an interception. He ran the table. And, he did it with less help than the others.
Oakland has a strong D. Tom Brady has a great supporting cast but how can I say he’s Most Valuable if the team was 3-1 without him? Matt Ryan had a great offense with two strong running backs in Coleman and Freeman.
Rodgers had Lacy, who had a down year and got hurt. James Starks was garbage. Ripkowski is just now turning into a Kuhn-like player. Montgomery is a WR-turned-RB who has had one breakout game but been a solid contributor. But, Rodgers has done this while throwing 50+ passes a game. He has done this where almost everybody on the field knows that Rodgers will throw. He has turned it around completely with a 70+ completion percentage in this six-game winning streak. He brought the Packers to a playoff berth, a divisional title and a home playoff game.
The defense started forcing turnovers, but they still aren’t good. The secondary has been dealing with injury after injury. The pass rush isn’t as dominant as it should be. Cobb has been hurt. Clay Matthews dealing with his shoulder injury from the cheap shot by Barbre. The team is banged up to the max, yet Rodgers came out, ran the table and brought a divisional title to Green bay in a season that just 7 weeks ago was looking like a lost cause with local fans calling for a blow-it-up! Who better to give the MVP to than Rodgers?
Earl: I so badly want to say it will be Tom Brady but the suspension ruins that. So, since I can’t pick Brady I’m going to have to decide between Carr, Aaron Rodgers, or Matt Ryan.
Gun to my head? I’ll go with Aaron Rodgers. Aaron led the Packers to the playoffs and put up outstanding numbers in the Packers six game win streak.
David: I’m going Brady. Lost Gronk, has white guys catching footballs, and has to carry the entire franchise on his shoulders. He threw TWO picks people. 112 rating, and a higher completion percentage 4 points better than his average.
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