Brian Daboll of the New York Giants has been named NFL Coach of the Year, with the announcement being made Thursday night during the league’s ‘NFL Honors’ awards ceremony.
Daboll had previously won the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) Coach of the Year honor.
A first-time head coach, Daboll led a Giants team that had suffered double-digit losses in five straight seasons and had gone 4-13 in 2021 to a 9-7-1 record and its first playoff berth since 2016. The Giants then defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild-Card Round for their first playoff victory since they won the 2011 Super Bowl.
The Giants have been searching for the right head coach since letting two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Tom Coughlin go after the 2015 season. Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge all failed, each lasting just two years or less on the job.
The 47-year-old Daboll, it appears, is going to last much longer than that.
Here is what I wrote about Daboll in making the case why he should win the award over the other two finalists, Doug Pederson of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers:
“Daboll was an unproven commodity when the year began, a first-year head coach who got the job in big part because the GM the Giants hired also came from the Buffalo Bills. Nobody knew for sure if he could succeed in the big chair.
“He took over a team tied with the New York Jets for the worst record in football over the previous five seasons. A team that didn’t know if it had a quarterback it could go forward with. There was a roster no one thought highly of, and no money with which to try and fix it.
“Daboll and a fantastically-constructed coaching staff teams around the league now seem to want a piece of, took that quarterback and that roster full of spare parts and not only made the playoffs, but went on the road with it and won a playoff game. And did it in what might have been the NFL’s best division, with three playoff teams and not a single team with a losing record.
“Daboll showed faith in his coaches and his players. He made them believe. He helped a fractured organization heal. He made the Giants relevant again.”
About a month ago, we did a piece here at Big Blue View on how Daboll and rookie general manager Joe Schoen engineered the Giants’ turnaround. Here is some of what Daboll said:
“It takes everybody in the building to do their job well. It’s probably the greatest team sport to be part of, coaching or playing or being part of the football team,” Daboll said. “I have a lot of good people that are with me, whether that’s coaches, front office, scouting, most importantly the players, the administration staff – everybody that is responsible to do their job well. So, I’m just one part of the puzzle. I try to do my job the best I can but count on a lot of other people doing their job well. And that’s again, like I said, a testament to them and starting with the players ...
“I try to be the same coach, the same person, after a win as you are with a loss. And focus on the process, if you will, because I can live with results if we’re doing things the right way: we’re on time, we’re taking care of our bodies, we’re detailed in meetings, we practice our tails off. If we go out there and don’t get the results we want Sunday, I can live with that. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit, but I certainly can live with it based on what they’re doing and what we’re asking them to do and how they’re doing it.”
During an appearance on ‘Good Morning Football’ on Thursday, Giants’ cornerback Adoree’ Jackson praised the head coach:
“Besides being a great coach, he’s a great person,” Jackson said. “Even when we did hit adversity, he built us up not only as players, but as men.”
Now he has a Coach of the Year Award to prove it.
Daboll’s coaching resume
- 1997: The College of William & Mary volunteer assistant
- 1998-99: Michigan State University graduate assistant
- 2000-01: New England Patriots defensive assistant
- 2002-06: New England Patriots wide receivers
- 2007-08: New York Jets quarterbacks
- 2009-10: Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator
- 2011: Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator
- 2012: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator
- 2013: New England Patriots offensive coaching assistant
- 2014-16: New England Patriots tight ends
- 2017: University of Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
- 2018-21: Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator
- 2022: New York Giants head coach