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Thread: Marvin Lewis wins NFL Coach of the Year

  1. #1

    Default Marvin Lewis wins NFL Coach of the Year

    He was my darkhorse pick but I thought Norv or Sean Payton was going to win.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100116/..._coach_of_year

    Bengals' Marvin Lewis is AP NFL Coach of the Year
    AP

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    Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis motions to a player during the first half AP – Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis motions to a player during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff …
    By BARRY WILNER, AP Football Writer Barry Wilner, Ap Football Writer – 44 mins ago

    NEW YORK – Marvin Lewis had much more than game plans to deal with this season.

    Lewis won The Associated Press 2009 NFL Coach of the Year award for guiding his team to the playoffs during a season marked by tragedy.

    The Bengals won the AFC North with a 10-6 record, just their second division title since 1990, both under Lewis. They did so despite the deaths of wide receiver Chris Henry and Vikki Zimmer, the wife of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. Several players' families also were directly affected by the tsunami in the Samoan Islands.

    For holding his team together under such circumstances and leading a turnaround from a 4-11-1 record in 2008, Lewis earned 20 1/2 votes Saturday from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league. He beat Sean Payton of New Orleans (11 1/2), Norv Turner of San Diego (9) and Jim Caldwell of Indianapolis (7). Andy Reid of Philadelphia and Ken Whisenhunt of Arizona had a single vote each.

    "I'm flattered," said Lewis, whose seventh season as Bengals coach ended with a 24-14 home loss to the Jets in the wild-card round. "I never took any credibility to it, that it could occur, but I am flattered. I would trade it to still be playing.

    "To me, this is more a recognition of the organization, for the coaching staff and the hard work they've done, and for the players."

    Few coaches have dealt with such a season of grief. Vikki Zimmer, who used to bake treats for the players, died unexpectedly in October. Two weeks earlier, defensive linemen Jonathan Fanene and Domata Peko and rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga struggled to contact family in American Samoa after the tsunami devastated the region.

    In December, wide receiver Chris Henry, on injured reserve with a broken left forearm, fell from the back of a pickup truck after an argument with his fiancee and was killed.

    So Lewis was as much a therapist and psychologist for his team as he was a strategist.

    "Just look at that load right there he's beared," veteran guard Bobbie Williams said. "With Chris, Vikki Zimmer, the Samoan Islands. ... There's been a lot of weight on his shoulders, and through the not-so-good seasons when it seemed like the world might have been crashing down, he's been that rock for the team and for the city. ... When you look at it, you're like, 'Dang, that's a lot, that's a lot.' But you know what? He's still there and he's still rolling and he's still coach."

    And he's Coach of the Year, the first for the Bengals since the team's founder, Paul Brown, won the award in 1970.

    "Our coaches did a great job of helping through those times and being there in support of Mike and his family, support of the players through the tsunami, and then with Chris' death and how that affected certain guys," Lewis said. "All that being said, I think again the credit should come to the entire group because they did this. I think we had a good group of leadership."

    Those team leaders credit Lewis for changing the environment in Cincinnati. There were far fewer unchecked egos this season, and the influx of youth worked well.

    "Marvin's really gotten better with gauging our team, and a lot of it is because he knows our individual players," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "He knows when to back off, he knows when to put shoulder pads on, he knows when to hold us longer for meetings, he knows when to get us out of practice earlier. And that's a head coach's main job, to get his team ready to play on Sundays."

    The Bengals certainly were ready in the first half of the schedule, going 7-2 and sweeping Pittsburgh and Baltimore to take command of the division. They faltered down the stretch, losing three of their final four — all against playoff teams.

    But how many teams wouldn't have struggled under all the adversity handled the Bengals?

    "He knows real life," Peko said. "He was able to not only be our coach but a father and mentor to some of us."

  2. #2
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Marvin Lewis wins NFL Coach of the Year

    How could you pick coach of the year until after the playoffs have finished? Particularly giving some of the candidates this season. Obviously, giving up on the perfect season hurt Caldwell here... but if the Colts could somehow manage to win it all I think that would be pretty impressive for a rookie HC... and the regular season record easily eclipses what Cincy did.

    I don't think Cincy was all that consistent and I'd just have a hard time giving the award to Lewis.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Marvin Lewis wins NFL Coach of the Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    How could you pick coach of the year until after the playoffs have finished? Particularly giving some of the candidates this season. Obviously, giving up on the perfect season hurt Caldwell here... but if the Colts could somehow manage to win it all I think that would be pretty impressive for a rookie HC... and the regular season record easily eclipses what Cincy did.

    I don't think Cincy was all that consistent and I'd just have a hard time giving the award to Lewis.
    These are regular season awards though I mean Charles Woodson won DPOY yet after last week you wouldn't have though that now would you?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Marvin Lewis wins NFL Coach of the Year

    COTY is usually for the coach of a team that sucked last year, got an easier schedule and did well the following year. As division winners, Cincy will get a tougher schedule next season and be middle of the pack again.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Marvin Lewis wins NFL Coach of the Year

    That "get a more difficult schedule for winning the division" is not like it used to be with the old five-team divisions (where all the fifth place teams played each other the following season), although there is still some truth to it.

    Marvin Lewis was outstanding this year, althoug over the last month of the season too many outside issues interrupted the Bengals' storybook season. Obviously getting Carson Palmer back helped a lot, but his stats were not particuarly impressive. He does bring a number of intangibles, too.

    The thing that struck me about the Bengals, especially during the first 10-12 weeks or so, was just how good they were in the fourth quarter - kept their composure, made key third down stops, moved the chains on offense. They really were winning close games in the fourth quarter, not jumping out to a lead and hoping to hold on (a la San Diego). And they were doing it with (a) no-name players, or (b) "name" players like Tank Johnson, Benson, Larry Johnson, even OchoCinco that were real headaches in the past.

    In the end, they certainly fell apart. My hunch is that many voters had decided by week 9 that Marvin Lewis had earned this and that the late-season collapse may have meant a short playoff run but good gracious, the Bengals were a team to be taken seriously for most of the season and how often does that happen?

    They didn't play a "fifth-place" schedule this season.

    Just for the record, they played,

    Last year's Super Bowl champion twice, 2-0
    Lasy year's AFC runner up twice, 2-0
    One other divisional opponent that is really, really, really bad, 2-0 (Cumulative, 2-0 against the other playoff team from their division.)

    the NFC North, and yes that division isn't very good but they had two playoff teams, 3-1 (1-1 against the playoff teams).

    the AFC West, and yes that division isn't very good so that 1-3 record is somewhat suspect (0-1 against the playoff teams).

    So for the portion of their schedule not based on last year's record, they were 10-4.

    The teams they played based on last season's schedule were:

    Texans, who played a great game against Cincinnati during their up-and-down year, and Jets, who played against the Bengal's second unit in the last week of the season. Had the Bengals beaten the Jets, the Texans would have made the playoffs. So those teams were not cellar-dwellars.

    They went 3-3 against playoff teams this year. That was a tremendous improvement. They were 0-7-1 the previous season.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
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    And life itself, rushing over me
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