Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has done a stellar job of changing the narrative surrounding his team.
After a 1-6 start in his second season, the heat from the slow start was certainly dialed up, as the team was consistently coming out on the losing end of close games.
Campbell remained consistent in his messaging to his young team and eventually found the answers during crunch time.
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The team went on to win 8 of their final 10 games, including eliminating the Green Bay Packers from postseason play.
While Detroit’s second-year head coach has received a significant amount of praise, he was excluded from NFL Coach of the Year consideration.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press announced 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, Giants coach Brian Daboll and Jaguars coach Doug Pederson were the three coaches officially nominated.
Campbell expressed during the latest ManningCast the candidates nominated were more deserving of the accolades.
“To me, there are better ones out there than me, by the job they did this year,” Campbell said. “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.”
Aidan Hutchinson, Ben Johnson earn nominations
Despite Campbell’s exclusion, Aidan Hutchinson and Ben Johnson will still be up for awards.
The No. 2 overall pick is among three nominees for Defensive Rookie of the Year, along with Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen and Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner.
Hutchinson secured 9.5 sacks, nine tackles for loss, and three interceptions in his debut campaign.
Johnson was again a hot candidate to become a head coach, as the Lions’ offense excelled for the majority of the season.
“He would be worthy of that,” Campbell told reporters. “I think a ton of him. I think he’s — I’ve said it before, I just think he’s extremely bright, he’s creative. He’s organized. He’s a great communicator. I mean, he just, he’s got it.”
As a result, Detroit’s offense coordinator was nominated for Assistant of the Year along with Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.
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