Another national award voted on by the media and another member of the Kansas City Chiefs is mostly ignored. Bill Belichick won the AP 2010 NFL Coach of the Year award on Wednesday, just hours after fans voted Jamaal Charles Ground Player of the Year.
For leading the Patriots to a 14-2 record, the best in the league, Belichick received 30 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. That easily beat Raheem Morris, who led a turnaround in Tampa Bay and got 11½ votes.
Belichick has overseen a transition in New England to a younger team, particularly on defense. Of course, he still has Offensive Player of the Year Tom Brady at quarterback.
Morris lifted the Buccaneers from 3-13 in his first season to 10-6 in 2010 and in playoffs contention until the final week. He did it with the league’s youngest roster.
Also receiving votes were Kansas City’s Todd Haley (4½), whose team went 10-6 and won the AFC West; and four coaches with one selection apiece: Atlanta’s Mike Smith, Philadelphia’s Andy Reid, Chicago’s Lovie Smith, and St. Louis’ Steve Spagnuolo.
It’s easy to see how Charles and Tamba Hali have yet to find their way to the national radar, but how can Haley only get 4.5 points after leading such a big turnaround in just his second season as Chiefs head coach?
The snub would be a lot easier to take if Morris was the one taking home 30 of the 50 votes. That’s not to say Belichick isn’t an all-time coach, but Brady and the Patriots weren’t exactly expected to finish in the cellar of the AFC East. The Chiefs and Bucs weren’t considered to have much of a chance to compete for a playoff spot, yet Haley and Morris had their teams playing out of their minds all season long.