The 2022 NFL Honors ceremony has announced its winners, and Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel took home the Coach of the Year Award. Vrabel led his squad to a 12-5 record, earning the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Mike Vrabel wins 2021 NFL Coach of the Year
The Titans were decimated with injuries in 2021, with stars Derrick Henry, Julio Jones, and A.J. Brown missing multiple games apiece. Nevertheless, Vrabel and Co. never faltered, winning 12 games for the first time since 2008. A defensive-minded head coach, Vrabel helped his defense rank sixth in points and 12th in yards, huge improvements from their 24th and 28th rankings last year.
Although many disparaged Tennessee’s success by calling them the “worst No. 1 seed in NFL history,” Vrabel’s squad knocked off the Bills, Chiefs, Rams, and 49ers in 2021, all of whom were playoff contenders. In Vrabel’s four years with the Titans, they have gone 9-7, 9-7, 11-5, and 12-5. Talk about consistency.
Vrabel is the first Titans coach to come home with the Coach of the Year since the Award’s inception. According to NFL.com, “Vrabel drew 36 of the nationwide panel’s 50 votes, with Green Bay’s Matt Fleur receiving eight votes. Las Vegas interim coach Rich Bisaccia (three), Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor (two) and New England’s Bill Belichick (one) also got votes.”
Tennessee knows what they have in Vrabel, and they didn’t need him to win any honors to reward him with a contract extension. He has led the AFC South franchise to back-to-back division titles, staking a claim as one of the best coaches in the conference.
Zac Taylor and Matt LaFleur were worthy candidates
Zac Taylor drove the Cincinnati Bengals from worst to first in the AFC North in one year. Cincy was just 4-11-1 last year but bounced back big time, generating a 10-7 record in 2021. Additionally, the Bengals made the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
As for Matt LaFleur and the Green Bay Packers, it was business as usual. And by usual, I mean winning 13 games nonchalantly. The Packers have won 13 contests in three straight seasons, ranking in the top 15 offenses each year. While neither coach went home with hardware, their achievements should not be understated.