A lot of good candidates this season:
- Sean Payton - team exceeded expectations the most
- Jeff Fisher - team turned around its season with rookie QB
- Andy Reid - team overcame the loss of its star QB
- Lovie Smith - team won 13 games despite losing Tommie Harris and having Rex Grossman at QB
- Eric Mangini - team exceeded expectations
- Marty Schottenheimer - best team in the NFL, despite first-year starting QB, four-game suspension of best defensive player
- Brian Billick - vastly exceeded expectations, took over the playcalling
- Mike Shanahan - did the unthinkable - benched his starting QB on a playoff-bound team late in the season for a rookie. Broncos have more upside now and in the future.
My vote goes to Andy Reid, probably - Payton, Fisher and Mangini had great years, but every season, you see teams come out of nowhere and win. Rarely do you see a team that loses its star QB go from 5-6 to 9-6. It's Reid's system that allows Jeff Garcia to maximize his talents.
Incidentally, if Philly comes out of the NFC, the play that turned around the eitire season was the Lito Shepperd pick of Jake Delhomme in the end zone with seven seconds left on Monday Night, when Carolina was virtually assured of the tie, but looking for the win. Shepperd was beat on the same play earlier, read the call, and beat Keyshawn Johnson to the spot. That was a season-changing play.