In his first year as an NFL head coach, Brian Daboll was given the league’s highest honor in that category: Coach of the Year.
Daboll was given the honor over San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan and Jacksonville Jaguars’ Doug Pederson on Thursday night.
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Daboll came to East Rutherford after spending the previous four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, turning their offense into the juggernaut it is today.
The Giants had been the laughingstock of the league for the last several years, but Daboll’s attitude turned them around quickly. Expected to win maybe seven games, they went 9-7-1 and won the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs. It was their first playoff victory since Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 and their first postseason appearance since the 2016 season.
Daboll got all the juice he could out of a rough receivers room, a rebuilding defense and a quarterback in Daniel Jones who had a lot to prove in a contract year. Now, he’s going to get a decent-sized contract.
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Daboll showed his guts early on, going for the win with a two-point conversion in Week 1 rather than playing for the tie against the Tennessee Titans. That conversion by Saquon Barkley set the tone for the rest of the year, and the Giants were one of the biggest surprises in all of football.
Prior to Daboll, the Giants had three head coaches between 2016 and his hiring: Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge. None of them made it beyond two years.
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However, Big Blue seems to have struck gold in Daboll, and who knows what else he can do when he and the new front office make the roster into how they envision.