Former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has won the NFL Coach of the Year award.
CBS Sports' Will Brinson had the news:
Bruce Arians wins NFL Coach of the Year Award. #NFLHonors— Will Brinson (@willbrinson) February 3, 2013
According to Brinson, Arians beat out fellow Colt Chuck Pagano along with Pete Carroll and Leslie Frazier:
Chuck Pagano finished 2nd in Coach of the Year voting. 5.5 to Bruce Arians 36.5 votes. Pete Carroll got 5, Leslie Frazier 3.— Will Brinson (@willbrinson) February 3, 2013
It would have been easy to make a case for any of them.
Pagano was the story of the year. He was diagnosed with leukemia at the beginning of the season, but continued to be an inspirational force behind Indianapolis' major turnaround before returning to the team in December.
Caroll led the Seattle Seahawks to an impressive 11-5 record, a dominant second-half of the regular season and a run in the playoffs while Frazier helped the Minnesota Vikings to a 10-6 finish and a wild-card berth.
Nevertheless, Arians is clearly deserving of the honor.
Who should have won?
The Colts' offensive coordinator took over for Pagano as interim head coach and was a major part in the team winning 11 games—nine more than last season—and earning a berth in the playoffs.
When you consider the youth on Arians' offense, that turnaround is even more astounding.
His quarterback, Andrew Luck, was a rookie. Two of his wide receivers, T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill, were rookies. Two of his tight ends, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, were rookies.
Yet, somehow, the Colts ranked 10th in the NFL in yards per game and 18th in points per game, both major improvements from the 2011-12 campaign.
There were many deserving candidates for this award, but Arians did more with little than anyone else in the league, and he did it in a very unusual situation.
Arians will take over as head man for the Arizona Cardinals next season.