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Mike Smith Named Sporting News NFL Coach Of The Year

It's the third time the Atlanta Falcons coach has been honored thusly.

Mike Ehrmann

Later today I'm going to light into Mike Smith a bit for what I see as his weakness as a coach. In case you thought I didn't think the world of the man who has already grabbed the franchise record for coaching wins, however, I thought I'd note one important piece of news.

For the third time in his five seasons as head coach, Mike Smith has been named Sporting News coach of the year, placing him in elite company. A total of 27 executives and coaches were polled to come up with the winner, and Smith edged inspirational Colts coaches Bruce Arians and Chuck Pagano for the honor.

It's a further reminder that no matter what many in the media and other fanbases might think of Smith, he's extremely well-respected around the NFL. After taking stock of the 13-3 season, the playoff win and everything else, you could really only argue for Bill Belichick or one of the Harbaugh brothers for this award on sheer merit, and the voters chose Smitty. Good on him.

And really, it speaks to what Smith has accomplished over these last five years that he's been able to rack up three Coach of the Year awards, even if not everyone agrees with The Sporting News. Playoff games in every spot tend to be crapshoots, as the Seahawks proved against the Saints a couple of years back, and so Smith's excellent record over the life of his career stands out to me more than those losses.

Give the Sporting News article a read, and let us know what you think of the honor.