McDermott is the winner here for the second year in a row, leading Bills to the first AFC Eastern title since 1995, with the best record of any team with an opponent winning percentage of over .500 (11-3). He received 7.5 votes, beating Cleveland’s Kevin Stephensky (6.5) and Miami’s Brian Flores (6). “They were easy to notice because they were a consistent, progressive project,” one NFC team manager said of McDermott, who is now 36-26 with three playoff trips in four seasons. “But I think he still owes a debt to a team that has not been in the playoffs for a very long time, never won a division for a very long time, and has won a division that has been monopolized for 20 years.” Despite the challenges associated with the closure of NFL facilities and the COVID-19 that destroyed office practices and premature games, Stephensky has replaced Browns as head coach in his first season. They finish 10-4 and the first playoff attempt since 2002; 20-36 along with the other four first year coaches of the NFL. “He may just be where he did the best,” said another executive. “It’s an isolated fact (but he) quickly changed the whole culture. Everyone is bought. I think he’s got a refreshing change like they had. The AFC also has the Dolphins in the playoffs for the season, after winning five games in 2019 with just a list of bones. “What he does with that team is very interesting,” the third manager said. “Defensively, they exceeded expectations, I think they’d got talent out there, but they play above their skills. And they have a style, and they dictate the tempo of the game.” Andy Reid of Kansas City and Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh each received one vote.
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