Coach of the Year — Arthur Smith (Falcons)
The Atlanta Falcons have quietly pieced together a strong roster from top to bottom. Since general manager Terry Fontenot took the helm, he has dedicated his roster-building in a way that meshes well with head coach Arthur Smith. You don’t have to look any further than the two most recent first-round picks to see that.
Smith is turning the reigns over to second-year player Desmond Ridder after the former third-rounder showed flashes in limited action as a rookie. To make the most of Ridder, the Falcons will lean on their elite assortment of weapons and offensive line.
On the other side of the ball, the team improved by leaps and bounds. Veterans Calais Campbell and Jessie Bates bring immediate respect to the locker room, while the likes of A.J. Terrell and Grady Jarrett continue as two of the best at their respective positions.
Arthur Smith loves to play smashmouth football. Thanks to the front office, he has all the pieces in place to do so. Atlanta is in a winnable NFC South, and ten victories could be enough to seize the division and the Coach of the Year award for Smith.