I''ve been thinking about the whole coach-of-the-year thing, and it is not fair to argue apples and oranges. On one hand you have guys like Sporano and Smith who took teams that were in the duldrums and made them into playoff teams. On the other hand you have a guy like Tomlin who might win a Lombardi Trophy in just his second year. How can you deny either type? You can argue and make a case for both.
Would it make sense to have two coach-of-the-year awards, one for achievement and one for improvement. Use guys like Noll, Shula, Landry or Walsh to name the awards after and make them separate but equal.
I think about Chuck Noll, who won four Super Bowls, but never won a coach-of-the-year award (finally in 1989 the Maxwell Club named him). Every year, they found a coach who turned a team around and gave the honor to him. I understand that, but then the only coach in NFL history to ever win four Super Bowls never got coach-of-the-year for any of them? Something's afoul.
Could Mike Tomlin fall into that trap? If he doesn't get it this year, when would he ever get it? They'll always find someone who turned a bad team around. I know that two awards waters it down a bit, but is that the lesser of two evils?