Jan 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) hands off to running back Christian McCaffrey (23) against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey, 4 QBs named finalists for MVP award

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey and four postseason quarterbacks were named the finalists for the NFL Most Valuable Player award, announced Thursday.

The Associated Press awards in eight categories, including MVP, will be handed out Feb. 8 at the 13th annual NFL Honors ceremony.

Joining McCaffrey as a finalist are his teammate, Brock Purdy, and Purdy’s fellow quarterbacks — Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills), Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens) and Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys).

Jackson earned MVP honors in 2019. Last year’s winner, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, was not among the finalists.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who triumphantly returned to play this season after going into cardiac arrest on the field during a game in Cincinnati in January 2023, led the finalists in the Comeback Player of the Year category.

The final group also included Joe Flacco, who went from out-of-work quarterback to leading the Cleveland Browns into the playoffs.

Finalists for all eight postseason awards are:

Most Valuable Player
–Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills quarterback
–Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens quarterback
–Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers running back
–Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys quarterback
–Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers quarterback

Defensive Player of the Year
–DaRon Bland, Dallas Cowboys cornerback
–Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end
–Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns defensive end
–Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys linebacker
–T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker

Offensive Player of the Year
–Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins wide receiver
–Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens quarterback
–CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver
–Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers running back
–Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys quarterback

Offensive Rookie of the Year
–Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions running back
–Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions tight end
–Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver
–Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons running back
–C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans quarterback

Defensive Rookie of the Year
–Will Anderson, Houston Texans defensive end
–Jalen Carter, Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle
–Joey Porter Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback
–Kobie Turner, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle
–Devon Witherspoon, Seattle Seahawks cornerback

Comeback Player of the Year
–Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns quarterback
–Damar Hamlin, Buffalo Bills safety
–Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback
–Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams quarterback
–Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins quarterback

Coach of the Year
–Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions
–John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
–DeMeco Ryans, Houston Texans
–Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
–Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns

Assistant Coach of the Year
–Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator
–Mike Macdonald, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator
–Todd Monken, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator
–Jim Schwartz, Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator
–Bobby Slowik, Houston Texans offensive coordinator

–Field Level Media

Dec 1, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer reacts as players celebrate after the Huskies defeated the Oregon Ducks 31-34 to win the Pac-12 Championship at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s Kalen DeBoer voted AP Coach of Year

Kalen DeBoer was voted the 2023 Associated Press Coach of the Year on Tuesday after guiding Washington to a 13-0 record, the Pac-12 championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff.

The Huskies are 23-2 in two seasons under DeBoer, who received 30 of the 52 first-place votes and 113 total points in the balloting by the AP’s Top 25 poll voters.

Florida State’s Mike Norvell (57 points) finished second, followed by Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz (38) and Jedd Fisch of Arizona (28).

“It’s all about the people around me. This is a team award,” DeBoer said told the AP. “When you win, I tell the players this, you win football games, you’re going to get recognized and more awards are going to get shared. I’m fortunate enough to kind of be the figurehead of our team and receive these cool awards. Just really blessed.”

DeBoer, 49, is the first Washington coach to win the award and the first Pac-12 coach honored since Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre in 2016.

Before inheriting a Huskies team that finished 4-8 in 2021, he was 67-3 with three NAIA championships at his alma mater Sioux Falls (2005-09) and 12-6 in two seasons at Fresno State (2020-21).

No. 2 Washington will face No. 3 Texas (12-1) in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in New Orleans. The winner will play either No. 1 Michigan or No. 4 Alabama for the national championship on Jan. 8 in Houston.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs head coach Sonny Dykes on the sidelines during the first half against the Iowa State Cyclones at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Eight finalists named for Eddie Robinson Coach of Year

Three College Football Playoff coaches were among the eight finalists announced Tuesday for the 2022 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award.

TCU’s Sonny Dykes, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Georgia’s Kirby Smart are joined by Mike Elko of Duke, Willie Fritz of Tulane, Lincoln Riley of Southern California, Jon Sumrall of Troy and Jeff Traylor of UTSA.

Dykes’ Horned Frogs (12-1) and Harbaugh’s Wolverines (13-0) will meet in a CFP semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve. Smart’s defending champion Bulldogs (13-0) face Ohio State (11-1) at the Peach Bowl the same day.

None of this year’s finalists has previously won the Eddie Robinson award, voted on by members of the Football Writers Association of America. The winner will be announced on Dec. 20.

“We have a great group of finalists coaches for the FWAA’s 2022 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award,” FWAA executive director Steve Richardson said. “All are winners and have done outstanding jobs at their respective schools in the mold of one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game.”

The award has been presented since 1957 and is named after the late Robinson, who coached at Grambling State for 55 seasons.

Luke Fickell, recently named the coach at Wisconsin, won the award last season while at Cincinnati.

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh named AP Coach of the Year

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh was named Associated Press Coach of the Year on Friday, beating out Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell for the honor.

Harbaugh received 22 of 53 first-place votes and earned 103 points in the balloting. Fickell received 16 first-place votes and 88 total points.

Baylor’s Dave Aranda (five first-place votes, 47 points) was a distant third. Michigan State’s Mel Tucker (4, 22) and Georgia’s Kirby Smart (1, 13) round out the top five.

No. 2 Michigan (12-1) will face No. 3 Georgia (12-1) in the College Football semifinals on Dec. 31. No. 4 Cincinnati (13-0) will meet No. 1 Alabama (12-1) in the day’s other semi.

It is the first appearance for both Michigan and Cincinnati in the CFP.

–Field Level Media