- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Kansas City coach Todd Haley finished a distant third place in the Associated Press coach of the year voting.
New England coach Bill Belichick won the award for the third time. Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris came in second place. This is how the 50-person vote went: Belichick earned 30 of a possible 50 votes, followed Morris (11.5), Haley (4.5), Atlanta's Mike Smith (1), Philadelphia's Andy Reid (1), Chicago’s Lovie Smith (1) and St. Louis' Steve Spagnuolo (1).
Belichick’s team went 14-2 despite being very young in key spots. Haley led Kansas City to a 10-6 record and its first AFC West title in seven years. The Chiefs won a total of 10 games in the previous three seasons. Prior to the end of the season, I wrote that Haley should win the award.
In the past few weeks, I didn’t think Haley would win because the way the Chiefs ended the season, but I thought he met the usual criteria to win the award. He oversaw a young team that exceeded expectations and made an unlikely playoff run. I thought the voting would be closer, but the bottom line is, I can’t argue with the masterful job Belichick did.
While Haley didn’t win the award, the Chiefs’ second-season coach showed he has a positive influence on his team and that he is one of the better young coaches in the NFL.