The race for Coach of the Year at this point has boiled down, it seems, to the bosses of the top teams in each conference: Kliff Kingsbury and the Patriots' Bill Belichick.
But when Kingsbury was asked about being in the conversation with his one-time coach (Kingsbury was a Patriots quarterback in 2003), the Cardinals coach broke into a big smile and chuckled.
"They should just name the award Bill Belichick and when he retires, bring that back," Kingsbury said. "Until he retires, I don't think anyone else should get that award. He should be that every single year he is coaching."
For all his success, Belichick has won Coach of the Year just three times -- 2004, 2007, and 2010, with the award often going to the coach of a team that surprised while posting one of the best records. That makes Kingsbury a main candidate. But the Patriots too we're not expected to win so much, especially with a rookie QB.
Kingsbury said he did pick up ways to coach in his year as a player in New England.
"We have different demeanors, but he was so detailed at everything he did," Kingsbury said. "There was no stone unturned. You felt prepared and you felt like you had everything covered going into a game. I want to try and give our players that type of mindset. I fall very short of what Bill Belichick does in that regard but we try to really emphasize situational football, make sure we've rehearsed it and our guys feel comfortable if that situation strives."
Belichick is the betting favorite as of now, after winning a game in Buffalo and the Patriots throwing just three passes (topping even the Cards' conservative passing game in Chicago.) How the voting finally turns out (and the final five games of the season matters, of course) wil be fascinating to watch.
Of course, both coaches are thinking about being awarded a Lombardi Trophy rather than awarded Coach of the Year.