Though neither took home any hardware, and frankly, weren’t very close, Devin Bush and Mike Tomlin showed up on the ballot for Defensive Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year.
According to the official results, Bush received two votes for Defensive Rookie of the year. Nick Bosa ran away with the victory with Bush finishing in third behind him and Oakland’s Maxx Crosby.
Tomlin had a similar finish for Coach of the Year, picking up a pair of votes. He came in 4th behind winner John Harbaugh, Kyle Shanahan, and Matt LaFleur. Tomlin was the only coach who picked up votes not to make the playoffs. I’d wager it’s been a long time since a non-playoff coach received any votes, a testament to what some voters thought of the job he did.
Here’s a look at all the ballots.
Of course, it’s fair to say Bush nor Tomlin were worthy of winning their category. Bush had a great rookie season but his turnover numbers cooled over the second half of the season. He had only one forced fumble/interception/fumble recovery after Week 6. Bosa was legitimately outstanding, wrecking Alejandro Villanueva and countless other offensive tackles during the year.
Tomlin was never going to win the award finishing 8-8, missing the playoffs, and by year’s end, seeing his team collapse for the second straight season. Harbaugh, even if Steelers’ fans don’t like him (and many don’t), drafted the league’s MVP and changed his offense and coaching philosophy tailored to Lamar Jackson’s strengths. Shanahan did an amazing job to turn around a 49ers team most didn’t give a second thought to heading into 2019.
TJ Watt, as we noted yesterday, was the only other Steeler to show up on these lists. He came in third place for Defensive Player of the Year picking up 10 votes. That trailed Stephon Gilmore’s 21 and Chandler Jones’ 14.
Across the league, Saints’ wideout Michael Thomas won Offensive Player of the Year, Titans’ QB Ryan Tannehill Comeback Player of the Year, Cardinals’ QB Kyler Murray Rookie of the Year, while Raven’s OC Greg Roman was tabbed as the NFL’s top assistant.