Belichick Reportedly to Prevail in AP Coach of Year Balloting
The Boston Herald polled 41 of the 50 media members with votes for the Associated Press's NFL coach of the year award and reported that the New England Patriots' perfect regular season will earn Bill Belichick the honor.
The Herald reported that 25 of the 41 said they voted for Belichick.
Belichick's candidacy has been controversial because he and the Patriots were punished for a spying scandal in the opening week of the season and were criticized for allegedly running up the score in some games.
But the Patriots completed the first 16-0 regular season in NFL history with last Saturday's triumph over the New York Giants at Giants Stadium. They set the league's single-season scoring record, and quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Randy Moss set records for touchdown passes and touchdown catches in a season. The Patriots are the heavy favorite to win what would be a fourth Super Bowl title under Belichick.
All of that more than offset this season's controversies. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fined Belichick $500,000 and the Patriots $250,000 and stripped the team of a first-round draft choice next spring for using videotaping equipment to steal the play signals of the New York Jets' coaches in the opening game of the season at Giants Stadium. Some opposing players and outside observers accused the Patriots of unnecessarily embarrassing opponents during a season in which they beat the Washington Redskins, 52-7, and the Buffalo Bills, 56-10.
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