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DeMeco Ryans, Shane Steichen, Ben Johnson finalists for AP assistant coach of the year

Mike Florio and Chris Simms unpack the news the Patriots reportedly are hiring an offensive coordinator and dissect how Bill O'Brien's Alabama connection will be beneficial for Mac Jones.

The Associated Press has announced the finalists for this year’s assistant coach of the year award.

Two of the finalists will be squaring off in the NFC Championship Game this weekend. 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans will be trying to stop Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen from putting up enough points to send his team to the Super Bowl.

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is the third finalist. Johnson piloted the Lions to fifth place in points scored and fourth in total yards.

All three of the finalists wound up on interview lists for head coaching jobs after the regular season. Johnson is returning to the Lions, but Ryans and Steichen are still be in play for jobs as they head into championship weekend.