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Thread: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

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    DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    Defensive Player of the Year: Luke Kuechly headlines candidates

    NFL.com
    Published: Jan. 29, 2014 at 08:32 a.m.

    The night before Super Bowl XLVIII, the NFL will salute its best players and plays from the 2013 season with "NFL Honors," a star-studded football and entertainment event hosted by Alec Baldwin at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Here's all the coverage information:

    Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. ET on NFL Network: NFL Honors Preview Special
    Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. ET on NFL Network: NFL Honors Red Carpet Special
    Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX: 3rd Annual NFL Honors

    One of the awards that will be presented on Saturday night is the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year. Who gets your vote?


    Elliot HarrisonNFL.com

    Luke Kuechly's emergence fueled Panthers' rise
    Given the way he came on at the end of the season, and the incredible streak Carolina went on during the back half of the campaign, Luke Kuechly is the man. The Panthers lost once in their final 12 regular-season contests, with much credit going to Kuechly. And when the team really needed him against the Saints in Week 16, he came through with 24 tackles and one interception to put Carolina in position to win the NFC South.

    The fact that this was just his second NFL season is unreal. And if J.J. Watt could win this award in Year 2, why not Kuechly?


    Gregg RosenthalNFL.com

    Forget about Luke Kuechly -- NaVorro Bowman's the real man in the middle
    There are a ton of great options and none of them are obnoxious -- except for Luke Kuechly. (Choosing Kuechly is obnoxious. He seems like a fine fellow.) NaVorro Bowman had the season people think Kuechly had. You can't play the inside linebacker position any better than the San Francisco ***** star did this season. No one pursues ball carriers and plays in pass coverage as well as Bowman, who narrowly gets my vote over Robert Quinn and Richard Sherman.

    Obviously, Bowman's season ended on a devastating note, with the gruesome injury in the NFC Championship Game. His recovery will be a major offseason storyline for the Niners.


    Ian RapoportNFL Network

    Rising star Robert Quinn edges out Earl Thomas
    It's not fair to diminish the performance of anyone with 19.5 sacks, and Robert Mathis had a heck of a year, but he was aided by the Colts engaging in endless shootouts. Robert Quinn, my choice for Defensive Player of the Year, didn't have that luxury. Quinn collected 19 sacks in a season that cemented him as one of the game's rising stars. He gets the nod over Earl Thomas, the best player on the Seahawks' defense. As for Quinn, think the Rams are excited about his potential? He's just 23 years old.


    Steve WycheNFL.com

    Richard Sherman's Revis-like impact keys NFL's top defense
    I'm going with Richard Sherman. The Seattle Seahawks' secondary as a whole is part of this -- rarely is a great defense built from its back end forward. The impact Sherman provides is Darrelle Revis-like in the sense that he turns the game into 10-on-10. Sherman led the NFL with eight interceptions, but the fact that he influences so much of that awesome defense is why he's the game's top defender.


    Judy BattistaNFL.com

    J.J. Watt has an argument to repeat, but Luke Kuechly's all-around play deserves merit
    A very, very strong argument could be made for J.J. Watt to win this again, but Luke Kuechly would get my vote, because he truly did it all this season.

    Middle linebackers don't get as much love as pass rushers and cornerbacks do these days. Watch a Panthers game, though, and it often feels like Kuechly is in on every play. Last season's Defensive Rookie of the Year was simply spectacular in 2013, piling up 156 tackles, two sacks, seven passes defensed, 10 tackles for loss and four interceptions. Oh, and the Panthers finished second overall in total and scoring defense.


    Adam ScheinNFL.com

    Kuechly sits atop a crowded field of viable candidates
    I stand by the initial choice I made in a "Schein Nine" column on this topic back in mid-November: Luke Kuechly gets the nod over Earl Thomas in a hotly contested race.

    Kuechly has the requisite numbers for the hardware, but remember that this is also a defensive MVP award. He was Carolina's heart and soul, the most valuable Panther in a season of overachievement. Their front seven was dominant -- and Kuechly headed the charge.


    Charley CasserlyNFL Network

    Sherman certainly yaps a lot, but he backs it up with excellent play
    Richard Sherman was the best player on the best defense. I think he talks too much, but he is not the first player to do so. And as the saying goes, It's not bragging if you can do it.

    Sherman is an excellent man-coverage guy who sets the tone for the Seahawks' defense. If he really wins this award, better put on the ear muffs!


    Jason SmithNFL.com

    At age 22, Kuechly's entered a class of his own
    In just two NFL seasons, Luke Kuechly's become the top middle linebacker in the game. He does everything, as a tackling machine who also excels in coverage and gets pressure on the quarterback when he has to.

    This is a special guy. Barring unforeseen circumstances, he's going to be an All-Pro player for years to come and end up in Canton when his career is over.


    Adam RankNFL.com

    Quinn enjoyed a fine season, but Kuechly led his team to the playoffs
    I've been leaning toward Robert Quinn, because he had a very dominant season for the St. Louis football club, a season for the ages, really, with 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles. But ultimately, I like to vote for a guy who helped lead his team to the playoffs. So I have to give it to Luke Kuechly.

    The Panthers' defense had long been a sore spot for the team, but Carolina's unit was downright dominant this season. Kuechly was pretty impressive to watch as a tackling machine in the middle.


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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    I have no beef with he candidates listed, who all had fine years. I do, however, object to this analysis:

    Quinn enjoyed a fine season, but Kuechly led his team to the playoffs
    I've been leaning toward Robert Quinn, because he had a very dominant season for the St. Louis football club, a season for the ages, really, with 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles. But ultimately, I like to vote for a guy who helped lead his team to the playoffs. So I have to give it to Luke Kuechly.
    If the award wast the DPOTTMTPOY (Defensive Player on Team that Made the Playoffs) award, then this analysis would be valid. But its not. Its the Defensive Player of the Year, so vote for the person you think was the best defender this year. Period.
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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    If the award wast the DPOTTMTPOY (Defensive Player on Team that Made the Playoffs) award, then this analysis would be valid. But its not. Its the Defensive Player of the Year, so vote for the person you think was the best defender this year. Period.
    I absolutely agree. To say Quinn had a "season for the ages", but doesn't deserve the DPOY award because he didn't "help" lead his team to the playoffs makes no sense, and is ridiculous. It sure sounds like Adam Rank thought Quinn was the best defensive player this year, but not worthy of his vote because of some illegitimate criteria.

    That's just my opinion. Obviously these guys can vote anyway they want, based on anything they want.

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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    I agree completely with Av, and taking nothing away from Kuechly, who i think incredibly highly of, Cam Newton had a ton to do with getting carolina to the playoffs, along with a number of other very talented guys on their defense, starting with their defensive line. This is the debate every year over the MVP award, which almost never goes to a player on a team that doesnt make the playoffs. Note that the award is NOT defensive MVP, its player of the year, which denotes in my view an individual award, rather than a team achievement award (per Av's comment). How many times was Kuechly double and triple teamed like quinn was repeatedly? Said another way, in general, i think middle linebackers impact is often overated even in the case of the best of them, because so much of their performance is a function of the defensive tackles tying up the blockers so they can run free to the ball. This was the case for Ray Lewis, certainly Singletary, and even to some extent, the greatest of them all, Dick Butkus (go watch Doug Atkins highlights sometime).

    Ramming speed to all

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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    I agree too but fully expect that Quinn will lose out due to the "playoff mentality" that seems pervasive in this award and in this league
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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    I agree too but fully expect that Quinn will lose out due to the "playoff mentality" that seems pervasive in this award and in this league
    Sadly, I'll bet you're right mac. I really thought Quinn was in the drivers seat for DPOY, but after reading this article and seeing only 1 out of 9 writers/voters pick Quinn, I think the writing is on the wall.

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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Sadly, I'll bet you're right mac. I really thought Quinn was in the drivers seat for DPOY, but after reading this article and seeing only 1 out of 9 writers/voters pick Quinn, I think the writing is on the wall.
    But, on the bright side, I think the mighty Quinn's best days are ahead of him!!!! He is only 24 and just getting into the groove. His day will come.

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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    Tackles are one thing...(by the way Kuechly did not lead the league in tackles) impact plays are another. 19 sacks and 7 forced fumbles plus (correct me if I'm wrong) 2 being returned for TD's are alot more impressive to me. Quinn is not getting enough credit as far as I'm concerned.

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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    In the last 13 years only once has an AP NFL DPOY not been elected as DPOY. So there's that...
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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by Rammed View Post
    In the last 13 years only once has an AP NFL DPOY not been elected as DPOY. So there's that...
    Nice stat! I feel better.

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    Re: DPOY: Luke Kuechly Headlines Candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by Rammed View Post
    In the last 13 years only once has an AP NFL DPOY not been elected as DPOY. So there's that...
    I had to check, to see what the differences were. Here are the years, since 1971, that the AP and Pro Football Writers Assoc. differed.


    AP PFWA
    Season Player Name Player Name
    1973 Alan Page Dick Anderson
    1975 Jack Ham Mel Blount
    1981 Joe Klecko Lawrence Taylor
    1982 Dan Hampton Lawrence Taylor
    1983 Bob Baumhauer Doug Betters
    1985 No Award Mike Singletary
    1991 Reggie White Pat Swilling
    1993 Bruce Smith Rod Woodson
    2010 Clay Matthews Troy Polamalu

    gap
    Last edited by gap; -01-31-2014 at 10:16 AM. Reason: format table

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