AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award

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The AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award is given by the Associated Press to the league's most outstanding defensive player at the end of every NFL season since 1971. Multiple-award winners include Lawrence Taylor, who won it three times, and Joe Greene, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, Reggie White, and Ray Lewis, who each won it twice. Lawrence Taylor is the only player to win the award as a rookie (1981), and James Harrison is the only one to win it as an undrafted free agent (2008). Most recently, in 2012 and 2013, two second year players won this award: JJ Watt and Luke Kuechly of the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers.

During the respective seasons, a Defensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Month are also announced.

NFL Defensive Players of the Year[edit]

Year Player Name NFL Team Position Team Defense Rank Team Performance
1971 Page, AlanAlan Page Minnesota Vikings Defensive tackle 2 NFC Division champ
1972 Greene, JoeJoe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive tackle 8 AFC Championship
1973 Anderson, DickDick Anderson Miami Dolphins Safety 3 Won Super Bowl VIII
1974 Greene, JoeJoe Greene (2) Pittsburgh Steelers (2) Defensive tackle 4 Won Super Bowl IX
1975 Blount, MelMel Blount Pittsburgh Steelers (3) Cornerback 4 Won Super Bowl X
1976 Lambert, JackJack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers (4) Linebacker 1 AFC Championship
1977 Martin, HarveyHarvey Martin Dallas Cowboys Defensive end 1 Won Super Bowl XII
1978 Gradishar, RandyRandy Gradishar Denver Broncos Linebacker 6 AFC Divisional
1979 Selmon, Lee RoyLee Roy Selmon Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive end 1 NFC Championship
1980 Hayes, LesterLester Hayes Oakland Raiders Cornerback 11 Won Super Bowl XV
1981 Taylor, LawrenceLawrence Taylor-R New York Giants Linebacker 3 NFC Divisional
1982 Taylor, LawrenceLawrence Taylor (2) New York Giants (2) Linebacker 7 4–5 no playoffs (strike season)
1983 Betters, DougDoug Betters Miami Dolphins (2) Defensive end 7 AFC Divisional
1984 Easley, KennyKenny Easley Seattle Seahawks Safety 6 AFC Divisional
1985 Singletary, MikeMike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker 1 Won Super Bowl XX
1986 Taylor, LawrenceLawrence Taylor (3) New York Giants (3) Linebacker 2 Won Super Bowl XXI
1987 White, ReggieReggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive end 23 7–8 no playoffs (strike season)
1988 Singletary, MikeMike Singletary (2) Chicago Bears (2) Linebacker 2 NFC Championship
1989 Millard, KeithKeith Millard Minnesota Vikings (2) Defensive tackle 1 NFC Divisional
1990 Smith, BruceBruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive end 8 Lost Super Bowl XXV
1991 Swilling, PatPat Swilling New Orleans Saints Linebacker 2 NFC Wildcard
1992 Kennedy, CortezCortez Kennedy Seattle Seahawks (2) Defensive tackle 10 2–14 no playoffs
1993 Woodson, RodRod Woodson Pittsburgh Steelers (5) Cornerback 3 AFC Wildcard
1994 Sanders, DeionDeion Sanders San Francisco 49ers Cornerback 8 Won Super Bowl XXIX
1995 Paup, BryceBryce Paup Buffalo Bills (2) Linebacker 13 AFC Divisional
1996 Smith, BruceBruce Smith (2) Buffalo Bills (3) Defensive end 9 AFC Wildcard
1997 Stubblefield, DanaDana Stubblefield San Francisco 49ers (2) Defensive tackle 1 NFC Championship
1998 White, ReggieReggie White (2) Green Bay Packers Defensive end 4 NFC Wildcard
1999 Sapp, WarrenWarren Sapp Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2) Defensive tackle 3 NFC Championship
2000 Lewis, RayRay Lewis Baltimore Ravens Linebacker 2 Won Super Bowl XXXV
2001 Strahan, MichaelMichael Strahan New York Giants (4) Defensive end 14 7–9 no playoffs
2002 Brooks, DerrickDerrick Brooks Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3) Linebacker 1 Won Super Bowl XXXVII
2003 Lewis, RayRay Lewis[1] (2) Baltimore Ravens (2) Linebacker 3 AFC Wildcard
2004 Reed, EdEd Reed[2] Baltimore Ravens (3) Safety 6 9–7 no playoffs
2005 Urlacher, BrianBrian Urlacher[3] Chicago Bears (3) Linebacker 2 NFC Divisional
2006 Taylor, JasonJason Taylor[4] Miami Dolphins (3) Defensive end 4 6–10, no playoffs
2007 Sanders, BobBob Sanders[5] Indianapolis Colts Safety 3 AFC Divisional
2008 Harrison, JamesJames Harrison[6] Pittsburgh Steelers (6) Linebacker 1 Won Super Bowl XLIII
2009 Woodson, CharlesCharles Woodson[7] Green Bay Packers (2) Cornerback 2 NFC Wildcard
2010 Polamalu, TroyTroy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers (7) Safety 2 Lost Super Bowl XLV
2011 Suggs, TerrellTerrell Suggs Baltimore Ravens (4) Linebacker 3 AFC Championship
2012 Watt, J. J.J. J. Watt Houston Texans Defensive end 10 AFC Divisional
2013 Kuechly, LukeLuke Kuechly Carolina Panthers Linebacker 2 NFC Divisional

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ray Lewis goes from murder suspect to NFL's Defensive Player of Year". Batesville Daily Guard website. Associated Press. January 3, 2001. Retrieved January 5, 2009. 
  2. ^ "First safety in 20 years to win defensive award". Associated Press. January 7, 2005. Retrieved January 5, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Urlacher named AP Defensive Player of the Year". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 6, 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2009. 
  4. ^ Wilner, Barry (January 5, 2007). "Taylor takes home AP Defensive Player of the Year honor". USAToday.com. Associated Press. Retrieved January 5, 2009. 
  5. ^ "AP picks Colts' Sanders as top defensive player". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 7, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2009. 
  6. ^ Wilner, Barry (January 5, 2009). "Steelers' Harrison is AP Defensive Player of Year". google.com. Associated Press. Retrieved January 5, 2009. 
  7. ^ "CB Woodson voted AP's top defensive player". nfl.com. Associated Press. January 12, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010. [dead link]

External links[edit]