National Football League Defensive Player of the Year Award

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Currently several organizations give out NFL Defensive Player Awards that are listed in the "NFL Record and Fact Book" and "Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League". The Associated Press has been giving the award since 1972. Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly since 1970. The Sporting News has only announced winners for the last two seasons. Previously, the Newspaper Enterprise Association was the originator of the award in 1966, however it became defunct after 1996. Also going defunct was the United Press International AFC-NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards that began in 1970.

Associated Press[edit]

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.

AP 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

Pro Football Writers of America[edit]

The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis.

From 1969 to 1991, the Pro Football Writers Association NFL Defensive Player of the Year was presented by Pro Football Weekly only. PFW and the Professional Football Writers of America combined their awards in 1992. In 2013 the award was presented by PFWA alone.

Season Player Team Position College
1969 Bobby Bell Kansas City Chiefs Outside linebacker Minnesota
1970 Dick Butkus Chicago Bears Middle linebacker Illinois
1971 Alan Page Minnesota Vikings Defensive tackle Notre Dame
1972 Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive tackle North Texas State
1973 Alan Page Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle Notre Dame
1974 Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive tackle North Texas Stats
1975 Jack Ham Pittsburgh Steelers Outside Linebacker Penn State
1976 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Middle Linebacker Kent State
1977 Harvey Martin Dallas Cowboys Defensive End North Texas Stats
1978 Randy Gradishar Denver Broncos Inside Linebacker Ohio State
1979 Lee Roy Selmon Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive end Oklahoma
1980 Lester Hayes Oakland Raiders Cornerback Texas A&M
1981 Joe Klecko New York Jets Defensive end Temple
1982 Dan Hampton Chicago Bears Defensive tackle Arkansas
1983 Bob Baumhauer Miami Dolphins Defensive tackle Alabama
1984 Kenny Easley Seattle Seahawks Safety UCLA
1985 No Award
1986 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Outside Linebacker North Carolina
1987 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Tennessee
1988 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Middle linebacker Baylor
1989 Keith Millard Minnesota Vikings Defensive tackle Washington State
1990 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End Virginia Tech
1991 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Tennessee
1992 Cortez Kennedy Seattle Seahawks Defensive Tackle Miami
1993 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End Virginia Tech
1994 Deion Sanders San Francisco 49ers Cornerback Florida State
1995 Bryce Paup Buffalo Bills Outside Linebacker
1996 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End Virginia Tech
1997 Dana Stubblefield San Francisco 49ers Defensive tackle
1998 Reggie White Green Bay Packers Defensive end Tennessee
1999 Warren Sapp Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Tackle Miami
2000 Ray Lewis Baltimore Ravens Middle Linebacker Miami
2001 Michael Strahan New York Giants Defensive End
2002 Derrick Brooks Tampa Bay Buccaneers Outside linebacker
2003 Ray Lewis Baltimore Ravens Middle Linebacker Miami
2004 Ed Reed Baltimore Ravens Safety Miami, FL
2005 Brian Urlacher Chicago Bears Middle linebacker New Mexico
2006 Jason Taylor Miami Dolphins Defensive End Akron
2007 Bob Sanders Indianapolis Colts Safety
2008 James Harrison Pittsburgh Steelers Outside Linebacker
2009 Charles Woodson Green Bay Packers Cornerback Michigan
2010 Clay Matthews Green Bay Packers Outside linbbacker USC
2011 Terrell Suggs Baltimore Ravens Outside linebacker Arizona State
2012 JJ Watt Houston Texans Defensive End Wisconsin
2013 Robert Quinn St. Louis Rams Defensive End North Carolina

[8]

Newspaper Enterprise Association[edit]

Beginning in 1966 the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) annually awarded the George S. Halas Trophy to the NFL's outstanding defensive player (Newspaper Enterprise Association Defensive Player of the Year Award). (The George S. Halas Trophy should not be confused with the Pro Football Writers Association's George S. Halas Courage Award or the National Football League's George Halas Trophy that is awarded to the NFC champion.) The winner was released via the NEA news service and also appeared in the World Almanac, which was an NEA publication. The award ran though 1996. It was considered one of the major awards and as included in the NFL Record and Fact Book and its winners still appear in the NFL's Official Encyclopedia, Total Football II. In his book, A Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football, sportwriter Paul Zimmerman touted the NEA for its All-Pro team and its awards, since they involved polling the players, rather than being a sportswriter's poll like the AP, UPI, and the PFWA.

Newspaper Enterprise Association DPOY winners[edit]

Winners are awarded George S. Halas Trophy
1966Larry Wilson, S, St. Louis Cardinals
1967Deacon Jones, DE, Los Angeles Rams
1968— Deacon Jones, DE, Los Angeles Rams
1969Dick Butkus, MLB, Chicago Bears
1970— Dick Butkus, MLB, Chicago Bears
1971Carl Eller, DE, Minnesota Vikings
1972Joe Greene, DT, Pittsburgh Steelers
1973Alan Page, DT, Minnesota Vikings
1974— Joe Greene, DT, Pittsburgh Steelers
1975Curley Culp, DT, Houston Oilers
1976Jerry Sherk, DT, Cleveland Browns
1977Harvey Martin, DE, Dallas Cowboys
1978Randy Gradishar, ILB, Denver Broncos
1979Lee Roy Selmon, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1980Lester Hayes, CB, Oakland Raiders
1981Joe Klecko, DE, New York Jets
1982Mark Gastineau, DE, New York Jets
1983Jack Lambert, MLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
1984Mike Haynes, CB, Los Angeles Raiders
1985Howie Long, DE, Los Angeles Raiders/ Andre Tippett, OLB, New England Patriots (tie)
1986Lawrence Taylor, OLB, New York Giants
1987Reggie White, DE, Philadelphia Eagles
1988Mike Singletary, MLB, Chicago Bears
1989Tim Harris, OLB, Green Bay Packers
1990Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo Bills
1991Pat Swilling, OLB, New Orleans Saints
1992Junior Seau, LB, San Diego Chargers
1993Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo Bills
1994Deion Sanders, CB, San Francisco 49ers
1995Bryce Paup, OLB, Buffalo Bills
1996Kevin Greene, OLB, Carolina Panthers

Notes[edit]

The Newspaper Enterprise Association also awarded the Bert Bell Memorial Trophy to the Rookie of the Year and the Jim Thorpe Award to the NFL MVP. The driving force behind these awards was Murray Olderman who began the NEA All-pro team in 1954 and added more awards, including the Third Down Trophy that symbolized each team's MVP.

From 1970 to 1996, the United Press International awarded the NFC Player of the Year to players from the NFL's National Football Conference (NFC).

United Press International[edit]

NFC Defensive Player of the Year[edit]

Season Player Team Position
1975Jack Youngblood Los Angeles Rams Defensive End
1976 Wally Chambers Chicago Bears Defensive Tackle
1977 Harvey Martin Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle
1978 Randy White Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle
1979 Lee Roy Selmon Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive End
1980 Nolan Cromwell Los Angeles Rams Safety
1981 Fred Dean San Francisco 49ers Defensive End
1982 No Award
1983 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Linebacker
1984| Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1985| Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1986 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Linebacker
1987 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End
1988 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1989 Keith Millard Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle
1990 Charles Haley San Francisco 49ers Linebacker
1991 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End
1992 Chris Doleman Minnesota Vikings Defensive End
1993 Eric Allen Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback
1994 Charles Haley Dallas Cowboys Defensive End
1995 Reggie White Green Bay Packers Defensive End
1996 Kevin Greene Carolina Panthers Linebacker

AFC Player of the Year[edit]

Season Player Team Position
1975 Mel Blount Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback
1976 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker
1977 Lyle Alzado Denver Broncos Defensive End
1978 Randy Gradishar Denver Broncos Linebacker
1979 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Linbebacker
1980 Lester Hayes Oakland Raiders Cornerback
1981 Joe Klecko New York Jets Defensive End
1982 No Award
1983 Rod Martin Los Angeles Raiders Linebacker
1984 Mark Gastineau New York Jets Defensive End
1985 Andre Tippett New England Patriots Linebacker
1986 Rulon Jones Denver Broncos Defensive End
1987 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End
1988 (tie) Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End
Cornelius Bennett Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1989 Michael Dean Perry Cleveland Browns Nose Tackle
1990 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End
1991 Cornelius Bennett Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1992 Junior Seau San Diego Chargers Linebacker
1993 Rod Woodson Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback
1994Greg Lloyd Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker
1995 Bryce Paup Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1996 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End

Sporting News[edit]

2012 - JJ Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2013 - Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers

Pro Football Focus[edit]

2011 - Justin Smith, DE, San Francisco 49ers
2012 - J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2013 - J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

Kansas City Committee of 101[edit]

Began in 1969, the "101" is 101 of the top NFL sportwriters who have been voting on awards, such as the Defensive Player of each Conference since 1969.

KC Committee of 101 Defensive Player of the Year Awards[edit]

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]
  8. ^ http://www.profootballwriters.org/

External links[edit]