The post-season awards continue to roll in for Jared Allen following the best season of his career and a season in which he set a new Vikings single-season record with 22.0 sacks. His latest honor is a significant one, as the fine folks at The Sporting News have named Allen their Defensive Player of the Year.
This is not the “big” defensive player of the year award – that is the AP’s version of the award – but this is still a signiciant award because The Sporting News collects votes from players, coaches and executives in doling out post-season honors. Here is part of what The Sporting News wrote about Allen in making the announcement:
“With 22.0 sacks, the Vikings end was just one shy of breaking Michael Strahan’s NFL record of 22.5, and a panel of 632 NFL players, coaches and executives chose him as Sporting News’ defensive player of the year by two votes (113-111) over second-place DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys.”
We’ve made the case in the past here on the vikings.com Blog that Allen should be named the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year, but we won’t find out if the AP’s voters correctly voted him as such. Other players across the League certainly had standout seasons, but I continue to think that no NFL defender played consistently at a higher level than Allen in 2011. There were only 3 games this season in which Allen did not register a sack, and he also had 6 multi-sack games and 3 games with 3+ sacks. Adding to his impressive season is the fact that Allen also had 4 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and 1 INT. He was consistently the Vikings best player all season, and opponents had a hard time stopping him even though it was their #1 priority coming into the game.
The Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year award is just the latest post-season award to come Allen’s way. He was named a Pro Bowler and is currently in Hawaii preparing for that game, he was named to the AP’s All-Pro team and he earned another defensive player of the year honor from the prestigious 101 Awards.
Another interesting aspect of The Sporting News’ announcement that Allen was named Defensive Player of the Year is that the publication shared comments they’ve gathered from players around the League regarding the season Allen had. Here are a few of them:
Bryan Bulaga, RT, Packers: “If you just watch him—his motor and effort and the way he plays—it’s intense. It’s hard to say anything bad about the guy because he does everything well. He plays the run well; he has a good motor against the run. His whole game is built on his intensity and motor. And he’s deceivingly quick. He’s got good hands, so in the pass rush he’s able to get around guys by continually working his hands and doing that kind of stuff.
“Obviously, he’s one of the best pass rushers in the game. If you look at what he ended up with—what, 20 (sacks)?—he just missed (the record). Wow. That kind of just shows you the type of guy he is. He’s a great player. I think he plays the game properly. He plays hard, he’s intense, doesn’t give up on plays. When his team is down, that’s the last guy you’re going to see giving up on a play. As a coach, those are the type of guys you want. No matter what the situation, he’ll continue to work and work and work. That’s what he does.”
Dominic Raiola, C, Lions: “He’s a relentless competitor. There’s no secret why he’s so good and why he gets paid that money and why he’s been around for so long. He’s somebody you’ve got to account for. You’ve got to include him in the game plan just because he does get after the quarterback. … He’s relentless. When you’re relentless, you’re going to get to the quarterback.”
Tyler Clutts, FB, Bears: “Jared Allen is a motor guy who just goes and goes and goes and goes. He’s a guy who you can’t ever not account for—even when the play looks like it’s done. You have to always get help on him. He’s just a slippery defensive end, which makes him dangerous to every quarterback.”
Tags: Jared Allen
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