Carolina LB Kuechly honored as top defensive player

The Sports NetworkFebruary 1, 2014 

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year Saturday, as voted by the Associated Press.

The 22-year-old Kuechly, the ninth overall draft pick in 2012 out of Boston College, received 19 votes from a nationwide media panel to beat out Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis (11 1/2). Seattle safety Earl Thomas was third (7 1/2), followed by St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn (6) and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (4). Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who was last year's winner, got two votes.

Kuechly compiled 96 tackles and had four interceptions this past season. He also had two sacks.

"I had no idea," Kuechly said when asked if he was surprised at winning the award. "If you look at the list of guys it's Robert Mathis, a sack master who forced a lot of fumbles, and obviously, everybody knows about Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. It was a great group of guys, and really, anybody could have got it."

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service