Published: Tue, February 06, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Former Pitt Star Aaron Donald Named NFL Defensive Player of the Year

Former Pitt Star Aaron Donald Named NFL Defensive Player of the Year

After a rough sophomore season in 2016, Los Angeles Rams' running back Todd Gurley revived his career in a big way in 2017.

Upon being named the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, McVay inherited a team that finished 2016 with a 4-12 record and as the league's worst-scoring offense.

Gurley led the National Football League in touchdowns (19) and yards from scrimmage (2,093), one year after a disappointing season labeled a "sophomore slump" by Rams general manager Les Snead.

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McVay joins an impressive list of other notable rookie head coaches to win the award, including Hall of Fame Coach Vince Lombardi, legendary Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowner and former Giants Heat Coach Jim Fassel.

His year also concluded with First Team All-Pro recognition for the third-consecutive season and he was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fourth-consecutive season. Did he ever, rushing for 1,305 yards and dominating defenses as LA went 11-5 to win the NFC West. He is the first defensive tackle to win the award since Warren Sapp in 1999. The last eight MVPs to appear in the Super Bowl wound up on the losing team, including Brady in 2007.

Sure, the Rams were proud of what they accomplished - particularly as the 2017 team became the first in league history to have the Associated Press' Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year. He received 35 of the 50 available votes, with Minnesota's Mike Zimmer getting 11.

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Sure, the argument can be made that Doug Pederson should have taken Coach of the Year honors when looking at what he's been able to accomplish with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Campbell also had 14 tackles for loss, 30 quarterback hits, three passes defended, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. The question is whether Donald, only the ninth player to win both Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, will start to command quarterback-level compensation.

Being overlooked is unfortunately nothing new for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and when it came to NFL Coach of the Year voting, overlooked was an understatement.

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Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen was named Comeback Player of the Year after returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament to have a terrific campaign.

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