Matthews named Sporting News’ NFL Defensive Player of the Year

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 13, 2011 – 10:23 am

Packers LB Clay Matthews has been named Sporting News’ NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

The sports publication collected votes from 609 NFL players, coaches and executives, and Matthews received 188 votes. Pittsburgh S Troy Polamalu finished second with 148 votes, followed by Dolphins LB Cameron Wake (64), Steelers LB James Harrison (45) and Bears DE Julius Peppers (44).

Matthews finished the regular season with 13 1/2 sacks, good for fourth in the league, and added another one in the NFC Wild Card playoff game in Philadelphia. He also returned an interception for a touchdown this season. He was the lone Packers player to make Sporting News’ All-Pro Team.

Other award winners in the voting were New England QB Tom Brady for Offensive Player of the Year, Detroit DT Ndamukong Suh for Rookie of the Year, Atlanta’s Mike Smith for Coach of the Year, and Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for Coordinator of the Year.

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