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Reports: Clay Matthews wins defensive player of the year award

Kevin Kolb, Clay Matthews AP

NFL Network has commenced its week-long unveiling of unofficial Associated Press awards that suddenly seem a lot more official now that the awards have received the imprimatur of the National Football League.

First up?  Defensive player of the year.  The winner?  Per multiple reports, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.

Though we’ve yet to see the full voting, it’s possible that Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu divided enough ballots to keep either from winning.  Then there’s the fact that Polamalu missed several late-season games due to injury.

Then there’s the fact that the folks at Head & Shoulders opted to launch a campaign to secure the award.

Matthews is the second former USC linebacker to win a major award in the past two NFL seasons.  In 2009, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing was named the AP defensive rookie of the year.  Cushing won the award again after a re-vote conducted following the announcement of a four-game suspension for violation of the league’s steroids policy.  The Trojan connection between the two players compelled Matthews to deny taking steroids in May 2010.

Likewise, Matthews is the second straight Packer to be named defensive player of the year.  In 2009, the honor went to cornerback Charles Woodson.

Matthews also had an indirect hand in the likely AP comeback player of the year — Eagles quarterback Mike Vick.  Matthews used the helmet of Kevin Kolb to create a T-bone-sized divot in the turf at Lincoln Financial Field, opening the door for Vick to seize the starting job in Philly.

UPDATE:  Apparently, there’s a chance the “multiple reports” were all wrong.  Time will tell.  At least no one has killed Terry Bradshaw.  Again.

UPDATE II:  Yep, they were all wrong.

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42 Responses to “Reports: Clay Matthews wins defensive player of the year award”
  1. freakish213 says: Jan 31, 2011 7:53 PM

    Two in a row… next year maybe it’s Tramon’s turn… or Raji if he keeps playing like a freak!

  2. hobartbaker says: Jan 31, 2011 7:53 PM

    How does Clay Matthews say “YES!”?

    He rips off his helmet and shakes his head vigorously from side to side.

  3. joetoronto says: Jan 31, 2011 7:54 PM

    He’s a real chip off the ole block, that’s for sure.

    I used to love watching his dad play, awesome backer.

  4. nickynick04 says: Jan 31, 2011 7:54 PM

    Congrates to the ” Claymaker ” aka The ” Bloodline “……….I do wonder if it deserved though. I mean the Packers played a couple of really weak teams in the Vikings and the Eagles….Both have never won a Super Bowl, and their future does not look promising for a long, long,,,LONG time….Congrates Clay. Now let’s go win a Super Bowl.. !

  5. johntonioholmes says: Jan 31, 2011 7:55 PM

    Matthews was a good choice, but I find it odd that the Packers have back to back DPOYs when the Steelers have had easily the best defense of the past decade and have only produced one player to win the award.

    Again, Matthews was deserving, but I leaned Harrison just a little because of that run defense.

  6. righthereisay says: Jan 31, 2011 7:56 PM

    This had to be a close one. My only issue with Clay would be that he had a lot of his sacks the 1st 2 games. After that, he still had a great season…but take away those 2 games, and he probably isn’t even in the running.

  7. walleye436 says: Jan 31, 2011 7:56 PM

    Its in the blood….too bad he wasn’t drafted by the team his daddy played for….

  8. eaglesnoles05 says: Jan 31, 2011 7:57 PM

    Great player, great season. He was a gamebreaker all year. Deserving recipient. Period.

  9. deebo92 says: Jan 31, 2011 7:58 PM

    Polamalu.. Im no homer by any means but this guy saved our season so many times and is a game changing play maker…. I like Matthews a lot as a player.. But, I feel as though he had a great start to the season and tapered off because of injury (not his fault)… If I have to settle for Matthews thats fine but I still say Polamalu is DPOY. Look at our stats and record without him. Is this where I say, “it is what it is”?

  10. jimmysee says: Jan 31, 2011 7:59 PM

    He’s one-half of the first round tag-team that will bring mayhem to the Steelers come Sunday, and mayhem to the NFC Central for the next ten years.

  11. cityofchampyinz says: Jan 31, 2011 8:00 PM

    Just in time to show the whole world who the real defensive MVP is.

  12. birdobeamen says: Jan 31, 2011 8:01 PM

    BTW, I’m an Eagles fan — so THANK YOU Clay Mathews for helping us find our new franchise quarterback!!

  13. SpartaChris says: Jan 31, 2011 8:02 PM

    Well deserved. Played most of the season with a shin injury yet still managed to produce and cause match up problems for opposing teams.

  14. august1969 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:03 PM

    Patriots trade down in the first round….in their place….Green Bay takes Matthews…26 pick I think…

  15. igottz5onit says: Jan 31, 2011 8:05 PM

    We all knew it was either gonna be Polamalu or Matthews. There was an argument for each, but you can’t sit the last few games of the season and hope for the best. Congrats to Clay, a heck of a player and a class act. No lets hope the line holds up and makes sure dpoy is the only hardware he wins this year. Go Steelers!

  16. pervyharvin says: Jan 31, 2011 8:09 PM

    Clay is good. I just hope with age and maturity he gets rid of that sissy hair.

  17. nickynick04 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:09 PM

    The Steelers were the laughingstocks of the NFL for decades; they have been around since 1933, they had no championships and were only in ONE playoff game prior to the 1970′s: in 1947. The Steelers have won 6 championships; the Packers had won 6 championships before the Steelers even made to their first playoff game in 1947.

  18. lbpackfan says: Jan 31, 2011 8:10 PM

    Well deserved…good work, Clay!

    It will be more satisfying getting the Lombardi Trophy as well.

    GO PACK!

  19. thespeaker08 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:11 PM

    And Very Well deserved, if true.

    At least this wasn’t as much of a rip as Julius Peppers making the pro bowl over Charles Johnson.

  20. againsville says: Jan 31, 2011 8:16 PM

    If you take away the six sacks in the first two games this guy was average at best. Also consider the fact that the two quarterbacks were Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kevin Kolb. Not exactly seasoned vets. My vote’s for Ed Reed

  21. michaelskakel says: Jan 31, 2011 8:19 PM

    Dude had 6 of his 13.5 sacks in the first 2 games of the season. 7.5 for the other 14 games. James Harrison had better stats: 3.5 less sacks, 40 more tackles, 4 more forced fumbles and 1 more pick than Clay, and he still didn’t deserve it over Polamalu. Polamalu was by far the most valuable defensive player this year. If this holds up, it’s garbage.

  22. kcjohnson2 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:20 PM

    CM3 will have a chance at an MVP during his career.

  23. pack4gop says: Jan 31, 2011 8:21 PM

    Matthews will have the last laugh Sunday

  24. lawboy2000 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:22 PM

    I think your buddy Rich Eisen is busting your chops on this one by telling viewers it’s not official until NFL Network says it’s official.

  25. frye21 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:23 PM

    Good job jumping the gum on this one. First of two trophies coming back to Pittsburgh Monday

  26. moneymike23 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:25 PM

    Congrats to Clay, I have a feeling this is only the beginning.

  27. imjinbrdgr says: Jan 31, 2011 8:26 PM

    CONGRATS CLAY!!! Now go get a ring.

  28. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Jan 31, 2011 8:26 PM

    Clay Mathews is precisely what the Patriots need today—and OLB with excellent ball awareness, strong pursuit skills, and great pass rush capability. I think of him as an OLB version of Troy Polamalu—the long hair included. And to think New England passed on Mathews in Round 1, Selection 26 of the 2009 NFL Draft, and gave up a fifth rounder as well to Green Bay. My understanding is that in consideration for its trades with Green Bay, Baltimore, and Jacksonville, the Pats eventually got Darius Butler, Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, and Jacksonville’s 2010 second-round selection. What may have seemed a good trade at the time is, in my opinion, not so good in retrospect.

  29. raiderspride says: Jan 31, 2011 8:26 PM

    You could not just announce this and congratulate him could you? Perhaps point out a few of his stats. No.

    You had to throw in the substantiated, ridiculous Steroid Link.

    When Aaron is the Superbowl MVP. Are you going to point out… that his only Superbowl championship so far, came in a city/region that even Lee Harvey Oswald can be accurate?

    Your dislike for the Packers is shining in every word you type.

  30. dawgpound2010 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:28 PM

    Dear Green Bay:

    You are welcome! But at least Alex Mack scored a touchdown in the 2011 Pro-Bowl !
    Signed:
    Eric Mangini, Al Lerner and the awesome Browns draft class of 2009.

  31. tougie1 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:32 PM

    …and Aaron Rodgers won’t sign autographs for ladies with cancer. Journalism at it’s best, nice work guy’s.

  32. st2695 says: Jan 31, 2011 8:35 PM

    What kind of journalism is this? Don’t you think you might want to see the actual results before you incorrectly report matthews wins? Unreal.

  33. cityofchampyinz says: Jan 31, 2011 8:36 PM

    Just in time to show the whole world who the real defensive MVP is.

    ==============

    Never mind, everyone already knows.

  34. 23chameleons says: Jan 31, 2011 8:49 PM

    whoops …

  35. hobartbaker says: Jan 31, 2011 9:11 PM

    Has anyone taken a close look at Bradshaw lately? I think the jury is still out on that call.

  36. footballrulz says: Jan 31, 2011 9:37 PM

    Good grief Mike–Could you not at least verify a report b4 you put it out there? I mean I know you are a blogger & not a journalist but NBC owns you. You have sources, supposedly. Getting more & more dissappointed in this place as time goes by. Also, I’ll bet this post is deleted before morning…Can’t dis the PFT any longer. We have monitors now. Please, prove me wrong….please

  37. bennybob says: Feb 1, 2011 1:29 AM

    Polamalu missed several late season games? Really? I think it was two games. Granted they were in weeks 15 & 16, but one of those games was against the Panthers and if they had needed him to play, he would have.

  38. jimmysee says: Feb 1, 2011 2:09 AM

    So what happened here!?

  39. wydok says: Feb 1, 2011 8:07 AM

    Mike,

    Journalism should be about getting the correct information, not being first. NPR fell into this trap when the reported Rep. Giffords was dead. There was no reason to be “first”, and they reported wrong info.

    Of course, saying someone is dead (cough Terry Bradshaw) is worse than listing the wrong winner of an award, but it comes down to the same thing. Journalists have a responsibility to their readers to verify information before reporting it.

  40. newreality1 says: Feb 1, 2011 2:40 PM

    I can see mathews and palamalu getting together for a couple of beers,if they drank, and saying-DONT YOU JUST LOVE TEARING THE QBS HEAD OFF.

  41. blackcatnfl says: Feb 1, 2011 2:41 PM

    How the heck do you get the announcement of an award wrong? What…were you guys just guessing who you thought would win? Couldn’t you have just said, “People we spoke to expect so-and-so to win?”

    Are you going to post, “Packers Win Super Bowl” before the kickoff?

  42. stairwayto7 says: Feb 1, 2011 4:50 PM

    The media mis-reporting something???shocking!!

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