Polamalu, not Matthews, wins defensive player of the year award


Well, well, well.

As it turns out, the reports that Packers linebacker Clay Matthews won the Associated Press defensive player of the year award were incorrect.

Bob Glauber of Newsday and Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune each posted on Twitter that Matthews won the award.

In reality, the award went to Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

To his credit, Glauber is owning the blunder.  “My bad on the Clay Matthews mistake,” Glauber said on Twitter.  “Got incorrect info.  Bad Twitter moment.  My apologies.”

Polamalu received 17 of 50 votes.  Matthews got 15.  Steelers linebacker James Harrison received eight, Bears defensive end Julius Peppers got six, Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher received two, Ravens safety Ed Reed got one, and Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata got one.

UPDATE: Biggs also apologized for the error:  “My error. Troy Polamalu won AP Defensive Player of the Year. I went off another tweet I saw & have no one to blame but myself.”

125 responses to “Polamalu, not Matthews, wins defensive player of the year award

  1. To quote Rome, “Twitter is a loaded gun without a safety”.

    Least you weren’t the only monkey with a keyboard who got it wrong.

  2. Even a bigger congrats to Troy than my last post. Amazing after missing some games late in the season. He is a one of a kind player that has changed the outcome of many games.


  3. Lol@ the voters.. How can you not give DPOY to Ed Reed?

    Led league in interceptions despite missing the first 6 games of the year..

    Steeler homers are out in full this week.

  4. It was really a tossup between Harrison and Matthews. I’m surprised Troy won because Harrison was probably still the most dominant player on that defense. Reed and Ngata each getting a vote shows what a joke this award is.

  5. Wow. People are so hungry to be the first person breaking the news that they forget to check if it’s actually correct??way to go Bob

  6. Troy gets the nod because he’s been in the league longer. He had an excellent year, but wasn’t as dominant as Matthews.

    CM3 will have to settle for the Super Bowl MVP. Poor guy.

  7. It is nice to see the top two vote-getters are two of the classiest players in the league.

  8. Yeah, looks even worse for PFT. U guys ran a story that Matthews won, based on one erroneous tweet.


    Oh, and @wingoz & @AdamSchefter retweeted it.

    Just as pathetic.

  9. To his credit, Glauber is owning the blunder. “My bad on the Clay Matthews mistake,” Glauber said on Twitter. “Got incorrect info. Bad Twitter moment. My apologies.”

    Here’s an idea, how about waiting until it’s official, as opposed to guessing?

  10. Uh-oh…Look out for Matthews now in the Super Bowl. He will have something to prove. Too bad for him, but can only help the Packers D for the game. Grats to Polamalu though. He was equally worthy of the award. (Although we’ll no doubt get a few Pack fans crying foul–they shouldn’t, this will only help the Packers.)

  11. Well deserved! Congratulations, Troy. What can you do to top what the last Steeler who won DPOY honors did in the Super Bowl?

  12. Terrible.

    How many of these writers would vote for an MVP (offense) that misses the final stretch of games or misses 4 games during the year?

    Clay got robbed!

  13. Maybe this should be off topic but how could somebody screw this up and twit the wrong winner?

    With that said, Matthews had better numbers, but Polamalu made big plays at key times consistently.

  14. My god i’ve never seen such a poor excuse for journalism in my entire life. It’s like you people know how bad you are and just keep trying to see if rock bottom is really the bottom. The internet is the single worst thing to happen to journalistic integrity.

  15. Will they send all the “Clay Matthews Defensive Player of the Year 2010” shirts to Africa now?

  16. Reed better number, 16 less votes……that makes sense. Should have been Matthews. Urlacher deserved 0, dude is overrated!

  17. Well Deserved!!! Good to see a passionate, hardworking, “do it right” athlete win this award. Congrat’s Troy!!

  18. Would have loved to see Clay Matthews win it but you cant argue with Polamalu. Polamalu may be the best player in the league period.
    Packers are still going to win the Super Bowl though!!

  19. Are you sure this time?? Maybe reporters, like football players, shouldn’t be allowed to tweet unsupervised.

    Given what Polamalu accomplished this season despite injuries and missed games, the award was well-deserved. Congrats Troy!!! And congrats to James for his third-place finish in the voting. That means Steelers defenders took half the available votes.

    Congrats to Matthews as well for an excellent season.

  20. I think the Pack is better without Clay than the Steelers are without Troy. I think Troy is more dominant when healthy in coverage.

  21. This was not a great year for him; must be the press he gets. Harrison might be a better option but that would put the spotlight on the helmet hits so they can’t risk that.

  22. And let me just say, Troy may have not been the most deserving player up for this but neither was Matthews. Matthews was just as inconsistent over the second half of the season (racked up 6 sacks his first two games then only 7.5 the final 14) as Troy was during the middle of it. The difference is that the Packers D would still be pretty good without Matthews and the Steelers D would go to shambles without Troy.

    But IMO there were no players who stood out above the rest over the course of the entire season. My votes would have to go to Harrison, Peppers or Wake.

  23. Hmmm Troy gets 7 picks in 14 games and beats out Ed Reeds 8 through 10 games. Seems a little biased to me

  24. Just another award for the City of Champions. No wonder every city hates the Steelers. We’re like the Yankees of football, except we don’t have to buy our team. Get used to it haters, we have another Lombardi to add here shortly.

    HERE WE GO!!!

  25. Lame. Matthews has a bigger impact on opposing offenses’ game plans, in my opinion. Plus, the fact that defenses have had to account for him have allowed other players, like Frank Zombo and Erik Walden, chances to get to the QB that otherwise wouldn’t materialize.

    Hats off to Troy. I’ll take Matthews holding the Lombardi Trophy over this anyway!

  26. The wrong guy won, Polamalu was definitely a contender, but Matthews deserved it.

  27. Matthews got jobbed. Troy is good. But he missed some time. MVP for the Steelers definitely. But Matthews is Defensive Player of the Year.

  28. When the season expands to 18 games I wonder how many you get to miss while still winning a player of the year award.

  29. Bob Glauber of Newsday and Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune each posted on Twitter that Matthews won the award.

    To his credit, Glauber is owning the blunder. “My bad on the Clay Matthews mistake,” Glauber said on Twitter. “Got incorrect info. Bad Twitter moment. My apologies.”

    So where are your apologies. I get it, you can repeat what other people say and it’s fine when they are right, but only they “apologize” when they are wrong? It’s like research in any field, using other people’s work/repeating what others say can get messy.

  30. I’m certainly not a Steelers fan (far far from it, LOL) but Polamalu deserves it, there is no single defensive player in the NFL that can change a game like Polamalu. Matthews is good but his stats come strictly from the Packers as a team blitzing whereas Polamalu causes entire offenses to change their strategies becuz of him. On a lighter note, maybe it was Polamalu’s hair, at least it makes him look “menacing and tough” vs. Matthews “fabio” look which makes him look “all gurly”, (and that’s a comment I have heard from countless chics), LOL

  31. Conan, what is best in life?

    To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

    There is no choice, it is time to release the Matthews.

    Congrats, AP, you’ve just stirred the last hornets nest.


    p.s. What a retarded voting system, when the 4th place player wins.

  32. Polamalu as DPOY is a no-brainer. The Steeler D turns to mush when he’s gone. Just ask the 2009 Packers.

  33. Early prediction for Super Bowl MVP…Clay Matthews. He may very well feel like he has something to prove. And his quest just might be fueled by anger.

    God help whoever tries to block him.

  34. OHHHH SNAPPPPPPPP …. Again the experts have it all wrong . Troy is your da man . Now with the hearts of The Packers jilted the worst is still to come sunday when you go home with no trophy . Mike is going to be sleeping with Tiffany again .

  35. Clay is a great player and definitely deserving to be in the conversation . However , when Troy is healthy he is hands down the best defensive player in the league . No player in the NFL has a bigger impact on the outcome of a game than Polomalu .

  36. I take no issue with the selection of Polamalu for AP Defensive Player of the Year, though I would have voted for Mathews. I certainly would have objected to Harrison, Peppers, Urlacher, Reed, or Ngata being selected. Clearly, the majority of AP voters recognize what most NFL fans (excluding those Steelers fans who think Pittsburgh’s defense in invincible) understand: Take Polamalu out, and the Steelers defense becomes significantly weakened.

  37. Do you Clay Matthews homers realize he had 40 fewer tackles and 6 fewer forced fumbles than James Harrison? Oh, and Harrison ranked #1 in the NFL when team ran at him (YPC against) Matthews ranked 31st.

    Get over yourselves, Matthews was no where near the best OLB in the league, let alone the best defensive player!!!

  38. Troy is a great player but he only played in 12 games. I have a hard time giving the award to a guy who missed a quarter of the season.

  39. If Clay Matthews needed this to get pumped up to play football, he never would’ve made it this far in the playoffs.

    The problem with these games is being too geeked up and losing your composure.

  40. Sorry but the voters got it wrong, Matthews shouldve won but the media is in love with Pittsburgh. They both made it to the Superbowl and Matthews’ stats are better. I’m not even a Packer fan but Troy winning is retarded

  41. Fair enough. I can’t think ofa team who’s defense is changed so drastically with one person missing which defines DPOY. He deserves it. Matthews has many more years to take the award. Hopefully Matthews gets some recognition for his SB performance. Can’t wait for Sunday.

  42. Only idiotic steeler fans think china doll polamolu (sp? who cares) deserved the award over Mathews. I would be surprised if Troy with his magnificent locks of pubic hair finish the game.

  43. I don’t know what’s worse…tweeting out the wrong winner as a reporter or using that tweet as your only source for reporting the wrong winner.

  44. Congrats Troy. Glad you got some hardware because we are GOING TO WIN THE LOMBARDI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. as a packers fan both these guys are beast’s! yeah it sucks for cm3 but it will just motivate him more. troy was deserving aswell. good luck to both teams this weekend, hoping to see a pack win though.

  46. Pfffft! Only an idiot would think that Jared Allen doesn’t deserve the Def MVP! I mean, he’s a Minneapolis Viking after all, the league’s most beloved team, America’s team! Go Timberwolves!

  47. Let’s break this down… Matthews: 60 tackles, 54 solo, 13.5 sacks, 5 pass defended, 1 int, 1 td, 2 forced fumbled.
    Polomalu: 63 tackles 49 solo, 1 sack, 18 pass defended, 7 ints, 1 td, 1 forced fumble, and 1 recovered fumble.

    Now obviously I’m leaving out James Harrison, but unfortunately he has the whole bad guy persona going for him that I’m sure makes people undeservingly look down upon him… think of all the penalty yards against him… honestly its a toss up between the two top vote fetters but take onto consideration polomalu didn’t play all games, and being an olb in a defense like green bays ur not always on the field every defensive snap. In my opinion polomalu won because he is a more established defensive player. Honestly with their stats being so close it was a popularity contest between the two…

  48. James Harrison getting popularity votes now for DPOY…Cameron Wake and Tamba Hali had better numbers than Harrison..and Troy missed a quarter of the season

  49. Isn’t it amazing that you can tweet just about anything and people will take it as the gospel? Whatever happened to responsible journalism?

  50. Several players deserving on that list. No problem with the selection, though it would have been nice as a Packer fan to see Matthews.

    However, the fact that two otherwise credible sportwriters feel compelled to TWITTER?! their credibility away is annoying. Can we all agree…

    Twitter + Idiotic = Twitiotic.

    When will this scourge end? These guys who are supposed to be professionals are worse than bloggers who write “FIRST!”

  51. all the ‘stars’ are lining in the sky…

    Troy DPOY, Flozell returning to Dallas (slap in face to Jerry Jones cowboys)…

    Steelers wearing ‘white’ jerseys like last two SuperBowls…

    Rooneys pac with the devil for money to buy the team…

    but the gods are smiling too…

    Ben being nice to everyone now…

    Goodell will have to hand the trophy to Ben…

    ha, ha… lol,

    Too many people, too many loose keyboards.. i like it

  52. And Troy plays clean as well. Thankfully he won. Hate to take the chance another trophy has to be returned for performance enhanced based reasons.

  53. Polamalu is the clear choice. Matthews is a one trick pony. He’s a pass rusher. He only had 60 tackles as a LB. James Harrison had 100 tackles. Polamalu had 63 tackles.

    Matthews is a pass rusher who is not great against the run and not really a factor in pass coverage. Matthews finished 4th in sacks. Maybe the should give Offensive player of the year to the NFL’s 4th leading rusher too.

    Ed Reed? He had just 1 more INT than polamalu. Maybe Polamalu would have a ton of INTs too if the steelers told him to just stay deep and cherry pick.

    Polamalu is the winner because he is involved in all apsects of defense. Coverage, run defense, and even pass rush. You can’t gameplan against him because he can be anywhere.

  54. Sooooooo is this award for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year or for the Defensive MVP?

    If it’s Defensive MVP, I have no problem with the choice of Polamalu. He is arguably the most important piece of his team’s defense. Without him, the Steelers’ secondary (and defense as a whole) move much closer to average than elite. This guy is a beast and any GM in the league would give up limbs to have him lurking in their secondary. You lose Matthews or Harrison and those defenses still function at a high level, but when Troy is out, good teams can shred the Steelers.

    …but if it’s Defensive Player of the Year, how the hell can you choose him over guys like Matthews, Wake, Harrison, Suh, and Reed? All of those guys had better years statistically than Polamalu, and (this year, at least) he didn’t even have the best season of any player ON HIS OWN TEAM!

  55. Ed Reed is certainly an interception machine, but the difference is they just seem to fall into his lap. Polamalu makes insane acorbatic manuevers to grab an INT, cause a fumble. sack a qb by jumping over the entire line at the snap of the ball, etc. Reed is an all-time great, but Troy is f’n superman!

  56. Troy can blow up the play at the line of scrimmage as well as deep into coverage. Reed can only make plays deep.

    Troy the safety has more tackles than Matthews the LB. Gimmee a break. It’s not even close. Troy deserves this in a landslide, and only Green Bay homers disagree.

  57. @connie75 says:
    Jan 31, 2011 8:53 PM
    The league gift wraps games the Steelers don’t deserve to win, so why not awards too?

    * * * * * *
    Hey con-artist, does this post of yours finally confirm you lied all the times you said you were a Steeler fan living in Pittsburgh while still bashing Ben? How may posts did you try to fool people here with those lies? Thanks for exposing yourself, pal.

    And congrats to Troy, who is way overdue to make his huge play that turns the tide in a game! It should happen in the Super Bowl!


  58. He has got to be the slowest defensive back in the league, by far. When Fitzgerald scored the td on him in the SB it was like watching a nose tackle chasing Barry Sanders. Lets not even forget how many missed tackles he’s had this year. A good offense finds ways to expose a weaknesses like him.

  59. Polamalu is the clear choice. Matthews is a one trick pony. He’s a pass rusher. He only had 60 tackles as a LB. James Harrison had 100 tackles. Polamalu had 63 tackles.

    You clearly haven’t seen Clay play yet and base your opinions on stats. Clay is a game changer who stuffs runs (how on earth do you think he isn’t good against the run? Good grief), defends the pass and rushes the passer. I’m still trying to figure out what polumalu does when he isn’t blitzing. He clearly can’t cover receivers without grabbing hold of their jerseys as he is painfully slow, and he misses too many tackles against the run. Don’t worry, you’ll get educated on Sunday.

  60. Sorry Ed Reed fans but DPOY is not for who gets the most interceptions, or most sacks or even most tackles. It goes to the best all round defensive player. Troy consistently made big plays at big times.

    Matthews was certainly deserving but he did have a big stretch where he had little impact, although the start and end if his year were MVP calibre.

    As for someone suggesting the vote is a shame because Ngata and Reed got votes, well, I’m not sure what more those two guys could do. Reed’s 8 picks in 10 games certainly deserved some credit and Ngata makes that defense hum, not that much differently than how Hampton frees up Steeler linebackers to shine. Ngata is a beast. I have to hate him because he is a Raven, but that doesn’t discount his abilities. He is as underrated as Ray Lewis is overrated.

  61. @Contra–Vikes will not be playing again til next year. Why not wait until then for your usual uneducated posts? Finally got out of your hole (mom’s basement, huh)? See ya next year

  62. I think it’s funny that someone referred to Pittsburgh as ‘The City of Champions’. Your baseball team hasn’t sniffed the playoffs since before Bonds starting juicing and is eliminated before April is over. Your hockey team has only won Championships because Lemieux and then Crosby fell into your laps and your economy is so poor it could never support a basketball team. Yeah, your ‘The City of Champions’ alright!……

  63. Don’t worry Packer fans….the only result is the one that will happen on Sunday and Troy will be wishing he could trade his MVP trophy for the Lombardi when the Packers walk away with the victory. Watch and weep Steeler fans…..

  64. As a Viking fan its interesting that Matthews had only 9 more tackles and 2 more sacks as a LB then Jared Allen who plays DE. Not comparing their impact as defensive players just stats.

    That being said, I don’t even think he’s the best defensive player on that team, they lose Charles Woodson and the Packers probably miss the playoffs. Plus, you put Matthews on lets say the 49eres defense and he’d maybe get one vote. See: Patrick Willis, the best young LB in the NFL.

    And how does Jerod Mayo of the Patriots make 175 tackles and DeMarcus Ware have 15.5 sacks and get NO recognition.

    Polamalu winning is another snub by the NFL as James Harrison is probably the most feared defensive player in the league.

  65. Fantastic! This should help #52 with a little extra juice being on the same field as DPofY TP. I heard him on a local Wisconsin podcast saying, it’s difficult to bring Ben down, “need help from my posse”. I suspect this may help him figure out a way to not only bring Ben down, but to have a great game. Steelers will key on him, which may all free up Raji or Jenkins.

  66. miselism says:
    Jan 31, 2011 8:28 PM
    Lol@ the voters.. How can you not give DPOY to Ed Reed?

    Led league in interceptions despite missing the first 6 games of the year..

    Steeler homers are out in full this week.

    LOL @ anyone who wants to give Player of the YEAR award to someone who played only half the year. That would’ve been like CC Sabathia winning a Cy Young award based on an amazing half season with Milwaukee a couple years back. It would’ve been understandable, but still not right to do. Ed Reed is ridiculously talented, and if he’d played the first 6 games with zero tackles and zero picks, he probably would’ve won the award, but you can’t be the best player of the year when you only play half the games, no matter how dominant you are in those games.

  67. @gbfanforever

    The guy runs a 4.3 40, he isn’t slow. You are picking out a few plays that you think prove your point, but you clearly just don’t watch enough football (or don’t have the capability to understand more than what Joe Buck is telling you) to understand what Polamalu does for that defense.

    By the way, how stupid are you that you missed spelled “polumalu” when the name is right at the top of your screen?


    I agree. Regardless of the medium breaking incorrect news is ridiculous. The internet gives people the ability to spew their idiocy at the speed of light (see first post I’m replying to).

  68. Hahahahaha! All you whiney packrats are like little children. “Oh, yeah? Wait until Sunday. This will motivate Clay Matthews and the packers….” BLah!!!

    What a bunch of crap! The fact is that Troy Polamalu makes more impact plays from all over the field. Not just running down a quarterback on nearly every play.

    All that said it’s sad that any of you believe that your Packers need motivation to win the superbowl. They should already be motivated to win the superbowl. I can’t wait for the game to start. Then you’ll find out why Polamalu won the defensive MVP over Matthews. You know, when the Packers lose to the self motivated Steelers.

    Congradulations, Troy!


  69. Packers have nobody who can run with Mike Wallace.

    Packer fans should also be aware that Polamalu did not play against Green Bay last year. Maybe that’s why they think Polamalu is not that good, because they think they torched him last year. He didn’t even play.

  70. OK…I think i missed something. The NFL put out an awards schedule last week and here it is.

    Jan 31 – Comeback player of the year
    Feb 1 – Offensive player of the year
    Feb 2 – Coach of the year
    Feb 4 – Off & Def rookies of the year
    Feb 6 – MVP

    What the Hell did I MISS!!!!

  71. @Steelbears78
    I can tell you are an idiot just by your name. Rapensberger is gonna be feeling The Claymaker all day. Rapenberger will be throwing picks like he throws hush money at college girls. The only motivation the Pack needs is bringing the Lombardi trophy back home. PERIOD. cheesehead > lame ass terrible towel.

  72. what ashame clay got ripped off!!!!! really?? clay actually took control and was the difference maker byhimself this year. troy should have been a cloe second.

  73. Why don’t some people realize that football is not just about stats? Fantasy football is fun but the point of the actual NFL games is not stats, it is to win the games. Who cares how many ints Ed Reed had? That is not the point. Polamalu is a game changer. I can think of at least 3 wins that the Steelers would have had this year if not for huge plays by Polamalu when the game was on the line. That is why he deserves this award not the number of ints that he had.

  74. Why shouldn’t Peppers and Urlacher receive votes? Just cause they don’t play in the sexy 3-4 defense, it doesn’t mean they’re not valuable to their defense. Without them last season they were 22nd in the league in total defense. This season….5th. Peppers gets double-teamed by every offense, while Urlacher plays the cover-2 better than anyone in the history of the league. You’re right though, totally overrated.

  75. dolfan34 says: Jan 31, 2011 11:20 PM

    I think it’s funny that someone referred to Pittsburgh as ‘The City of Champions’. Your
    baseball team hasn’t sniffed the playoffs since before Bonds starting juicing and is eliminated before April is over. Your hockey team has only won Championships because Lemieux and then Crosby fell into your laps and your economy is so poor it could never support a basketball team. Yeah, your ‘The City of Champions’ alright!……

    this was a joke right? i find it HILARIOUS that a dolphins fan would have the nerve to challenge anyone’s championship claims. i believe our lowly Pirates have won just as many championships than the collective efforts of ALL the professional MIA teams…our FOOTBALL team has won as many in the last 4 years as you guys have won TOTAL…. but i could be wrong….and btw, we dont have b-ball because we dont want it.
    how’s it feel to root for a team who plays in a city where the college football team is the
    best show in town?
    has your hockey team EVER won a cup…because ANYONE fell into your lap?
    The marlins have been trying to get out of there for quite some time. and lets face it, their WS was an exception to their rule of mediocrity and irrelevance.
    keep clinging to those 72 & 73 memories

  76. On Ed Reed, here is the dirty little secret:

    While Reed makes the spectacular plays, he is far too often out of position because he gambles far too much. His run support is also very hit-or-miss. Watch the film. He flies up to make hard hits and gets burned. Or receivers blow by him. Sure, he is spectacular when making returns, but study the stats on the plays where the Ravens get burned because Reed is once again guessing, gambling, etc. That is the difference. Polamalu almost always is in the right spot. One huge reason why the Steelers defense is always ranked first or close to first in yards per play, rather run or pass. Reason the Steelers have such a high winning percentage when Polamalu plays vs when he doesn’t. When Reed misses games, Ravens are not as different.

    Review the film. You will see.

  77. randomcommenter says:
    Feb 1, 2011 12:54 AM

    Packers have nobody who can run with Mike Wallace.


    Sam shields 40 time = 4.2
    Mike Wallace 40 time = 4.33

    Plus Tramon is playing out of his mind (oh and the other two guys are probowlers). Not too worried about Wallace…..

  78. I’m a huge Packer fan, but congrats to Troy. He’s a class act, as is Mathews.

    I’ll settle for Clay winning MVP in the Superbowl!!

    GO PACKERS!!!!!!!

  79. Good job Troy!
    Here is how the other steelers line up in how valuable they are to the team:
    1 Polamolu
    2 Mike tomlin
    3 Mendenhall
    4 Mike wallace
    5 Hines Ward

    72 Their mascot
    73 Ben rothleisberger

  80. matthews had 6 sacks in the first 2 games then had 7.5 the next 14…

    pittsburgh is in the top 5 of championships since 1970 with only 3 teams

    why is the gb defense 18th against the run and why do they have the worst ypa in the league?

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