It was way back in 1971 that the Associated Press started handing out their annual NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, the first of which was brought home by Minnesota Vikings legend, Alan Page. Page was an original member of the “Purple People Eaters” defense and one of the greatest defensive lineman of all time.
Since the award was created, the Chargers remain one of the only teams to not have a player win the award. With some of the immense and young talent on the current roster, could that change sometime soon?
The most-likely candidates for the Bolts would obviously be both Derwin James and Joey Bosa. But which one has the higher chance?
Part of me wants to say James due to his versatility and overall complete game that’s dominant across the board. But a safety has only won the award five times while a defensive end has won it 12. Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, and Bob Sanders are the types of safeties that don the list of past winners for a safety, which truly sets the bar high for James. Historically, it looks like the voters fell in love with players who can gobble up quarterbacks and rack up sacks at some point and have been stubborn to change their values.
Just this past decade alone, J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald combined to win five of the past 10 DPoY awards. Aside from Luke Kuechly and last year’s winner in Stephon Gilmore, eight of the last 10 were players who made a living getting after passers.
With what the NFL is today, Bosa may very well have the best chance to be the first Charger to win the award, but I just can’t shake the feeling James will push for the honor at one point or another in the coming years.
But what do you all think? Do you agree with what history has to say, or will Derwin be able to overcome the past?
Chargers host virtual event for local area kids on Character (Chargers.com)
Chargers announced their preseason slate of games (Chargers.com)
Jason Reed gives us his glass half-full/half-empty view on the team’s offensive line (Bolt Beat)
Brent Sobleski lists nine players he believes are on the edge of being bonafide super stars (Bleacher Report)
Gil Brandt names his players that are bound to play better in 2019 (NFL.com)
Cam Newton posted some more workout footage to get the people talking (Pro Football Talk)
Josh Alper reports on TE Cameron Brate feeling weird teaching Tom Brady the Bucs’ offense (Pro Football Talk)
Pete Prisco names his top-100 players of the 2020 season (CBS Sports)