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Wa-Z
01-04-2006, 01:10 PM
Johson didn't even get any votes according to ESPN.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2280247

Chargers' Merriman named defensive rookie of year
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Shawne Merriman's relentless style of play made an immediate mark in the NFL, earning him The Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

The San Diego linebacker, known as "Lights Out" for his hard hits and aggressive demeanor, received 28 votes Wednesday from a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league. He easily beat Seattle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who got 16.

All the players receiving votes played linebacker in some form this season. Behind Merriman and Tatupu were Odell Thurman of Cincinnati with four votes and DaMarcus Ware of Dallas with one.

While all of them were standouts, Merriman showed the most explosiveness and made more spotlight-grabbing plays. As anyone with the nickname "Lights Out" would expect.

After being picked 12th in the draft out of Maryland, Merriman had a shaky start with the Chargers when his agent held him out of offseason workouts until he signed a contract. Despite fears of protracted negotiations, he missed only a week of training camp before signing a deal potentially worth $15.73 million, with $9 million guaranteed.

Merriman caused some concern when he hurt his knee in the final exhibition game and missed the season opener. He made up for it with a succession of big plays for the Chargers, especially after becoming a starter on Oct. 23 at Philadelphia.

"I think anybody who goes as high as I did in the draft should be planning to be a game-changer, point blank," he said. "I figured somewhere down the line, if I learned fast enough and stuck by these older guys, sit back and learn as much as I could, that I could get out here and perform, that was really it. I've got a bunch of great teammates, and you almost can't go wrong being around those guys, with their years of experience."

Merriman finished with a team-high 10 sacks among his 54 tackles. He made his biggest headlines when San Diego handed Indianapolis its first loss in Game 14. Merriman sacked Peyton Manning twice, including once with a monster swipe at Manning's legs.

"I didn't know I took him completely off his feet with one swipe. When that happened, I just looked and said, 'Man, that was a cool play.' It took me a while before I realized I still had to do the 'Lights Out' dance because I didn't know I sacked him," the extroverted Merriman said.

Even Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer would chuckle at Merriman's words of wisdom.

"Shawne, of course, he's something," Schottenheimer said. "He's an extremely talented young man who brings it every snap.

"I frankly told him that he surpassed my expectations. I thought he played extremely well. He's very, very competitive. He's bright. Given the fact he went through a number of circumstances prior to getting the opportunity to come in and start and play, I was pleasantly surprised."

Merriman is the first Chargers player to win the award. He also is the third straight linebacker and fifth in the last six years to win.

Last year's top rookie defender was Jonathan Vilma of the Jets.

ChiefsfaninPA
01-04-2006, 01:12 PM
Johnson didn't deserve any of the votes. But he still had a good year. He is going to get better every year.

Rain Man
01-04-2006, 01:13 PM
Merriman finished with a team-high 10 sacks among his 54 tackles. He made his biggest headlines when San Diego handed Indianapolis its first loss in Game 14. Merriman sacked Peyton Manning twice, including once with a monster swipe at Manning's legs.

"I didn't know I took him completely off his feet with one swipe. When that happened, I just looked and said, 'Man, that was a cool play.' It took me a while before I realized I still had to do the 'Lights Out' dance because I didn't know I sacked him," the extroverted Merriman said.




Having your own little dance should automatically disqualify you.

Spicy McHaggis
01-04-2006, 01:15 PM
Having your own little dance should automatically disqualify you.

Especially if you have named that dance.

Cochise
01-04-2006, 01:15 PM
At 95 tackles, I think Johnson should have got some votes.

But, it's hard to argue with Merriman's ~10 sacks

nascher
01-04-2006, 01:16 PM
sacks

ChiefsfaninPA
01-04-2006, 01:16 PM
Having your own little dance should automatically disqualify you.

I thought dancing was only allowed for WR and RBs. What is the NFL coming to when a LB sacks a QB and has to dance. I didn't realize that sacking the QB wasn't in his job description.

Frazod
01-04-2006, 01:16 PM
Johnson didn't deserve any of the votes. But he still had a good year. He is going to get better every year.

Yep.

mac58
01-04-2006, 01:17 PM
he definetly deserved it. Johnson didnt even deserve an honarable mention. I think he was the most overated chief this year. I do think he will be real good one day he just didnt do what i thought he would. I felt like evrytime he blitz he ran into blockers.

Rausch
01-04-2006, 01:17 PM
I look at the talent DJ has and the type of plays he made and I have to wonder why he didn't make more...

ChiTown
01-04-2006, 01:35 PM
I look at the talent DJ has and the type of plays he made and I have to wonder why he didn't make more...

Me too.

Pitt Gorilla
01-04-2006, 01:37 PM
Merriman and Castillo were both great picks by SD.

Rausch
01-04-2006, 01:38 PM
Merriman and Castillo were both great picks by SD.

Marty always did make great defensive picks...

MOhillbilly
01-04-2006, 01:40 PM
DJ is a stud but hes no merryman.

Bob Dole
01-04-2006, 01:41 PM
I thought dancing was only allowed for WR and RBs. What is the NFL coming to when a LB sacks a QB and has to dance. I didn't realize that sacking the QB wasn't in his job description.

He's the next Junior "Dancing Idiot" Seau...

StcChief
01-04-2006, 01:43 PM
DJ tailed off after good start.
Longivity will tell. Still think he'll be a good LB with the right coaching.

ct
01-04-2006, 02:38 PM
DJ tailed off after good start.
Longivity will tell. Still think he'll be a good LB with the right coaching.

DJ is a good LB. He could be a great LB in time.

Halfcan
01-04-2006, 02:52 PM
DJ was not even mentioned-its all about sacks and turnovers-which he had very few.

Valiant
01-04-2006, 04:41 PM
I thought dancing was only allowed for WR and RBs. What is the NFL coming to when a LB sacks a QB and has to dance. I didn't realize that sacking the QB wasn't in his job description.


Uhh, I seem to remember KC fans loving Neil and DT's sack celibrations...