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Old 01-07-2005, 08:26 AM  
Lzen Lzen is offline
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Jared Allen only 5th in AP Rookie Of The Year?

I guess that's what happens when you're on one of the worst defenses in the league.

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January 7th - 8:20 am ET

N.Y. Jets' Jonathan Vilma wins Associated Press 2004 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award

BARRY WILNER
AP Football Writer

New York Jets' Jonathan Vilma is shown during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Dec. 26, 2004. A sensational debut season made Vilma The Associated Press 2004 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)

NEW YORK Jonathan Vilma brought exactly what the New York Jets needed on defense with a performance so brilliant he won The Associated Press 2004 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Vilma, the 12th pick in last year's draft, did it with the speed and exuberance that convinced New York to make him the first linebacker chosen. A terror at the University of Miami, Vilma moved into the starting lineup in Game 3 and led a defensive revival that lifted the Jets (10-6) into the playoffs.

No longer did the Jets lack the quickness and aggressiveness so desperately desired at linebacker. Vilma even made those around him better, and not many rookies manage to do that.

"I know our draft class was really loaded with a lot of good talented defensive players, so it would mean a lot to me," Vilma said after earning 21 votes from a national panel of 48 writers and broadcasters who cover pro football. "When I first came here I told a lot of the media that I'd prepare and play as if I'm a starter. When I got my opportunity, I got my chance, so it was just a matter of getting the experience. I didn't have to change any of my ways or my habits."

Lucky for the Jets he didn't. Vilma took over in the middle, an even bigger challenge because he was required to call signals. Coincidentally, this year's top offensive rookie, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, played the most difficult position on that side of the ball.

"It's something that he can cherish a long time," defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson said of Vilma. "He's been with a defense that has allowed him to make some plays, he's capitalized on what we've asked him to do."

The Jets asked Vilma to do just about everything. He began the season behind Sam Cowart, but the veteran was sidelined in the second game by a sprained left knee. That was all the opening Vilma needed as he went from part-timer to star.

Vilma was at his best in a 13-3 victory at Arizona. He had 10 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery. The interception came early in the fourth quarter with the Cardinals driving. The fumble recovery came on Arizona's next drive.

He scored on a 38-yard interception return in the finale, giving the Jets a lead they couldn't protect. He was the first Jets rookie to return an interception for a TD since safety Erik McMillan in 1988. McMillan also was Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Vilma had six tackles in that game, giving him 116 for the season. He had two sacks, three interceptions, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

And a huge impact.

"I'm definitely excited about whoever is taking notice of how I play," Vilma said. "Roman Phifer of the Patriots told me he likes the way I play. That means a lot being a rookie. Kevin Faulk came up to me, said he liked the way I played. Whenever veterans come up to you and tell you that, it's always very flattering and makes you feel good. If they say I'm doing good then I must be doing something right."

Houston cornerback Dunta Robinson was second with 12 votes, followed by Denver LB D.J. Williams with seven and Washington safety Sean Taylor with 3. Williams and Taylor also played at Miami.

"Playing next to a guy like that, you know how tough he is and I'm sure he would say likewise," Williams said of Vilma. "I knew when he got to the NFL, he would make an impact."

Kansas City end Jared Allen got two votes.Receiving one each were Arizona LB Karlos Dansby, Chicago tackle Tommie Harris and Seattle safety Michael Boulware.

Vilma is the third Jets player to win the award, following McMillan and end Hugh Douglas (1995). Last year's winner was Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs.
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:45 AM   #2
Mile High Mania Mile High Mania is offline
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Playing in NY put him over the top...
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:47 AM   #3
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Hey, I'm happy with Allen getting some recongition. I mean, who in the hell would get any recongition on this piss-poor defense? At least he got some instead of not getting any.

Kudos to Allen. I'm looking towards next year on what this kid can do.
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:47 AM   #4
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I'd pretty much agree with that. I'd trade any of those 4 players for Jared Allen.
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:16 AM   #5
donkhater donkhater is offline
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I'm actually pretty surprised he got some first place votes. I know he led the rookies in sacks, but 5th is nothing to sneeze at.
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:23 AM   #6
the Talking Can the Talking Can is offline
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:23 AM   #7
shaneo69 shaneo69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mile High Mania
Playing in NY put him over the top...
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:24 AM   #8
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Why should any of our defensive players get any recognition? They suck. The only recognition
they'll get again is when Paul Tagliabu smacks them at the year end NFL banquet like last year. I beleave thats when Trent Green got pissed.
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:43 AM   #9
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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All of the top 5, except Allen, were 1st round picks.

Says alot about Allen IMO.
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:56 AM   #10
Skip Towne Skip Towne is offline
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Not bad for a guy who only played half the season.
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Old 01-07-2005, 11:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Towne
Not bad for a guy who only played half the season.
True. and, for a guy who played on a piss-poor defense
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Old 01-07-2005, 11:59 AM   #12
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bricks
True. and, for a guy who played on a piss-poor defense
And for a guy that was a late-round draft pick out of 1-AA Idaho State....

The rest of these guys played at Miami and were high 1st-round picks...
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htismaqe
And for a guy that was a late-round draft pick out of 1-AA Idaho State....

The rest of these guys played at Miami and were high 1st-round picks...
Yup very impressed.
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Old 01-07-2005, 03:44 PM   #14
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Old 01-07-2005, 03:47 PM   #15
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Towne
Not bad for a guy who only played half the season.
i would like to know how many snaps Jared Allen played...


i mean with a bad as our defense was, they could of stay on the field so long that Allen actually got a full season worth of plays.
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