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Who Was The Browns' Defensive Player Of The Year?

With the news of Troy Polamalu receiving the Defensive Player of the Year award coming out, it made me think, “Who was the Cleveland Browns’ defensive player of the year?”

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Marcus Benard led the team with 7.5 sacks, but overall it felt like his impact was minimal. Shaun Rogers showed he can still be a beast after what he did to the Saints, but he was too banged up this season and seldom played. Scott Fujita was on pace to run away with this “award” until he got hurt and missed the second half of the season. Ahtyba Rubin was a machine at nose tackle, but he is more fit for the “under-appreciated” award.

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That leaves two more candidates, both of whom were rookies — safety T.J. Ward and cornerback Joe Haden. Ward led the team in tackles, but Haden led the team in interceptions and showed great confidence in playing tight coverage against opposing teams’ top cornerbacks. Therefore, I’d give the award to Haden. Who would you give it to?

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.