“I want to repeat what I did last year or even better,” Brown said, according to Brian McNally of CBS DC. “Got a bigger goal this year. My individual goal – I want to win a defensive MVP. Right now I’m in one of the best shapes of my life. Hopefully, I get it. But I’m going to work to get it.”
Brown had to wait for nearly a month to find a new home in free agency, despite making the Pro Bowl last season with the Buffalo Bills.
While it would be a huge shock if Brown – a relatively unknown player nationally – managed to put himself in the running for DPOY, his 2016 stats were impressive enough that his goal shouldn’t be dismissed straight away.
Brown had 149 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception last season. The only other players have hit those numbersin one season since 2001 are Patrick Willis in 2009 and Brian Urlacher in 2002.
The DPOY award is often dominated by pass rushers and playmaking defensive backs, but the inside linebacker position does have a decent history of success too, especially since the turn of the century.
Luke Kuechly was the most recent inside linebacker to win, snagging the award in 2013. Ray Lewis took home the honor in both 2000 and 2003, Urlacher picked it up in 2005, and Derrick Brooks won in 2002.
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