The Arizona chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association presented its annual Steve Schoenfeld Good Guy and Lloyd Herberg MVP awards today. The latter was not a huge surprise. Linebacker Chandler Jones has 15 sacks, leads the NFL in sacks and tackles for loss, and deserves to be in the conversation for defensive Player of the Year. Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson have also been excellent, but Jones was a clear-cut choice.
It is fortunate that this locker room has multiple options for a the Good Guy award. Fitz and Peterson are always good, and there are plenty of others — A.Q. Shipley and Antoine Bethea among them, although again, this locker room has a lot of options. That’s excellent for writers like myself. But in the end the award went to defensive lineman Frostee Rucker. Rucker not only was available but he is always thoughtful in his answers, and in a year where the Cardinals (and the NFL) had some bumpy times with some bumpy subjects, Rucker was a go-to quote.
The awards are named after two former Cardinals and NFL beat writers for The Arizona Republic. Herberg was the team’s first beat writer, covering the Cards from the the time they moved to Arizona in 1988 until he died of cancer in 1994. Schoenfeld covered the NFL and the Cardinals from 1988 to the summer of 2000, when he moved to a national NFL writing job. Schoenfeld was killed by a hit-and-run driver in October of 2000. The awards were presented by current Republic beat writer Kent Somers.
Tags: Chandler Jones, Frostee Rucker, Kent Somers
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While the NFL Network continues to roll out its top 100 players — Calais Campbell and Larry Fitzgerald have been named, and I am assuming Patrick Peterson will find his way in there at some point — CBS’s Pete Prisco has put out his annual top 100 list. Two Cardinals make an appearance, the two you would think: Peterson and Campbell.
On Peterson (No. 39), Prisco writes “He started slowly last year, but we later found out he was dealing with a blood sugar issue. He came on strong and continues to be one of the better corners in the league. Watch him against Dez Bryant last year. You will see.”
That’s the plan from Peterson, who said soon after his season “I know what problems need to be fixed.” It wasn’t the year he wanted, but there is still certainly big belief in Peterson not only from himself but from his coaches and the Cardinals’ front office.
On Campbell (No. 44), Prisco writes “He doesn’t pile up big sack numbers in their scheme, but the personnel men and opposing offensive coaches know all about him. He is a good run player and he does have 16 sacks the past two seasons and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl last season.”
On a defensive line that will be about rotation, Campbell will be the star. He’s the guy who needs consistency of his often high level of play. Bruce Arians has made that point and Campbell understands where his coach is coming from.
— Apropos of nothing, I wanted to give a quick congrats to two men with Cardinals ties who have been named Arizona’s best this year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. The voice of the Cardinals, Dave Pasch, was named sportscaster of the year, while my competitor (and friend) Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic was named sportswriter of the year. Can’t speak for Pasch, but I know Kent is headed to beautiful Salisbury, North Carolina, this weekend for the banquet.
Tags: Calais Campbell, Dave Pasch, Kent Somers, Patrick Peterson
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