Well, the 2006 regular season has come to a close, and now it's time to time the best and worst of 2006. We did smething similar at the mid-way point of the season. My how things change from Week 8 to Week 17. SB Nation pooled its NFL writers for their opinions. Here are the results of the polling, with some opinions attached. Enjoy.
NFL MVP: LaDanian Tomlison, RB Chargers
From Kirkendall at Cincy Jungle:
Any guy that breaks the touchdown record, with three games remaining, on the league's best team is a no-brainer.
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: LaDanian Tomlison, RB Chargers
From River City Rage at Big Cat Country:
Without at doubt the best offensive performance of the era and completely carried the Chargers on his back while still remaining modest and quiet. What more could you ask from such a stand up guy?
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Brian Dawkins, S Eagles
From Dave the Falconer at The Falcoholic:
You can't necessarily quantify what he does purely in stats, but he is maybe the most complete safety I've ever seen. There's no flaws in his game.
NFL Coach of the Year: Sean Payton, Saints
From Gonzo at Daily Norseman:
Payton had a massive undertaking in becoming the coach of the Saints. Not only to try and win football games, but also to uplift an entire region of the country after Hurricane Katrina.
NFL Rookie of the Year: Vince Young, QB Titans
From BleedGreen at Bleeding Green Nation:
I was not a fan of this guy in college and looking at his stat sheet I don't know how he's been successful... but he has and that's all that matters.
Worst Player: Ben Roethlisberger, QB Steelers
From Blitzburgh at Behind The Steel Curtain:
Even though a lot is due to injuries, no player regressed as much as Big Ben this year. I'm worried he'll never recover. Would be one of the most amazing collapses in NFL history if he doesn't.
Worst Coach: Art Shell, Raiders
From VanRam at Turf Show Times:
[Art Shell] didn't have the talent on offense to compete, but his should have been able to get more than 2 wins - they played the NFC West for chrissakes!
Worst Rookie: Bobby Carpenter, LB Cowboys
From BigBlueShoe at Stampede Blue:
It's rare that a Parcells draft pick would look this bad, but Carpenter has not distinguished himself during a season where many rookies stood out. Even the loss of Greg Ellis couldn't get Carpenter on the field. He was picked ahead of players like C Nick Mangold (who had a great year for the Jets) and Marcus McNeill (outstanding rookie LT for the Chargers). Ouch!
So, there you have it: the studs and duds for 2006. Thanks to all the writers from SB Nation's NFL crew. This was a wonderful season with several great moments. And now, for the funny quotes:
on Defensive Player of the Year:
Shawn Merriman. He was sure "defensive" when they busted him for using `roids during the season. I don't care what this bozo does during the season. Everything he did prior to getting tested is tainted. Everything! And they gave this punk a Pro Bowl nod, and virtually no one in the media bashed him or the NFL for it. Amazing.
Kirkendall on Worst Player (he picked the his Benglas' Chris Henry):
Yes, I went home for this one. Not only does Henry have his own Cops Telethon, but his work on the field is just as repulsing. The guy is afraid to get hit, lacks any sense of urgency and is despicable for his on-the-field effort. This guy is the worst of the worst.
Dave the Falconer on Worst Rookie:
Reggie Bush will be a very good player, and he showed signs of it at the end of the year. But considering how incredibly over-hyped he was, he was by far the worst rookie in terms of expectations. Of course, short of magically teleporting to the endzone five times a game and performing a TD spike that detonated with the force of a thousand suns, he couldn't really hit those expectations.
And finally, as always, we end with Gonzo because... well, the dude is very funny when he is mad:
My homer pick [for Worst player of the Year]... I'm taking Brad Johnson, the alleged quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. The Hype I heard all off-season was how Brad Johnson was going to be a "game manager" and "not make crucial mistakes to lose ball games." These assessments turned out to be what we in the upper Midwest like to refer to as "a big, steaming load of crap." Johnson managed games all right... managed them into the ground.
Thanks to all for a great regular season, and we look forward to the playoffs!