I meant to do this a while ago, but never got around to it.
MVP: Ed Reed. Though he didn’t definitively decide the outcome of any one game, his incredible season inspired fans and made opposing offenses cautious about where they would throw. His play in the playoffs was huge, and he is for the record, better than Sally Polamalu.
Offensive MVP: Le’Ron McClain. McClain stepped up from his fullback position to a starting, quality running back and gave rookie QB Joe Flacco a great safety cushion behind him, and a great pass blocker in front of him.
Defensive MVP: Fabian Washington. Ed Reed is the choice here, but for some variety, we’ll go with Washington here. He stepped up and emerged into a top-tier corner with McAllister gone, and will continue to improve. His shutdown play held the secondary together in a time of injuries and switching roles.
Top Rookie: Joe Flacco. Who else? He made this team and its fans hopeful for the future in a year where he was expected to maybe back up KYLE BOLLER. Ughh, I cringe at the thought.
Most Pleasant Surprise: Jim Leohnard. You can call me a Jim Leohnard fanboy, but his fearless tackling and great punt returning made him a pleasant addition. He was (unfortunately) at the right place at the right time when Landry went out, and took full advantage of it. And remember, he was a non-roster player who somehow made all the cuts through camp and the preseason.
Underwhelmer: Willis McGahee. McGahee wins the first not-so-good award, having a dissapointing season after signing a huge new contract. What makes it worse is that he was beaten out by an undersized rookie and a fullback for the #1 job, and came to camp out of shape. Being out of shape as an NFL player is hard to do. And that money he now almost “stole” from the team could be used to re-sign the ‘backers.
Least Deserving Pro Bowler: Brendon Ayanbadejo. Sure, he has a streak and is the guy most people know when they go to vote on the ballot, sure he had 30 special team solo tackles and recovered a fumble on special teams. Sure, he was the most deserving candidate on the AFC Ballot. But look at the other Ravens in the Pro Bowl: Ray Lewis, T-Sizzle Suggs, Ed Reed and the L-Train, Le’Ron McClain. So, this “bad” award isn’t actually very degrading. It’s a compliment.
Any other award considerations? I will include them in a part 2. Maybe you don’t agree with the MVP selection of Reed? There’s a new poll up about it. New Mock Drafts coming weekly. Running backs offseason post coming this week also