The 2013 AP Defensive Player of the Year winner was announced today, and the trophy (if there is one) went to Carolina Panthers star Luke Kuechly.
- Luke Kuechly: 19
- Robert Mathis: 11.5
- Earl Thomas: 7.5
- Richard Sherman: 4
- J.J. Watt: 2
So much for my prediction that Kuechly and Bowman would split the “premier middle linebacker vote” and Robert Mathis would take home the award. But I received a consolation prize in the form of a leaked text that Kuechly sent NaVorro Bowman after hearing the results.
So far Kuechly hasn’t decided whether or not to post a screenshot of the text on his Instagram page (@kuechlemore), but there are some nice sentiments here.
You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and it sucks that I robbed you. I was going to call you, but I’ve heard you’re still in agonizing pain after tearing two knee ligaments. (How the hell did you hold onto the ball, btw?) Anyway you know what it is. Congrats on this year and your team beating the living snot out of us in the playoffs. Appreciate you as a player and as a friend. Much love
2013 numbers (regular season)
Luke Kuechly: 156 tackles, 2 sacks, 11 passes defensed, 4 INT, 0 QB hits, 8 QB hurries, 14 MT, 61 stops, 7.7 PFF rating
NaVorro Bowman: 145 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 INT, 1 TD, 9 PD, 4 FF, 2 FR, 3 QB hits, 14 QB hurries, 1 BP, 12 MT, 67 stops, 20.0 PFF rating