Tracking votes: Why McCourty?

February, 11, 2011
2/11/11
10:30
AM ET
When the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year award went to Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh last Friday, it was a landslide.

Suh received 48 of a possible 50 votes. The two other votes went to Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty.

Who voted for McCourty? And why?

John Czarnecki of Fox Sports cast one of the votes for McCourty, and explained his decision in an e-mail:

"For me, it was pretty simple. Suh should have been good. Some teams liked him better than [No. 1 overall pick Sam] Bradford. But I don't think Suh out-performed McCourty, who had seven interceptions. I never viewed [McCourty] as a starter when he was drafted, but as a nickelback, someone in the scheme. He played way above his draft measurements, in my opinion.

"He looks like a cover cornerback and he was exceptional in the second half of the season. Yes, teams tested him, but he fought back and made a lot of plays in my assessment. I saw enough games from Suh where he relaxed and took a lot of plays off. I didn't see that from McCourty. Helluva player with a huge upside. He probably was New England's best player in the secondary."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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