Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Warford PFF Offensive Rookie of the Year
By Michael Rothstein
He wasn't named to the All-Pro team and was not a Pro Bowler, either, but Larry Warford had one of the best seasons of any guard in the NFL.
For that, he was named Pro Football Focus' Offensive Rookie of the Year ahead of San Diego receiver Keenan Allen and Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy.
Consider, too, that Warford was not even among the finalists for the Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Year award, either.
Warford played every offensive snap for Detroit this season. He did not allow a sack. He was part of a line that blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in Reggie Bush and another rusher, Joique Bell, who had over 500 yards.
He was part of a group that kept quarterback Matthew Stafford upright more than any other quarterback who played 16 games this season except for Peyton Manning.
And, as the folks at PFF put it, "we haven’t seen a rookie guard like Larry Warford in our time and for his truly special year, he’s our Offensive Rookie of the Year."
Warford talked, somewhat sheepishly, about individual honors as the season drew to a close. At the time, the Lions were still fighting for a playoff spot, but to understand why he has been so good this season, see his answer.
"It’d be cool but it’s really not on my mind," Warford said. "We’re still in season right now and that’s the last thing on my mind, personal accolades. It’s cool and I appreciate it and all that but right now, I’m not worried about it."
Now the season is over, and he is in the midst of taking his first real break since the end of his senior season at Kentucky, so he can relax and at least enjoy that his season was noted on some level.
Not surprisingly, Warford also made the Pro Football Focus All-Rookie team as one of the first-team guards. Two other Lions made the first team: defensive end Ziggy Ansah and punter Sam Martin.
Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle was named honorable mention.