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Charles, Cooper win Chiefs awards

3/1/2014

The Kansas City Chiefs made the best choices for the club's top two seasonal honors. Running back Jamaal Charles is their 2013 Most Valuable Player and cornerback Marcus Cooper is their Rookie of the Year. The awards are selected by a vote of their teammates.

There was no other viable candidate for Most Valuable Player. Charles led the Chiefs in rushing yardage, receiving and touchdowns. It's the fourth time in five years he's won the award, but perhaps never has he been such an obvious choice.

Cooper wasn't a surprise winner, not after the way he played for most of the season. Cooper played so well after joining the Chiefs at the start of the regular season that he quickly became their third cornerback. Things fell apart later in the season to the point the Chiefs benched him for a time, so his season was uneven.

But when he played well, Cooper was an asset to the Chiefs. His hustle on a special-teams play resulted in a touchdown in an early-season game against Tennessee. He intercepted three passes, including one that helped the Chiefs finish off the Raiders in Week 6.

Cooper was only a surprise in that he was a seventh-round draft pick last year of the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs claimed him off waivers before the regular season began.

His main competition for the rookie award was tackle Eric Fisher, who was the first pick in last year's draft. Fisher started 13 games but didn't distinguish himself.

He played so poorly early in the season there were times he deserved to be benched. Things got better for Fisher later in the season, but not to the point he delivered a solid performance every week. He also missed games, including the playoff loss to Indianapolis, because of three separate injuries.