- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Once again, I’m going to bang the drum for New Orleans safety Darren Sharper as a candidate for defensive player of the year.
With his 38-yard interception return in Monday night’s victory against New England, Sharper is three yards from tying the NFL record for yards on interception returns in a season. Baltimore’s Ed Reed set it with nine interceptions for 358 yards in 2004.
Sharper has eight interceptions for 355 yards. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the next two players on the list are San Diego’s Charlie McNeil with 349 yards on nine interceptions in 1961 and San Francisco’s Deion Sanders with 303 yards on six interceptions in 1994.