NFL Nation: Corey Luiget

2012 AFC West awards

February, 8, 2013
2/08/13
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Manning-CharlesGetty ImagesPeyton Manning is the AFC West MVP, while Jamaal Charles is the top offensive player.

Let’s wrap up the 2012 NFL season by giving our annual AFC West awards:

MVP: Denver quarterback Peyton Manning: Manning finsished second in the voting for the NFL MVP behind Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson. Manning was outstanding in his first season in Denver. He led all NFL quarterbacks in Total QBR, which rates total quarterback impact. He was brilliant as Denver finished the regular season with an 11-game winning streak.

Offensive Player of the Year: Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles. Charles was overshadowed by the great seasons from Manning and Peterson. But Charles was tremendous. After blowing out the ACL in Week 2 of the 2011 season, Charles had a career high 1,509 rushing yards in 2012. He was a bright spot on the league’s worst team.

Defensive Player of the Year: Denver linebacker Von Miller was outstanding in his second NFL season. He had a team record 18.5 sacks after getting 11.5 sacks in 2011, when he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Most importantly, Miller made strides in his overall game in 2012. He got much better in coverage and against the run.

[+] EnlargeVon Miller
Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY SportsVon Miller had 18.5 sacks in just his second season in the NFL.
Coach of the Year: Denver coach John Fox. Fox has been outstanding in his two seasons in Denver. He is flexible coach who excels at both working with what he has and allowing his assistants to coach. He is an upper-level head coach.

Comeback Player of the Year: Charles. Manning was the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. But I’m giving Charles the nod here because he was he missed nearly all of the 2011 season as a member of this division. Manning was in the AFC South with Indianapolis when he missed all of 2011 with a neck injury that required four surgeries.

Most Improved Player of the Year: San Diego linebacker Corey Liuget. San Diego should be thrilled about Liuget. The No. 18 overall pick in 2011 was outstanding in his second season. He was put in the best position to succeed by new defensive coordinator John Pagano and responded well. He is a quick, athletic impact player and a big reason why the franchise is excited about the direction of this defense.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Oakland receiver Rod Streater. Streater was extremely productive considering he was an undrafted free agent. The Temple product had 39 catches in 2012. He is a very smooth, polished player who seems to get how to play in the NFL. I won’t be surprised if he becomes a reliable starter in 2013.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Denver defensive end Derek Wolfe. The second-round pick became an instant starter and quickly became a big part of a much-improved defense that finished second in the NFL. Wolfe fits with Denver’s athletic approach and he plays with a lot of confidence. He is solid in all phases and looks like he has a bright future.

Executive of the Year: Denver vice president John Elway. Elway has been in Denver as the leader of the football operations for two years. He has won two division titles. The question has been answered -- Elway is much more than a legendary former quarterback. He knows this business. Every Denver person mentioned in this piece has been acquired on Elway’s watch.

Specialist of the Year: Denver return man Trindon Holliday. He was acquired off waivers in Week 6. All the tiny returner did was return two punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. He had a punt and a kickoff return for a score in Denver’s wild playoff loss to Baltimore. Holliday is a risk-taker and he doesn’t always hold onto the ball, but the reward rate is tremendous with this speedster.

Putting a bow on Day 1

April, 29, 2011
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Wrapping up the first night of the NFL draft.

Denver's No. 2 pick, Von Miller, was the only rookie on the 10-player plaintiff list that used the NFL to start the lockout. Thursday night, Miller gave NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a hearty hug after he was drafted. Miller said he has nothing personal against Goodell.

Denver coach John Fox said Miller was No. 1 on the team’s draft board.

The Broncos’ second- and third-round picks will be introduced to the media Saturday. They will wear No. 11 jerseys to symbolize the year they were picked. No one wore that number in Denver last year after injured receiver Kenny McKinley committed suicide early in the season. The team talked to McKinley’s family about it and the family is on board with the idea.

Denver has not drafted a defensive tackle since 1997 when it took Trevor Pryce at No. 28.

Check out Jeffri Chadida’s pre-draft column on Miller. He’s a high-character kid.

Fox said the team did not receive any calls to move down from No. 2. The No. 2 pick hasn’t been traded since 2000. Fox did say he expects to get many calls about the No. 36 pick.

Fox said he is thrilled to get the veteran players back in the building Friday.

Fox said defensive end Jason Hunter’s stab wounds should not affect his ability to play in 2011. He was reportedly stabbed in the shoulder Wednesday.

San Diego No. 1 pick, Corey Luiget, will play defensive end in the 3-4 defense.

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