Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Former Pirate Johnson named NFL Offensive Player of the Year

"That blur speeding away from opposing defenses and running off with The Associated Press 2009 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award is Chris Johnson," writes the AP's Barry Wilner.

Considered the fastest man in pro football, Johnson was uncatchable in setting a league mark for yards from scrimmage (2,509) and becoming the sixth player with a 2,000-yard rushing season. Johnson played in college at East Carolina.

He is the first NFL player to finish with at least 2,000 yards rushing and 500 receiving (503).

That earned the second-year pro 38 1/2 votes Wednesday from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL. Johnson easily beat New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who received nine votes.

"I kind of realize what I did and I feel like I had a dream season," said Johnson, who scored 16 touchdowns (14 rushing), second to Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, and tied the NFL mark with six consecutive games rushing for at least 125 yards.

Also in the running was League MVP Peyton Manning, who received 1.5 votes, and former N.C. State and current San Diego Charger QB Philip Rivers, who got a vote.

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