For the first time in the history of the Chiefs official site — KCChiefs.com — they are giving out end of the year awards. Josh Looney hands out the hardware for each category, plus positional MVP’s starting with the offensive line.
Comeback Player of the Year – QB Brodie Croyle
Role Player of the Year – OL Wade Smith
Breakthrough Player of the Year – RB Jamaal Charles
Offensive Player of the Year – RB Jamaal Charles
Defensive Player of the Year – CB Brandon Flowers
Rookie of the Year – K Ryan Succop
Offensive Line MVP: Rudy Niswanger – This pick may come as a surprise to many, but Niswagner battled injuries to stabilize season-long injury instability up front. He was the only player along the offensive line to start all 16 games of the season and he was generally lined up against the biggest and strongest opposing defensive lineman (particularity against 3-4 fronts). Plus, with Waters not talking to the media, Niswanger became the off-field leader by answering most of the tough questions from the media.
For the first time out, Looney and the folks at KCChiefs.com seemed to hit the nail on the head.
My only issue could be with the Comeback Player of the Year. I’m not sure that Croyle — or any player that only saw the field in two games — should be in line for an award, but with that being said I can’t think of anyone more deserving. Mike Brown certainly played a ton, but he was right in the middle of big plays given up by the defense.
Outside of Charles for Breakthrough and Offensive Player, Niswanger is the most deserving of his award. The offensive line had a ton of issues this year, but Niswanger wasn’t one of them. He fought through injuries that would have kept lesser men on the sidelines for most of the season. The Chiefs no doubt will re-tool along the line, but no matter the changes I hope they keep Niswanger around.