As we begin a new year, as well as looking back on the last one, Total Titans has selected a few awards for the 2008 Tennessee Titans. Drexel, Tom and myself each made our decisions and I'll elaborate a little on mine, with Tom and Drexel probably speaking up about theirs in the comments section. Our selections are as follows, after the break:
MVP Offense - It's a good thing, in my opinion, when there are so many possibilities. It means it's a good problem to have. We each selected someone different, so this award is being split three ways between Chris Johnson, Michael Roos and one non-player, offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger.
While I gave consideration to Johnson, Kerry Collins and Kevin Mawae, I went with Roos, using the logic that the line is the strength of the offense and Roos is the best player on it. He did a great job both in run-blocking for Johnson and LenDale White, and in protecting Collins' blind side. Facing the best pass-rushers in the league, week in and week out, Roos allowed only one sack all year, without a single holding penalty and only four false starts. Roos garnered Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his career this year and could become a regular participant. After Roos agreed to his new six-year deal last spring, the veteran All-Pro Mawae commented that there was no doubt in his mind that Roos would outperform his $43 million contract.
MVP Defense - Albert Haynesworth gets the nod here from Total Titans. Big Al earned Pro Bowl honors for the second straight year and will be a vital cog in the Titans playoff run. Drexel and Tom were the two who voted for Albert, so I'll defer to them if they wish to comment on the reasons why he was their selection.
While I gave strong consideration to Big Al, he was once again a little too inconsistent this season for my liking. I also considered Cortland Finnegan and Keith Bulluck as my most valuable player on defense, but I ultimately opted for Chris Hope. In my mind, he's the glue that holds the secondary together. I know that Finnegan and Michael Griffin have both credited him for their development, as have several other Titans defensive backs, both present, such as Vinnie Fuller, and past, such as Calvin Lowry.
MVP Special teams - Chris Carr is our unanimous selection here. Tennessee was 27th in kick returns a season ago and improved to first in 2008, thanks to the addition of Carr, who has also been good on punt returns. Although Carr is not as dynamic, explosive or exciting as a certain former Titan returner, he did give the team great field position with a lot of big returns, even if he didn't break one all the way for a score.
Rookie MVP - Chris Johnson is also a unanimous selection of Total Titans. A real no-brainer, actually. CJ was the only rookie selected for the Pro Bowl this year, and was second to Atlanta's Matt Ryan for Rookie of the Year honors. Johnson added a dimension which hasn't previously existed in Tennessee.
Most Improved Titan - Cortland Finnegan received two of our votes, with the third one going to Brandon Jones. Finnegan got my vote for his stellar play, which also earned him a trip to Hawaii in February. I just love his attitude and the Titans' organization must also, resigning him to a new contract earlier this season. I also considered Stephen Tulloch, Eugene Amano, David Stewart and Michael Griffin and would not have had a problem giving any of them the nod on my ballot, had it not been for Finnegan's dramatic, though not unexpected, improvement.
Most Disappointing Titan - Another unanimous selection, Vince Young is the recipient of this dubious award, for obvious reasons.
What's your opinion? Who are your choices for these various awards, and why?