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Broncos' Miller voted AP Defensive Rookie of the Year

  • By Associated Press
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller has won a two-man race with 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith for the 2011 Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting
Name Team Votes
Von Miller, LB Broncos 39
Aldon Smith, DE-LB 49ers 11

Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, sparked a defensive turnaround in Denver with his steady and sometimes spectacular play. He teamed with quarterback Tim Tebow to energize the Broncos, who rallied from a 2-5 record to the AFC West title and a playoff win over Pittsburgh.

"It's special because you only get one rookie season," Miller said. "You don't get two tries at it. It's really a one-and-done thing. That was probably the most special thing about it, you only get one shot to accomplish this feat."

Miller received 39 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. Smith, also a first-round choice, got the other 11.

"Aldon and me are good friends. If he got it, I wouldn't have been mad. That's still like my buddy," Miller said. "If anybody else would have gotten him, I probably would have been sick. But knowing him and knowing what kind of guy he is and spending time with him, I know what type of player he is and he deserved it, too."

The second Bronco to win the award -- linebacker Mike Croel got it in 1991 -- Miller made 64 tackles and had 11.5 sacks despite missing one game and playing the last four contests with a cumbersome cast protecting his surgically repaired right thumb.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press



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