ST. LOUIS — Robert Quinn has been garnering awards this off-season nearly as quickly as he racked up sacks during the season.
On Wednesday, the St. Louis Rams’ defensive end was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.
Quinn, who was previously selected to his first Pro Bowl and named first-team All-Pro, finished second in the NFL with 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles. The third-year pro also was credited with 18 tackles for loss, 36 quarterback pressures, 33 quarterback hits and two fumble recoveries, including one he returned for a touchdown.
The University of North Carolina product was dominant at times. He recorded three sacks against the Cardinals, Seahawks and Buccaneers and had two against the Colts and Saints. He also finished with a flourish, racking up six sacks in the final three games.
His teammates and coaches continuously heaped praise upon him and openly campaigned for him to be considered for Defensive Player of the Year. Fellow ends Chris Long and William Hayes carried Quinn off the field following the final home game.
"He deserves it," Long said at the time. "… What else do you want him to do on a team that … doesn’t play with a bunch of leads? There are guys that have been playing with leads all year and can’t even sniff that."
Hayes pointed to how opponents limited Quinn’s effectiveness but weren’t able to keep him from attacking quarterbacks in the backfield.
"You think about Rob, man, they are trying to do everything possible to try to block him. Chips. Running backs. Tight ends," Hayes said. "I mean, he’s beating you any way he possibly can. You had the tackle out there complaining because he wasn’t getting enough help. He’s going against two or three guys at one point in time and he’s still winning. He’s special. We don’t run across people like that. Not since I’ve been in the NFL. I haven’t seen nobody close to him."
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