NFL

Miller wins Defensive Rookie of Year

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP)

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.

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.

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.

The second Bronco to win the award - LB Mike Croel got it in 1991 - Miller made 64 tackles and had 11 1/2 sacks despite missing one game and playing the last four contests with a cumbersome cast protecting his surgically repaired right thumb.

Tagged: Broncos, 49ers, Von Miller

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