The Cincinnati Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America today named LB Vontaze Burfict as the Bengals’ 2013 Most Valuable Player and DT Domata Peko as the recipient of the organization’s annual "Good Guy" award.
In his second season, Burfict is the first Bengals LB since Jim LeClair in 1976 to be selected to the Pro Bowl. According to press box statistics, Burfict led the league in tackles with 171 while coaches statistics have him with 204. He also led the team with eight tackles-for-loss and had 11 quarterback pressures. Burfict also recorded 3.0 sacks as he led the team in tackles in all but one game.
In voting by the six writers who cover the team daily, Burfict and Andy Dalton each had three first-place votes. Balloting is done on a points system where writers list three players and Burifct ended up with a 22-20 edge. Voting totals for both awards are at the bottom of this release.
"As Marvin Lewis and linebackers coach Paul Guenther have continued to say, Vontaze has come in since day one and done everything that has been asked," said PFWA spokesman Joe Reedy, Bengals beat writer for The Cincinnati Enquirer. "He has become one of the leaders of the defense, especially with this season’s injuries to Geno Atkins and Leon Hall, and in two years has emerged as one of the top linebackers in the league."
Other past MVP winners were QB Jon Kitna (2002-03), HB Rudi Johnson (2004), Carson Palmer (2005), Willie Anderson (2006), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (2007-08), CBs Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph (2009), Andrew Whitworth (2010), QB Andy Dalton (2011) and DT Geno Atkins.
Peko, whois in his eighth season, is the 12th recipient of the PFWA’s "Good Guy" award, given for excellent relations with local media.
"Peko has always been one of the go-to guys in the locker room and has set an example as a team leader to help us bring our readers the information that they so strongly desire," Reedy said. "His candor, perspective and enthusiasm during the week and following games have been much appreciated. It should also be noted that the Bengals locker room has been very accommodating this season. Eight players received votes which is the most I can remember."
Past "Good Guy" winners have been FB Lorenzo Neal, Anderson, HB Brandon Bennett, LB Brian Simmons, DT John Thornton, Houshmandzadeh, DT Bryan Robinson, G Bobbie Williams, Palmer, HB Cedric Benson and S Chris Crocker.
MVP: Vontaze Burfict: (3) 22, Andy Dalton (3) 20 , A.J. Green 11 , Giovani Bernard 1
Good Guy: Domata Peko (5) 28, Chris Crocker (1) 9, Kyle Cook 6, Andrew Whitworth 4, Michael Johnson 3, Terence Newman 2, BenJarvus Green-Ellis 1, Kevin Huber 1