Chris Johnson didn't get any votes for MVP. He didn't miss any for The Associated Press 2009 NFL All-Pro team.
The 2,000-yard rusher from the Tennessee Titans was the only unanimous choice for the squad, announced Thursday. He’s joined in the backfield by Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who won an unprecedented fourth Most Valuable Player Award last week, when only quarterbacks got votes.
“That’d be a good thing,” said Johnson, who won the Offensive Player of the Year award Wednesday, “because I feel like if you put a season out there, out of those dudes who got votes or the dudes who won, I wouldn’t feel they had a better season than I had, and broke as many records in one season that I had.”
For setting the league mark for yards from scrimmage and becoming the sixth 2,000-yard rusher in NFL history, Johnson got all 50 votes from a nationwide panel of sportswriters. One other player, San Francisco inside linebacker Patrick Willis, came close with, appropriately, 49. Cornerbacks Charles Woodson of Green Bay, the Defensive Player of the Year, and Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets each got 48, as did Oakland punter Shane Lechler.
Willis is on the All-Pro team for the second time in his three pro seasons. The other inside linebacker, Baltimore’s Ray Lewis, made it for the seventh time.
Other veteran All-Pros include Manning, chosen for the fifth time, as were Minnesota guard Steve Hutchinson, Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams and Lechler.
The Vikings had the most players on the team with four – running back Adrian Peterson and defensive end Jared Allen also made it. Next was Indianapolis with three: Manning, tight end Dallas Clark, and DE Dwight Freeney.
New Orleans (guard Jahri Evans and safety Darren Sharper), Dallas (outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and defensive tackle Jay Ratliff), the Jets (Revis and center Nick Mangold), Denver (tackle Ryan Clady and defensive end Elvis Dumervil) and Cleveland (tackle Joe Thomas and kick returner Joshua Cribbs) had two players.
In all, there were 15 AFC players and 12 from the NFC picked.
Seattle, Washington, Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Miami, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and the New York Giants had no All-Pros this season.
Browns begin rebuilding
New Cleveland general manager Tom Heckert began his overhaul of the Browns’ personnel department with four firings – pro personnel group senior director Steve Sabo, who had been with the Browns since 1998, pro personnel director Keith O’Quinn, plus associate director of college and pro personnel Jim Jauch and assistant director James Kirkland.
The Washington Redskins have hired Bobby Turner as running backs coach and assistant head coach – reuniting him with Mike Shanahan, with whom he spent 14 seasons in Denver helping establish one of the NFL’s top ground games. … Former NFL star Bruce Smith pleaded guilty in Virginia Beach, Va., to drunken driving and was fined $1,000 and given a 90-day suspended sentence. The NFL’s all-time sacks leader, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, also must complete an alcohol safety program, and his driving privileges will be limited for one year. … Romeo Crennel, a former defensive coordinator at New England and former head coach at Cleveland in 2008, is the new defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. … Dean Pees is leaving after four seasons as the New England Patriots defensive coordinator. … Dallas Cowboys rushing leader Marion Barber practiced Thursday, leading to speculation that his sore left knee has healed enough so that he might be able to play Sunday at Minnesota. … Buffalo Bills interim coach Perry Fewell has been hired as the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator. … The Pittsburgh Steelers hired Sean Kugler as their offensive line coach.