Woodson named top defender

In his own view, Charles Woodson put together his best pro season in 2009. How appropriate, then, that he is The Associated Press 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

The versatile Woodson tied for the league lead with nine interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, and was a key to the Packers’ turnaround on defense. His role in Green Bay’s ranking second in overall defense, first in interceptions (30), takeaways (40) and turnover margin (plus-24) earned Woodson 28 votes Tuesday from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL.

“It’s a great honor,” said Woodson, the 1997 Heisman Trophy recipient. “I felt like I put a lot into the game … and it’s great to be recognized.”

He doubled the number of votes for New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis in becoming the first Green Bay winner since Reggie White in 1998 and just the second Packer in the 36-year history of the award.

Denver linebacker Elvis Dumervil and New Orleans safety Darren Sharper each got three votes. Minnesota end Jared Allen received the other two votes.

Extra points

Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin, who missed Sunday’s game with knee and ankle injuries, is optimistic about his chances of playing this week. … Jets punter Steve Weatherford has passed a heart stress test and should play this week. … Former Browns coach Romeo Crennel has spoken to the Giants about their vacant defensive coordinator job but is giving the Chiefs the first shot at hiring him. … The Bengals re-signed Mike Zimmer as defensive coordinator. … Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards has been placed on probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor aggravated disorderly conduct in Cleveland.