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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tom Brady Named Offensive Player of Year

When you put together the kind of season quarterback Tom Brady did for the New England Patriots, you better expect your fair share of postseason accolades. And Brady added another one to his mantle on Tuesday -- Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year.

The three-time Super Bowl winner was the epitome of efficiency in 2010, throwing 36 touchdown passes while only being intercepted four times for a ridiculous touchdown-to-interception ratio of 9-to-1. His string of 339 consecutive pass attempts without an interception is a new NFL record and he also threw for 3,900 yards while completing 66 percent of his passes.

Brady was the unanimous winner, receiving 21 votes from the 50-member panel to finish 10 votes ahead of second-place Michael Vick (11 votes). Houston Texans running back Arian Foster finished third with seven votes, followed by San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers with five and Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson two apiece.            

Three years ago, Brady also won the award and set an NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single season with 50 in leading New England to a perfect 16-0 record in the regular season, but his and the Patriots' dream of going 19-0 overall to eclipse the 1972 Miami Dolphins' 17-0 record fell short in a 17-14 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. This time around his 111.0 passer rating was the fifth best all-time and New England rolled to a 14-2 regular-season record only to lose to the New York Jets in the AFC divisional playoffs.

Shortly after the official announcement was made on the NFL Network, Brady, just 10 days removed from foot surgery, hobbled onto the set on crutches to do an interview with Steve Mariucci. He addressed the broken bone in his foot that plagued him down the stretch in the regular season but didn't keep him off the field.

"Over the course of the season, a lot of players throughout the league, a lot of players on our team deal with these type of injuries," Brady said. "Part of having a little bit of mental toughness is putting those things aside and still going out and trying to perform your best each week. I have a great training staff and my friend Alex (Guerrero) that works with me weekly.

"I'm in great hands and they were able to get me out on the field feeling good and I was able to go out there and help our team win the AFC East, which we're all very proud of."

Brady might not be finished racking up the hardware as he is the favorite to take home the AP's Most Valuable Player award on Sunday. If he does win it he will become the first player ever to sweep Offensive Player of the Year and MVP honors twice (he accomplished the feat in 2007). His head coach, Bill Belichick, also is one of the favorites to win Coach of the Year.

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