The AP finally got something right this time, but this award was pretty hard to screw up. Patriots’ linebacker Jerod Mayo was the clear choice for rookie of the year, and the voters showed that giving him 49 out of 50 votes. The 1 vote that went against Mayo went to Cincinnati’s Keith Rivers. From AP:
“Jerod’s done a lot for us,” coach Bill Belichick said. “We’ve asked a lot of him and from Day 1 he’s really been a well-prepared, very mature player who can do a lot of things: play the running game, play in the passing game, blitz, helps us in the kicking game. “He’s smart, makes a lot of defensive adjustments and calls for us there. He runs well. He’s tough. He’s a good all-around football player, very mature, very professional. For a rookie, he’s probably as professional as anybody I’ve coached.”
Mayo finished the year with 128 tackles and a forced fumble.