San Diego Chargers: 2016 team awards announced
By Travis Wakeman
The San Diego Chargers have handed out their 2016 team awards, which are voted on by the players of the team. This is a tradition that dates back to 1961.
Yes, it’s been a disappointing year, but there were some bright spots and regardless of where the future of this team will be, it is a bright future.
For a full list of the awards, which are detailed below, click here.
Most Inspirational Player- Brandon Mebane
What a free-agent signing Brandon Mebane was for this team. Unfortunately, his season was cut short due to injury, but he was already one of the leaders on the field and in the locker room.
Mebane had 21 tackles, one sack and his first career interception during his first year in San Diego, but it’s the discipline and experience he brings to San Diego, coming from a winning atmosphere with the Seattle Seahawks, that makes him invaluable.
The award for most inspirational player, named after former Chargers linebacker Emil Karas, goes to Mebane, a worthy recipient.
Linemen of the Year- Joey Bosa/Matt Slauson
An award that can be given to either a member of the offensive line or defensive line, Chargers players decided to have co-winners as Matt Slauson and Joey Bosa will share the honor.
Slauson, another great under-the-radar signing by Tom Telesco was the most consistent offensive lineman on the team this year. He can line up at multiple positions, making him valuable for years to come in the offense.
Joey Bosa missed the first four games of the season due to a contract dispute, but his 9.5 sacks leads all NFL rookies. He’s also shown that he will be a force to be reckoned with, one that wil be a terror for quarterbacks for years to come.
Special Teams Player of the Year- Darrell Stuckey
Special teams are the reason why Darrell Stuckey has managed to stick around in the NFL, but boy does he play them well. He’s the special teams captain of the Chargers and for good reason.
Defensive Player of the Year- Casey Hayward
The Defensive Player of the Year Award, also known as the David Griggs Memorial Award, was given to Casey Hayward, and rightfully so.
This one wasn’t even close. Hayward has been in my opinion the best free-agent signing in all of the NFL this year and he should be given consideration for Defensive Player of the Year for the whole league. While he won’t win that award, he takes home the honor for San Diego in his first year with the team.
His seven interceptions and coverage ability have created thoughts of a great secondary for years to come featuring he and Jason Verrett.
Offensive Player of the Year- Melvin Gordon
This award is handed out in honor of former Chargers running back Rodney Culver, and this year, it goes to a running back.
You can’t say enough about what Gordon has done for the team this year. He’s bounced back from a horrific rookie season and sits just three yards short of the 1,000-yard mark for the season (let’s all hope he plays in the finale long enough to get that).
As long as Gordon can stay healthy, he’ll enter 2017 as one of the league’s best running backs.
Team MVP- Casey Hayward
You could have considered Gordon or even Philip Rivers for this one, but Hayward has been the team’s best player. He’s also been the most consistent as he leads the league in both interceptions and passes defensed.
Going back to the start of the preseason, what would have been the odds that Hayward won this award? He joins Eric Weddle (2012) and Jamal Williams (2008) as the only defensive players to win this award in the last 15 seasons.
What do you guys think about the recipients? Did the players get it right, or should another guy have won one or more of these?