FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty was hardly devastated that he lost out on the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2010.
In fact, he was overly congratulatory toward Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, the draft’s second overall pick, who was a deserving recipient of the honor. Suh earned 48 votes to race away with the award, while McCourty received the other two votes on the ballot.
Suh, who was also an All-Pro, reconstructed the Lions’ defense and has given them as much hope for the future as any of their eight top-10 picks from the last decade. He had 10 sacks, one forced fumble and one interception, and he faced a continuous stream of double-teams from offenses that revolved their game plans around him.
McCourty, a Pro Bowler, was second in the NFL with seven interceptions, and he also had two forced fumbles. He was the primary ball hawk for a team that was second in the league with 38 takeaways, and he might have been the league’s most valuable defensive rookie
When the announcement was made, though, McCourty was more than fine with his second-place finish.
“I was cool with it,” McCourty said. “I didn’t come into the season saying I hope I get Rookie of the Year. I was hoping I could help my team win. I think I said that after the Detroit game. I think Suh is the same way. He was trying to win games and get better as a player. I tweeted about it. I thought he deserved the award. He had a great season. One thing is those awards are out of my hand. Just to be nominated and thought about for the award is an honor to me.”