Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Jared Allen named Defensive Player of the Year in 'NFL 101' Awards

Posted by: under Vikings, AFC, NFC, Jared Allen Updated: January 17, 2012 - 12:46 PM

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in this year's NFL 101 Awards.

A national media committee, comprised of 101 NFL sportswriters and broadcasters, selected the winners in several categories in a nationwide vote that took place at the end of the regular season.

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and New England's Tom Brady were named the Offensive Players of the Year in the NFC and AFC respectively. Baltimore's Terrell Suggs was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year.

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was named the NFC Coach of the Year with Houston's Gary Kubiak claiming that same honor in the AFC.

Allen finished the season with a franchise-record 22 sacks to lead the NFL. He now ranks 20th on the league's all-time sack list with 105 for his career.

The award winners will be formally honored at the 42nd Annual NFL 101 Awards in Kansas City on March 3.

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