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And the Falcons award goes to ...

While recording the latest episode of The Falcoholic podcast, we gave out some awards for last season.

Here’s a sneak peek at the latest episode of The Falcoholic podcast, the official podcast of your favorite Falcons site on the internet. DW and I were joined by Kevin Knight, and the three of us welcomed a very special guest to issue some awards to Falcons players for their performance last season.

That very special guest was my nearly 15-year-old dog, Hogan Thomas, who let us know his choices for awards by breathing heavily in my face and demanding I pet him. Foolproof method if you ask me.

Without further ado, here are the recipients for Falcons MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Surprise Player of the Year.


DW: Matt Ryan
Jeanna: Matt Ryan
Kevin: Matt Ryan
Hogan: Matt Ryan

Duh. He won league MVP, which was well-deserved, and he played lights out all season. I think Kevin put it very well on the podcast, saying Ryan played “to his ceiling” last season. We all (well, most of us who weren’t calling for the team to bench him in favor of Schaub last August) knew and expected Ryan was capable of this level of play, and when he actually lived up to it, it was a glory to behold.

Offensive Player of the Year

DW: Alex Mack
Jeanna: Matt Ryan
Kevin: Julio Jones
Hogan: Julio Jones

We were not all of one accord on this one, but we did come up with three great and valid choices to receive this honor. Matt Ryan, for all of the reasons mentioned above, is a worthy choice. Alex Mack had more to do with the offensive success this season than he probably gets credit for, and Julio Jones is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

Defensive Player of the Year

DW: Vic Beasley
Jeanna: Vic Beasley
Kevin: Keanu Neal
Hogan: Vic Beasley

We discussed what a delight it is that we weren’t just all defaulting to Desmond Trufant here, as we’ve been forced to do for several seasons because he has been far and away the best player, and it hasn’t been close. With Trufant landing on injured reserve, and the emergence of Beasley and Neal and Deion Jones, this one was a much more difficult decision. Beasley’s development justifies the choice, but Neal really did set the tone for the defense with his style of play, so he’s also deserving.

Rookie of the Year

DW: Keanu Neal
Jeanna: Deion Jones
Kevin: Deion Jones
Hogan: Deion Jones

Again, what a delight to have multiple players to choose from here. Deion Jones had an outstanding rookie season, with two pick-sixes. He adapted to a new position and was thought to be undersized for the inside linebacker role, and he sure exceeded my expectations. Keanu Neal, as noted earlier, did set the tone for the defense with his hard-hitting style of play, and he’s also absolutely a worthy candidate.

Surprise of the Year

DW: Taylor Gabriel
Jeanna: Taylor Gabriel
Kevin: Tevin Coleman
Hogan: Vic Beasley

This whole team was, in general, a pleasant surprise. The way the offense played lights out for most of the season after a down season in 2015 was a delight, as was the development of the young defense. Again, we had several players from whom to choose, which is a good problem to have.

Ultimately, David and I went with Taylor Gabriel. Here’s a guy that the Browns cast off after the preseason who came in and became an impact player in this offense. Kevin pointed out Tevin Coleman’s development as a receiver, which was also a fun surprise. Hogan Thomas, being the intrepid dog that he is, was most surprised by and impressed with Vic Beasley’s development as a pass rusher.

Weigh in with your picks for these awards in the comments.