Running back Michael Turner was the only Falcon player to be named to the Associated Press’s annual All-Pro team. Turner came in second place among voting at the running back position, garner 40 votes behind Adrian Peterson’s 45 votes.
Several other Falcons received votes however. John Abraham had 17 votes, coming in fourth place among defensive ends. Roddy White had four votes and was sixth in the voting at wide receiver. Fullback Ovie Mughelli, guard Harvey Dahl, center Todd McClure, and kicker Jason Elam eached garnered a single vote at their respective positions.
Another Falcon earned an illustrious season honor with head coach Mike Smith earning the Associated Press’s Coach of the Year award by a single vote over Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano.
Smith received 23.5 votes over Sparano’s 22.5 votes for the honor. Smith helped improve the Falcons from a 4-12 to an 11-5 record this season. Sparano helped the Dolphins to an 11-5 record and AFC East title after a 1-15 season in 2007.
Smith and Sparano shared USA Today’s Coach of the Year honors, both garnering 30 votes, although Smith received one more first place vote than Sparano.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that Falcons running back Michael Turner finished second in the Associated Press’s voting for NFL Most Value Player. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning won the award, earning 32 of 50 votes. Turner tied with Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington with four votes each.
Turner finished second in the league with 1,699 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. He also earned a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl team.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that Matt Ryan has won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, an annual award given out by the Associated Press.
Ryan finished the season starting all 16 games for the Falcons and passed for 3,440 yards, 16 touchdowns, and completed 61.1% of his 484 passing attempts. He was arguably the key catalyst for the Falcons improbable turnaround from 4-12 in 2007 to 11-5 and in the playoffs in 2008.
Ryan is the first Falcon ever to win the AP’s offensive honors, however three Falcon players have won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors: Claude Humphrey (1968), Al Richardson and Buddy Curry (co-winners in 1980). He is also only the fourth quarterback to win the award since the Associated Press annually began giving it out since 1967, following Dennis Shaw (1970), Ben Roethlisberger (2004), and Vince Young (2006).
The NFL announced its Pro Bowl rosters today, which included two Falcon players: running back Michael Turner and wide receiver Roddy White.
Turner currently ranks second in both the NFL and NFC in rushing yards with 1,421 yards. Turner also has a league-high 332 carries and 15 touchdowns.
White ranks fifth in the league and second in the NFC in receptions (82) and first in the NFL in receiving yards (1,320). White has 6 receiving touchdowns as well.