Colts safety Bob Sanders has finally gotten his due, as today he was named the Associated Press 2007 Defensive Player of the Year. Sanders earned 31 of 50 votes to win the award for the first time. Seattle’s Patrick Kerney and Titans DT Albert Haynesworth were next in terms of voting. Sanders made a big impact with the Colts this season, breaking up passes but more importantly, playing better on the run. The team moved him up more on the line of scrimmage, and he made play after play stopping opposing running backs.
“I’ve had to adjust and I think I’ve adjusted well,” Sanders said. “I was definitely a run stopper in college [at Iowa], but playing cover-2 or man coverage or whatever makes me better. I’ve tried to adjust because I want to do it. I enjoy it definitely. The strength of my game is being down in the box and I’ve got a good grasp of seeing what’s going on. It’s been a lot of work to do that since my rookie season.”
He is the first Colt to take home the award. This season he has 97 tackles, 72 solo, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions. The four-year vet from Iowa has played in 39 games in his career, racking up 251 tackles and four interceptions. He played in just four games last season, but made it back for the playoffs, and it was no wonder that with him in there the Colts were able to make a run to Miami and beat Chicago in Super Bowl XLI.
“Donnie Shell went to five Pro Bowls, and John Lynch went to I don’t even know how many Pro Bowls. You get asked to do a lot of things in this defense, and it’s rare to find someone who can do those things,” coach Tony Dungy said of Sanders.