It's unanimous for Titans' RB

Posted: January 15, 2010

Chris Johnson didn't get any votes for MVP. He didn't miss any for the Associated Press 2009 NFL All-Pro team.

The Tennessee Titans' 2,000-yard rusher was the only unanimous choice for the squad, announced yesterday. He's joined in the backfield by Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who won an unprecedented fourth Most Valuable Player Award last week, when only quarterbacks received votes.

"That'd be a good thing," said Johnson, who won the Offensive Player of the Year award Wednesday. "Because I feel like if you put a season out there, out of those dudes who got votes or the dudes who won, I wouldn't feel they had a better season than I had, and broke as many records in one season that I had."

For setting the league mark for yards from scrimmage and becoming the sixth 2,000-yard rusher in NFL history, Johnson got all 50 votes from a nationwide panel of sports writers. One other player, San Francisco inside linebacker Patrick Willis, came close with, appropriately, 49. Cornerbacks Charles Woodson of Green Bay, the Defensive Player of the Year, and Darrelle Revis, of the New York Jets, each got 48, as did Oakland punter Shane Lechler.

"I just think Patrick is a very unique guy," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said. "He's a guy who's always going to be around the ball. He has the instincts. He has the speed. He can be where he wants to be."

He's on the All-Pro team for the second time in his three pro seasons. The other inside linebacker, Baltimore's Ray Lewis, made it for the seventh time.

Other veteran All-Pros include Manning, chosen for the fifth time, as were Minnesota guard Steve Hutchinson and Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams, and Lechler.

New Orleans (guard Jahri Evans, of Frankford High, and safety Darren Sharper), Dallas (outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and defensive tackle Jay Ratliff), the Jets (Revis and center Nick Mangold), Denver (tackle Ryan Clady and defensive end Elvis Dumervil) and Cleveland (tackle Joe Thomas and kick returner Joshua Cribbs) had two players.

The Vikings had the most players on the team with four - running back Adrian Peterson and defensive end Jared Allen also made it. Next was Indianapolis with three: Manning, tight end Dallas Clark, and defensive end Dwight Freeney.

Noteworthy

* New general manager Tom Heckert began his overhaul of the Cleveland Browns' personnel department with four firings.

The former Eagles GM dismissed the pro personnel group, spokesman Neal Gulkis said. The department was headed by senior director Steve Sabo, who had been with the Browns since 1998. Keith O'Quinn, Jim Jauch and James Kirkland were also let go. Heckert is expected to bring in his own people to oversee pro personnel and scouting.

* Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith pleaded guilty to drunken driving in Virginia Beach, Va., saying he wanted to own up to his mistake and strive to be an asset to the community. Smith, 46, was stopped on Interstate 264 in May and was charged with DUI after failing field sobriety tests. He played for the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins and appeared in 11 Pro Bowls in his 19-year career.

* Buffalo Bills interim coach Perry Fewell has been hired as the New York Giants' defensive coordinator. Coach Tom Coughlin announced the move last night after Fewell spent the past few days weighing offers from the Giants and the Chicago Bears.

* Former Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel has been hired as the defensive coordinator for Kansas City.

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