The Latest: Washington's Smith is comeback player of 2020
Smith received 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. ___9:52 p.m.For turning around a moribund Cleveland franchise, overcoming injuries and COVID-19 concerns, Kevin Stefanski is The Associated Press 2020 NFL Coach of the Year. ___9:43 p.m.One of the well-earned spoils for Derrick Henry’s 2,000-yard rushing season is The Associated Press 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year honor. ___9:30 p.m.Aaron Donald has become such a dominant defensive tackle that he’s joined elite company in winning his third Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. The Los Angeles Rams’ unanimous All-Pro added the 2020 top defensive player honor to his wins in 2017 and 2018.
Chargers hire Rams DC Brandon Staley as head coach
The 37-year-old Staley's name is prominent in NFL circles this month as the league's less successful teams plot their next head coaching hire. (AP Photo/Doug Murray, File)COSTA MESA, Calif. – Brandon Staley won't have to move that far for his first head coaching opportunity. Staley agreed to become the Los Angeles Chargers' coach on Sunday night after one season as the defensive coordinator for the crosstown Rams. “It’s not just that Brandon possesses a tremendous football mind that makes him the ideal head coach to lead our team forward,” general manager Tom Telesco said in a statement. He is the third assistant under Rams coach Sean McVay to get an NFL head coaching job, joining Green Bay's Matt LaFleur and Cincinnati's Zac Taylor.
LA Rams' top-ranked defense still rolling as playoffs loom
He might find a moment after the Rams (10-6) finish their playoff run, which begins Saturday at Seattle. But Rams fans already appreciate a defense that topped the NFL in several important categories and excelled at nearly everything during a remarkable season. 1 in total yards allowed, yards passing allowed, passing TDs allowed, first downs allowed and points allowed while becoming the Rams' first top-ranked NFL defense in decades. “We're proud of the way we've competed,” Staley said Tuesday as the Rams began preparations for their trip to Seattle. ... LT Andrew Whitworth has a shot to return this week after tearing ligaments in his knee during the Rams' first meeting with Seattle in November.