Safety Eric Weddle has been voted by his teammates as the Chargers Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career. Weddle was voted as the team’s Defensive Player of the Year last season, in addition to Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, after intercepting a career-high seven passes. Heading into Sunday’s 2012 season finale, Weddle leads the team with 103 tackles and three interceptions.
Wide receiver Malcom Floyd, the team’s leading receiver, captured the Rodney Culver Memorial Award as Offensive Player of the Year. Floyd racked up an impressive 56 catches, 814 yards and five touchdowns in the first 14 games before being placed on the “Reserve-Injured” list on Dec. 18. This marks Floyd’s first-ever team award.
Defensive Player of the Year honors (the David Griggs Memorial Award) go to defensive end Corey Liuget, who has five sacks in the Chargers’ last five games, including a career-high two last Sunday in New York. Liuget leads San Diego’s defensive line in sacks (7), tackles (57), tackles for loss (13) and passes defensed (9), and his nine passes defensed are second in the NFL among defensive linemen behind only Houston’s J.J. Watt’s 15. Liuget was the Chargers’ first-round pick in last year’s NFL Draft and this is his first-ever team award.
Special Teams Player of the Year honors went to punter Mike Scifres, who is well on his way to setting a new team single-season record for punting average. Already the team’s record-holder for career punting average (45.3), Scifres has averaged 48.2 yards per punt in 2012, well ahead of the team mark of 46.7 that he set in 2010. Scifres landed 30 of 76 punts inside the 20-yard line this season and is the NFL’s all-time leader for percentage of punts landed inside the 20. This is his second special teams player of the year award (2004).
For the second consecutive year, Nick Hardwick has been named the Chargers’ Lineman of the Year. Hardwick is one of only two linemen to start every game this year on a line that has seen three different starting left tackles, and two different starters at both left guard and right tackle. Heading in to Sunday’s season finale against Oakland, Hardwick has started 49-straight games at center and 118 for his career. This is Hardwick’s second lineman of the year award (2011). He was also named co-most inspirational in 2010.
Also for the second consecutive year, inside linebacker Takeo Spikes has been voted the team’s Most Inspirational Player (Emil Karas Memorial Award). Spikes, who recently turned 36 years old, will conclude his 15th NFL season this weekend having never appeared in a playoff game, despite a career resume that includes more than 1,700 tackles. Spikes has tallied 98 stops this season, leaving him just two shy of his 12th career 100-tackle season. He joined the Chargers in 2011 and has been named the team’s most inspirational player each of his two seasons in San Diego.