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Joey Bosa Named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year

Take a look through photos from Joey Bosa's impressive rookie career with the Chargers, as he was named PFWA's Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Only 21-years old, Joey Bosa authored a memorable campaign rarely seen before by a first year player.

On Saturday, the NFL recognized him for his special season as he was named the 2016 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. Bosa is the third Charger to ever win the award, joining Leslie O'Neal (1986) and Shawne Merriman (2006).

Selected with the third overall pick out of Ohio State, the defensive end led the Chargers with 10.5 sacks in only 12 games.  He posted the most sacks by an NFL rookie since 2011, which were the second most by a Chargers rookie (O'Neal – 12.5). Number 99 finished the season with at least a half sack in the final six games, which is the longest stretch by any Chargers player since Marcellus Wiley had sacks in seven straight in 2001.

In addition, Bosa totaled 48 total tackles, 45 pressures, 19 tackles for loss, 15 QB hits, two passes defensed and one forced fumble.  He burst onto the scene in a big way, posting two sacks in his NFL debut Week 5 against the Oakland Raiders. He had another multi-sack game two weeks later against the eventual NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons, becoming the first player since Denver's Elvis Dumervil (2006) to post a pair of two-sack performances in his first three NFL games.

The AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award is the latest accolade Bosa earned following a memorable debut season.  He was also named NFL Rookie of the Month twice (October, December), the Pro Football Writers Defensive Rookie of the Year, the Chargers Co-Lineman of the Year and a fourth alternate to the Pro Bowl.

Bosa earned high praise from his opponents throughout the season:

"He's pretty potent. The thing about him is you can tell each game he's just gotten a lot more confidence — body language, where he's lining up, how he's lining up, the way he's playing. He's playing very well….He'll line up—we call him the spinner—he'll walk around, he's played outside linebacker in a game for them because of injuries. He's played in a couple different positions, so he's versatile. He can do it all." – Titans Head Coach Mike Mularkey

"I think a lot of it starts with the energy and attitude he plays with. He plays every snap – no matter the down-and-distance, time of the game – he plays every snap and treats it as a meaningful snap. There are no plays off for him. He has got a motor that keeps on going. I feel like whether it's him or really that group together, it seems like they feed of each other." – Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase

"You see him line up and he's really settling in to this defensive end spot.  He's really active with his hands.  I've always thought he's played really strong, but I think he moves a little better than I even thought.  His quickness looks to be on point." – Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn

*"He has played well. When he has gotten his opportunity he has played well. He's done a good job.  A high motor guy, plays really hard and has some serious talent so we are going to have to be aware of where he is at." – Falcons QB Matt Ryan *

"We all know Joey is a great player.  I know he had been injured and missed time before we played him, but we know what type of player he is.  We studied him coming out and now we are seeing just how much he can affect a football game.  (He's) a fine player, a great player and that is why he was drafted so high and coming into his own and playing extremely well right now" – Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak

"I think he's done a great job since he stepped in.  He started a little later in the year but for him to be able to make some plays and create some havoc says a lot about the type of player he is and his capabilities." – Titans QB Marcus Mariota

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