Player awards: Defensive MVP

Posted Jan 12, 2016

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah was named the Lem Barney Defensive MVP by his teammates.

The Lem Barney Award is presented to the Defensive Most Valuable Player.

The award is given in honor of Lem Barney, one of the premier defensive backs in the history of football. As a rookie, Barney intercepted 10 passes -- returning three for touchdowns -- and was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He played in seven Pro Bowls, earning All-Pro honors three times. Barney played in 140 games, missing just 14, and totaled 56 interceptions. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.

This year's Lem Barney Defensive MVP Award, as voted by the players, goes to defensive end Ziggy Ansah:

  • Ansah tied the Lions' record for most games in a single season with a sack (11), matching Robert Porcher's record set in 1999.
  • His career high 14.5 sacks rank as the second-highest single-season total (official since 1982), trailing only Porcher's 15.0 sacks in 1999.
  • Through his first three NFL seasons, Ansah has registered 30.0 career sacks, including 14.5 this year, to become the first Lions player (since 1982) to reach 30.0 career sacks in his first three NFL seasons.
  • With three quarterback hits at Chicago, Ansah finished 2015 with 33 QB hits and surpassed DT Ndamukong Suh (32, 2012) for the most by a Lions defensive player since 2007. Ansah has registered at least 26 QB Hits in each of the past two seasons, and is just the second Lions player to record 30 QB hits in a season since 2007.
  • He earned his first career Pro Bowl selection this season.