Player awards: Most improved

Posted Jan 6, 2016

Teammates name Devin Taylor the most improved player of 2015.

The Chuck Hughes Award is presented to the player who, because of hard work and determination, showed significant development and improvement during the past year.

This award is given in memory of Chuck Hughes, a Lions' reserve wide receiver who played two seasons with the Lions (1970-71). Hughes is the only NFL player to have died during action on a football field, having suffered a fatal heart attack during Detroit's game against Chicago on October 24, 1971.

This year's Chuck Hughes Most Improved Player Award, as voted by the players, goes to third-year defensive end Devin Taylor:

  • After recording 1.0 sack in 2014, Taylor recorded a career-high 7.0 in 2015.
  • His 7.0 sacks exceeded his total from the previous two years combined (3.5).
  • Taylor and teammate Ziggy Ansah (14.5) became the first pair of Lions teammates since Robert Porcher and Tracy Scroggins in 199 to finish with 20-plus combined sacks.
  • Taylor finished the season with a positive 2.6 grade from Pro Football focus.
  • He also notched a pass defended, a forced fumble, four QB hits and 23 QB hurries.
  • He was called for just one penalty, which is tied for the fourth-fewest among 4-3 defensive ends that played at least 500 snaps according to PFF.
  • He was credited with 9 sacks by PFF, which ranked 10th among 4-3 defensive ends.
  • His 6 sack improvement tied for 10th-best in the NFL this year.