Redskins' Griffin, Panthers' Kuechly win awards as top rookies

Sat Feb 2, 2013 10:21pm EST
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By Steve Ginsburg

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Quarterback Robert Griffin III, who led the Washington Redskins to their first division title since 1999, was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year on Saturday.

Linebacker Luke Kuechly, who led the NFL in tackles (164) and started all 16 games for the Carolina Panthers, grabbed the award for defensive rookies.

Griffin beat quarterbacks Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, and Redskins running back Alfred Morris for the award.

Griffin threw for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing 65 percent of his passes but his threat to run the ball confounded defenses all season.

He rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns while leading the Redskins to a 10-6 record.

The 22-year-old former Heisman Trophy winner out of Baylor said leading the Redskins back to the playoffs was his proudest accomplishment.

"Being the NFL East champions, that was the highlight for me," Griffin, the number two pick in the NFL Draft, said after winning the award at the NFL Honors ceremony at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans.

"When we were 3-6 and we had to win, we did," he told reporters. "To have the last game in our house (against Dallas) on national TV, the bright lights, and come away with the victory, that showed a lot of character for our football team."   Continued...

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III accepts the the award for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the year during the NFL Honors award show in New Orleans, Louisiana February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes