HOUSTON – Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski announced today that J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans has been selected as the 2014 Bert Bell Professional Player of the Year. Bruce Arians, the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, was selected as the 2014 Greasy Neale Professional Coach of the Year.
Watt, a fourth-year pro out of Wisconsin, became the first player in NFL history to record two seasons with more than 20 sacks (20.5 in 2012 and again in 2014). He also joined Jason Taylor as the only player to record 10 sacks and 10 passes defensed in two different seasons since 1991.
In addition, Watt was the first defensive lineman since Chicago Bears DE Connie Mack Berry in 1944 to have at least five touchdowns in a season. Watt was also the first player since Chicago Bears DB J.C. Caroline in 1956 to score multiple touchdowns on offense and defense in the same season.
Watt had two or more sacks in all six division games in 2014 and his 14 sacks against division opponents were the most since the NFL moved to a six-game division schedule in 2002. The accolade is the latest in a growing list of honors for Watt, who was named the PFWA Defensive Player of the Year and to the Pro Bowl, Associated Press All-Pro First Team and PFWA All-NFL team for the third consecutive year.
Voters for the Maxwell Football Club's Professional Awards include NFL Owners, front office personnel, head and assistant coaches, members of the Maxwell Football Club and selected national media.
Watt and Arians will be honored Friday, March 13, 2015 at the 78th Maxwell Club National Awards Gala which will be held at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.