ST. LOUIS—January 20, 2004—Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has another award to add to his mantle as today he was named Sporting News NFL Player of the Year and the starting quarterback on the Sporting News 2003 All-Pro Team. Manning garnered 11 votes from 22 NFL pro personnel directors. Titans QB Steve McNair finished second with 3 votes and Raven's RB Jamal Lewis finished third 2 votes.
Manning, 27, turned in a remarkable performance in 2003 while leading the Colts to the AFC Championship Game. Manning threw for over 4,200 yards and totaled 29 TD's while getting the "can't win a playoff game" monkey off his back after beating the Broncos and the Chiefs in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
"Peyton Manning has been a great quarterback for several years and his play this season was simply unsurpassed," said Sporting News editorial director John Rawlings. "His control over the offense is unique in the NFL and he makes the most of the opportunity."
New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, 52, was named Sporting News 2003 Coach of the Year. Belichick led the Patriots to the Super Bowl game with a 14-2 record and has them on a current 14-game winning streak. Belichick received 13 first place votes from 26 NFL head coaches. The Bengals Marvin Lewis finished second with 4 votes, John Fox of the Carolina Panthers and Dick Vermeil of the Kansas City chiefs tied for third with two votes apiece.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin, 23, was named the Sporting News 2003 Rookie of the Year. Boldin set rookie records for receptions (101), yards (1,377) and touchdowns (8). Boldin finished third in the NFC in total receiving after leaping on the NFL radar screen with a 217-yard, 2 TD performance in week 1. Boldin totaled 18 first place votes from 22 NFL pro personnel directors with the Texans' Dommanick Davis and the Seahawks' Marcus Trufant tying for second with two votes apiece.
Sporting News' Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and All-Pro team were determined in balloting by 22 NFL pro personnel directors. The Coach of the Year was determined in voting by 26 NFL head coaches.
In addition to the individual awards handed out by the Sporting News, the magazine has named the 2003 Sporting News All-Pro Team:
OFFENSE: WR Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis; WR Torry Holt, Saint Louis; TE Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City; T Jonathan Ogden, Baltimore; T Orlando Pace, St. Louis; G Steve Hutchinson, Seattle; G Will Shields, Kansas City; C Matt Birk, Minnesota; QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis; RB Priest Holmes, Kansas City; RB Jamal Lewis, Baltimore
DEFENSE: E Simeon Rice, Tampa Bay; E Michael Strahan, NY Giants; T Kris Jenkins, Carolina; T Richard Seymour, New England; LB Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay; LB Ray Lewis, Baltimore; LB Julian Peterson, San Francisco; CB Champ Bailey, Washington; CB Patrick Surtain, Miami; S Ed Reed, Baltimore; S Roy Williams, Green Bay
SPECIALISTS: K Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis; P Todd Sauerbrun, Carolina; KR Jerry Azumah, Chicago; PR Dante Hall, Kansas City
Sporting News, a division of Vulcan Sports Media, Inc., is a leading multi-media sports company reaching some 20 million fans weekly. Positioned as "The Experts' Choice", TSN's content is available through a weekly magazine, a radio network (Sporting News Radio) and owned and operated radio stations, plus a successful web site (SportingNews.com). Additionally, the company operates a successful book publishing division and is engaged in various wireless and iTV initiatives. The Sporting News is the nation's oldest sports publication, having debuted in 1886.