August 22, 2013

MVP Profile: Lee Roy Selmon, 1979

Defensive End, Tampa Bay Buccaneers



Age:  25 (Oct. 20)
4th season in pro football & with Buccaneers
College: Oklahoma
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 255

Prelude:
Selmon won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award as college football’s best lineman in 1975 and was the first overall draft choice of the expansion Buccaneers for ’76 (his brother Dewey, a linebacker, was picked in the second round). He missed half of his rookie season due to a knee injury but came back strong in 1977 and excelled as a pass rushing right end in a 3-4 alignment despite often being double or triple-teamed by opponents. Another solid year in ’78 was tempered by his undergoing knee surgery afterward.

1979 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Sacks – 11 (unofficial)
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 2
Fumble recovery TDs – 1
Forced fumbles – 3
Tackles – 117

Scoring
TDs – 1
Points – 6

Postseason: 2 G
Sacks – N/A
Interceptions – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-NFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
Pro Bowl

Buccaneers went 10-6 to finish first in the NFC Central – the first winning record in franchise history – while leading the NFL in fewest yards allowed (3949), fewest passing yards allowed (2076), and fewest points allowed (237). Won NFC Divisional playoff over Philadelphia Eagles (24-17). Lost NFC Championship to Los Angeles Rams (9-0).

Aftermath:
Selmon was chosen to the Pro Bowl again in 1980 and every year thereafter until a back injury ended his career in 1984 – a total of six consecutive selections (he was forced to sit out the 1985 season before formally retiring). He also received 1st or 2nd team All-NFL recognition in 1980, ’82, ’83, and ’84. Sacks were not counted as an official statistic until 1982, so while had 23 in his last three seasons with a high of 11 in 1983, he has unofficially been credited with 78.5 for his career. Selmon’s #63 was retired by the Buccaneers (the first such honor in franchise history) and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1995.

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MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself). Also includes Associated Press NFL Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.

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