May 6, 2013

MVP Profile: Dana Stubblefield, 1997

Defensive Tackle, San Francisco 49ers

Age:  27 (Nov. 14)
5th season in pro football & with 49ers
College: Kansas
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 290

Having lost their two best pass rushers (DE Pierce Holt and DE Tim Harris) to free agency, the 49ers chose Stubblefield in the first round of the 1993 NFL draft (26th overall). With his speed, he proved to be a good fit in the interior of the line and received NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Stubblefield followed up his outstanding first year with Pro Bowl seasons in 1994 and ’95, seasons in which he recorded 8.5 and 4.5 sacks, respectively, but was coming off a subpar year in 1996.

1997 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Sacks – 15 [2]
Most sacks, game – 4 at Philadelphia 11/10
Multi-sack games (2 or more) – 4
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Forced fumbles – 3
Tackles – 48
Assists – 13

Postseason: 2 G
Sacks – 0
Interceptions – 0
TD – 0

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

49ers went 13-3 to finish first in the NFC West with the best record in the conference while leading the NFC in rushing defense (1366 yards). Won NFC Divisional playoff over Minnesota Vikings (38-22). Lost NFC Championship to Green Bay Packers (23-10).

Stubblefield moved to the Washington Redskins as a free agent in 1998 and was a disappointment in his three years with the club (7 total sacks) before returning to the 49ers in 2001. In two years back in San Francisco, he revived his career, although Stubblefield was now better against the run than as a pass rusher between the gaps. He finished up with the Oakland Raiders in 2003. In eleven years, Stubblefield recorded 53.5 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl a total of three times.

[Updated 8/4/13]


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.