Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week Wednesday.
Jackson led the Browns’ defense, which held the Steelers to just 49 rushing yards and forced 8 turnovers, in a 20-14 win Sunday with a team-high 9 tackles.
Despite the impressive performance, Jackson said Wednesday that it was not his best game of the season by far.
“I have a lot of things I could clean up,” Jackson said. “From a stat standpoint, we did a great job creating turnovers – something we focus on.”
He also forced 1 fumble and recovered another in the victory – just the 5th over the Steelers since 1999.
“Most important was getting a win against a rival for the city of Cleveland,” Jackson said. “They deserved it. I know it’s been a rocky year for everybody and to get a win makes it a little bit better but it was great for the community and the young guys in this locker room.”
Jackson leads the Browns this season with 85 tackles. He also has 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 pass break ups, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles in 11 games.
“It’s a great honor for him,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “I’ve said all along what he means to our defense. He obviously had a great week.”
This is the first AFC Defensive Player of the Week award for Jackson in his career and he’s the first Brown to win the honor since linebacker David Bowens in Week 7 of the 2010 season.
“I’m not about personal accolades,” Jackson said. “It’s great, don’t get me wrong, I put a lot of pride into what I do; I’m passionate about what I do, love what I do and I love playing here in the city of Cleveland but it’s about everybody in this locker room and the coaches.
“It’s a little bit better when you win games but right now, we had a great week last week and hopefully we can carry it over to Oakland and get another win and start a streak here.”
Jackson, who was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month in September of 2011, credits the return of Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin for his ability to make more plays.
“It’s a team sport,” Jackson said. “With the guys we had coming back on the d-line, it makes my job a bit easier. It’s night and day with having big Rube in front of me and big Phil Taylor. Just the rotation we have on our d-line. All the credit goes to those guys.
“We played well from a defensive standpoint and finally finished.”