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James Harrison describes why Patriots’ Stephen Gilmore is the Defensive Player of the Year

James Harrison, Patriots, Stephen Gilmore

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore thinks he should be the Defensive Player of the Year. His former (briefly) teammate James Harrison seems to agree.

Harrison said on FOX Sports’ “The Herd” on Wednesday (h/t The Patriots Wire):

“I have to give it to Gilmore. He is shutting down whole players, whole sides of fields. No question. He’s taking players that are No. 1 receivers and just totally shutting them down. When you have a guy that can cover a receiver like that, that gives you that extra time you need to get to the quarterback, that gives you that extra time you need to whatever it do on the front seven… With his play and the numbers he’s putting up as far as interceptions… people aren’t even throwing his way. C’mon.”

Cornerbacks rarely earn Defensive Player of the Year honors. Pass-rushers with monster sack totals tend to earn the award. However, if there were any cornerback that were to win the award, it would be Gilmore.

After earning All-Pro honors and winning a Super Bowl as a starter in 2018, Gilmore is having a legendary year in 2019. He leads the league in interceptions (six) and pass deflections (18) while also tallying 44 combined tackles.

Gilmore has scored more touchdowns (two) than he’s allowed (zero). According to Pro Football Reference, he’s allowed a 34.7 passer rating in coverage in 2019, as quarterbacks have gone 42 for 87 passing for 441 yards, no touchdowns, and six interceptions against him.

Gilmore is deserving of the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Who else would it be?