Newton wins Offensive Player, Gurley takes Offensive Rookie

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Cam Newton is now a Super Bowl quarterback with an NFL award.

The Carolina Panthers star won The Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year honor on Saturday night.

Newton was not on hand at NFL Honors to accept the award; he is kind of busy preparing for a little game on Sunday. But just as he has for much of the week - for most of the season, really - Newton still was a dominant figure.

His father, mother and two brothers accepted the award.

''Cam took an unconventional journey to get here and we're just so proud of what has happened, my family and I,'' said Newton's father Cecil. ''So many thanks go out to so many people, from Pop Warner to the Panthers. I don't have time to tell you all, `Thank you.' You know who you are. We know who you are.''

Newton earned 18 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who regularly cover the NFL. Steelers receiver Antonio Brown was next with 10.

The All-Pro quarterback set an NFL mark for the position with 45 touchdowns this season: 35 passing and 10 rushing. He also ranked sixth in passer rating (99.4), while throwing for 3,837 yards. His 636 yards on the ground easily led all QBs, and the 10 touchdowns rushing were more than All-Pro running back Doug Martin of Tampa Bay scored.

Rams running back Todd Gurley took Offensive Rookie with 27 votes, well ahead of the 17 for Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston, the first overall pick in last year's draft. Gurley missed the first two games of 2015, then went on a tear that included four straight 100-yard rushing performances: 146, 159, 128 and 133 yards. He finished the season third in league rushing and scored 10 touchdowns.

His voice cracked with emotion as he mentioned coming back from his ACL injury. And at the end of his speech, he referenced the Rams' impending move from St. Louis to Los Angeles.

''I just want to say something to the St. Louis fans: I know you all might be disappointed that we might be leaving but, you know, it's out of our control,'' Gurley said.

Wade Phillips' work in turning the Denver defense into the stingiest in the NFL got him the Assistant Coach of the Year award. The Broncos ranked first overall and against the pass, third versus the run.

Phillips, who has been a head coach for three franchises and interim for three more, received 16 votes, twice that of Hue Jackson, the Bengals' offensive coordinator in 2015 and now Cleveland's coach.


AP NFL website: and