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Around the AFC North (2/1): Troy Polamalu Wins Defensive Player of Year Award

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Bring out the confetti; Troy Polamalu is your defensive player of the year!
Bring out the confetti; Troy Polamalu is your defensive player of the year!

In today's edition of Around the AFC North, we take a look at a somewhat surprising winner in the "Defensive Player of the Year Award" category, the Bengals' firing of their offensive coordinator, and who the Ravens are likely to slap the franchise tag on.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Polamalu Wins for Defense Over Matthews

After a tremendous season by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, it was Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu who took home the title of "defensive player of the year," as voted by the Associated Press.

All Pro safety Troy Polamalu has been named the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Polamalu beat out Green Bay's Clay Matthews (2nd) and teammate James Harrison (3rd) for the honor. Polamlau, who picked off 7 passes and finished with 63 tackles, became the sixth Steelers defender to take home the hardware.

I don't disagree with Polamalu getting the award, as he always has a tremendous impact on the level of play of the Steelers' defense; I just expected it to go to someone else. Polamalu was humble in acceptance of the award on Twitter though, as he praised other defenders around the league who were worthy of the award:

Thanks for the congrats. @jharrison9292 @ClayMatthews52 Ed Reed Julius Peppers way more deserving!

Next year, the award goes to T.J. Ward.

Cincinnati Bengals: Offensive Coordinator Fired

In what was considered a surprising move after the retention of Marvin Lewis and length for which he has still been on the team, the Bengals fired offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski.

Yes, I'm happy because the Bengals have obviously made the right decision. Bratkowski definitely needed to go. However, I do wonder why the Bengals decided to do nothing from their last game of the season, which was played on January 2, to now. Why wait that long? Lance McAlister tweeted that the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks all hired new offensive coordinators while the Bengals did nothing. That's six teams and six potential offensive coordinators off the board.

Word is that former Vikings head coach Brad Childress is not a candidate for the Bengals' vacant offensive coordinator position.

Baltimore Ravens: Likely to Franchise Ngata

According to a report on NFL.com, the Ravens will likely slap the franchise tag on defensive tackle Haloti Ngata next season in order to retain him. They are also hoping to talk with offensive tackle Jared Gaither regarding a new contract. Gaither is set to be a free agent.