Profootballfocus.com is an NFL oriented site that tries to offer a fresh new look at how the game is played. The site has gained credibility with fans and media members alike for their unique grading system. Their system provide a new vantage point with which people can watch players on their favorite teams and also provides a rather level way to compare players at each position.
This season, PFF created an award for the highest graded player in their system, which would correspond to whom they considered the best player in football. They named their award: The Dwight Stephenson Award: PFF's Best Player in Football.
They delve into some explanation why they named their award after the former Dolphin Hall of Famer. Most MVP awards go to quarterbacks and running backs. That doesn't necessarily mean they are the ‘best' players however. Many times, players at less heralded positions have stellar seasons that are recognized and appreciated by stat gurus like PFF analysts, but go unnoticed by most fans and media sources. Dwight Stephenson is the epitome of that. They claim he was a player ‘out of time'; a transcendent player who may have revolutionized his position, had his career not been shortened by injury.
To those who may not know or didn't get a chance to watch him play, Dwight Stephenson, a native of North Carolina, was the Dolphins starting center from 1982 to 1987. He was drafted in the second round of the 1980 draft from the University of Alabama. Stephenson was voted to 5 straight Pro Bowls from 1983 to 1987 and named All Pro in each of those 5 seasons. His career was cut short thanks to a knee injury sustained in a game against the Jets (who else; one more reason to despise that franchise). Stephenson's greatness was such, that he was voted to the NFL Hall of Fame, despite a brief career. He is considered by many to be the greatest center of all time.
Profootballfocus will continue to offer great insight into the NFL with their grading system and analysis. And from this season forth, this respected and credible football website will christen the player they consider the best in football with the Dwight Stephenson Award. They will recognize current greatness by honoring it with former greatness; and the greatness they chose to employ came from the Miami Dolphins.