Luke Kuechly wins 2013 Defensive Player of the Year award

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers middle linebacker overcame some stiff competition to win the NFL defensive player of the year award.

Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly has won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award for leading one the league's best defensive units while putting up another solid statistical season.

It's the second major award for Kuechly in as many years after the second-year linebacker secured the NFL defensive rookie of the year award for leading the league in tackles in his first season. It was a surprise win for Kuechly, who was up against sack leader Robert Quinn.

Kuechly finished with 156 tackles, four interceptions and a career-high 2.0 sacks after being used in a different capacity. He was given the opportunity to rush the passer more, and he showed an ability to fight through offensive linemen at the point of attack.

He is quickly becoming one of the more storied linebackers in NFL history. Kuechly joins Lawrence Taylor as the only player to win defensive rookie of the year and follow it up with defensive player of the year.

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