New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy and New York Jets tackle Sheldon Richardson were named the Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, respectively, for the 2013 season in voting conducted by the Associated Press.
Lacy, a second-round draft pick out of Alabama, rushed for 1,178 yards on 284 carries with 11 touchdowns. He also had 35 receptions for 257 yards and was a key to helping the Packers weather the storm when star quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury in the middle of the season.
"We knew it was going to difficult, but we still wanted to win. We went out every game and gave it our best shot," said Lacy, whose team made the playoffs before losing to San Francisco in the wild card round.
Richardson, a first-round selection from Missouri, had 3 1/2 sacks while playing in all 16 games (15 starts) for the Jets. He compiled 42 tackles.
Lacy received 35 votes to outdistance San Diego wide receiver Keenan Allen (12), while Richardson got 23 tallies to edge Buffalo linebacker Kiko Alonso (19).
"I was surprised, Kiko, (Arizona Cardinals DB) and Tyrann (Mathieu) had great outstanding rookie years. It was a toss up to me, it was tight. Kiko had a lot of tackles, Tyrann made a lot of plays down the field during the stretch, unfortunately he got hurt. Most definitely, it was a tight race."