Micah Parsons probably has Defensive Rookie of the Year award in the bag already. What about Defensive Player of the Year, too? Is that a possibility? — MIKE S / DALLAS, TX
Rob: It's rare for a rookie to win DPOY — Lawrence Taylor is the first and only player to do it — but it's definitely possible. Nine of the last 10 years, the award has gone to either a pass rusher or a linebacker. Well, Parsons is both, and his 10 sacks almost feel like 20 right now because he's only rushing part time. Myles Garrett is probably getting the most buzz in Cleveland, but hey, there are five games left for Parsons (and for Trevon Diggs, too, by the way) to make a strong impression in the voting.
David: As recently as a month ago, I'd have said no way - but the guy just keeps showing up. Unfortunately, I think there are a few things working against him. First, he's a rookie. Second, he's likely going to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, which might make voters reluctant to give him two different awards. Finally, he's got some competition from his own teammate, Trevon Diggs, that might affect his vote totals. Because of all that, I still doubt he wins it. But he's definitely deserving of consideration.
If I'm not mistaken, I thought I saw Will McClay on the sideline with a headset on during the game against the Saints. I've never noticed that before. Is it normal for the VP of Player Personnel to have a sideline role like that during games? If so, what does he typically do? — JAMES MITCHELL / INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Rob: Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn explained after the game that McClay normally charts things for him during the game (personnel packages, etc.) but moved to the sideline last Thursday night because Quinn did. With Mike McCarthy and a few assistants in COVID protocol, it was an all-hands-on-deck kind of game. Credit the team for finding a way to get it done even though it wasn't always pretty.
David: Will moved to the sideline because of COVID protocols, but he does do that job in the booth every week. I think a lot of people would be surprised by how many members of the organization wear a lot of hats on game day — even the really important ones.