CLEVELAND (AP) - William Green, Cleveland's rookie running back who came out of nowhere to lead the Browns to the playoffs, has gotten his first award as a pro.
Green, who rushed for 178 yards and two TDs in a 24-16 win over Atlanta on Sunday, was named the Browns' player of the year by the Cleveland chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.
After a horribly slow start, Green rushed for 887 yards and six TDs. He gained 726 yards in his final seven games, averaging 24 attempts and 103.7 yards per game.
The Browns selected Green with the No. 16 overall pick in April's NFL draft, a decision that didn't look so good earlier this season as Green struggled.
But his emergence in the second half of the season is the biggest reason the Browns advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1994. Cleveland will face the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday in an AFC first-round game.
Green rushed for just 26 yards on 11 attempts in Cleveland's two losses to Pittsburgh in the regular season.
The PFWA also honored Browns cornerback Corey Fuller as winner of the Dino Lucarelli Good Guy Award, given to the player who cooperates with the media in good times and bad and upholds a high standard in the community and with his teammates.
Last year's winners were Jamir Miller (MVP) and Tim Couch (Good Guy).
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)