On the same day that Oregon named Don Pellum their new Defensive Coordinator the National Football League also had some news to share. Kiko Alonso, a pupil of Pellum was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. For the Buffalo Bills this season the former Oregon Linebacker was stellar with 159 tackles, including 22 in one game against the Cleveland Browns in 2013. The Rookie also had 59 assists, including two sacks and four interceptions.
Alonso was also the fan choice to be a player in the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii later this month, but did not make the cut with just the fans vote alone. Amazing considering that through the first six games of his career he had 66 tackles, which led the NFL and was tied for the lead at the time with four interceptions. Toward the end of the season Alonso was getting comparisions to Carolina Panthers Linebacker Luke Kuechly.
In the NFL sometimes you only get one chance to make a good impression. For Kiko Alonso it was a good one and he will likely be a cornerstone of the Buffalo Bills Defense for years to come. In looking ahead Carolina and Buffalo to not cross paths for the upcoming 2014 season. The only way the two would meet next year is in the Super Bowl, or possibly in the preseason – which is a matchup we can hope for.