The Bengal “Gabbies” are handed out at the conclusion of the season in recognition of those individuals that made outstanding contributions to the Bengals’ season. Next up is the Lamar Parrish Gabbie, awarded to the most valuable defensive player.
- Cornerback Leon Hall: Hall played solidly at corner for the Bengals all year, recording 6 interceptions with 47 yards in returns. Hall also had 24 passes defensed, 71 total tackles, and two forced fumbles.
- Cornerback Johnathan Joseph: Playing opposite Hall, Joseph also hauled in 6 interceptions, with 92 yards in returns including a return for a touchdown against the Steelers. In addition, Hall finished with 69 total tackles, and one forced fumble.
- Defensive End Jonathan Fanene: Pressed into a starting role with the injury to Antwan Odom in week six, Fanene provided the Bengals with needed stability and durability at the defensive end position. He finished with six sacks, 36 total tackles, and one interception, which he returned 45 yards for a touchdown versus Detroit.
And the winner is:
Middle Linebacker Dhani Jones
As the leader of the defense, and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s “Coach on the field,” Jones played an integral role in the Bengals moving all the way up to fourth in the league in total defense in 2009.
Jones started all 17 games for the Bengals, and finished with 113 total tackles, 3 passes defensed, one forced fumble, and a career-high 3.5 sacks. Most importantly, Jones provided stability in the middle of the Bengal defense, becoming the first player to start the season at MLB in two consecutive seasons during Marvin Lewis’ tenure as head coach. After the failed attempts with Kevin Hardy, Nate Webster, Odell Thurman, and Ahmad Brooks, Jones brought stability, durability, smarts, and veteran leadership to the defense.
As the season wore on, the defense was repeatedly asked to keep the Bengals in games as their offense struggled; and they did just that, even with devastating injuries to key players along the way, like Antwan Odom, Domata Peko, Roy Williams, and Chris Crocker. Dhani Jones was instrumental in keeping the unit together, properly aligned and staying focused all year.
It’s clear that Jones is a “Renaissance Man” of sorts, and he has multiple career options after football. He has interviewed players and community leaders alike in his “In the Zone” segments on Bengals Weekly with Marvin Lewis, has his show on the Travel Channel, Dhani Jones Tackles The Globe, and recently starred in a series of commercials for Febreze® fresheners. Nonetheless, his performance in 2009 on his “day job” was outstanding, and was perhaps the most critical component to the success of the Bengal defense.
Congratulations Dhani Jones, the 2009 Bengals Gab Lemar Parrish Award winner!
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About Lemar Parrish: The Bengals Gab defensive MVP award is named after all-time great DB Lemar Parrish. A seventh-round pick of the Bengals from Lincoln University of Missouri, Parrish played in Cincinnati from 1970 to 1977 before finishing his career with the Redskins (‘78-‘81)and Bills (1982). All told, Parrish recorded 47 interceptions, 2,709 yards in returns, and 13 touchdowns. Parrish was selected to the Pro Bowl 8 times, was a three-time AP first team All-Pro, and twice named AP second-team All-Pro.
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