When your NFL career kicks off with sacking one of the best quarterbacks in the game, you know you are off to a good start.
Check out the best photos of LB Bud Dupree.
That was just the case for rookie linebacker Bud Dupree who in his NFL debut against the New England Patriots sacked quarterback Tom Brady for his first NFL sack.
It was the culmination of what Dupree, the Steelers No. 1 pick in 2015, did this year that earned him the "Joe Greene Great Performance Award," presented by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America for him being the Steelers top rookie.
"It means a lot to win it," said Dupree. "I am just trying to follow in those footsteps and get better each and every day."
After kicking his career off with sacking Brady, Dupree followed that up Week 2 by sacking 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to become the first rookie to record a sack in back-to-back games since linebacker LaMarr Woodley did so in 2007 and the first NFL player to record at least one sack in each of his first two NFL games since 2013, and was the first Steelers player to do so since Kenny Davidson in 1990.
It was the beginning of what has turned out to be a strong rookie campaign for Dupree, even though he wanted more.
"It wasn't like I wanted it to be," said Dupree. "But I just have to keep showing progress and I will get where I want to be soon."
Dupree said the biggest step for him was working his way into the starting lineup at left outside linebacker, a role he first took over when the Steelers played Seattle on Nov. 29.
"Showing the coaches they can put me in the starting lineup was the biggest progress I made this year," said Dupree. "Earning their trust was key. It was a great feeling. Actually being able to go through that and make it happen. I was really happy when it happened."
With one week to play Dupree is tied with Woodley for third-most sacks by a Steelers rookie in a single season, a stat that became official in 1982. Dupree is also tied for fifth among NFL rookies with four sacks. He has a total of 24 tackles this season and one pass defense to go along with his sacks.
"Joe Greene Great Performance Award" Winners:
|1984||WR Louis Lipps||2000||FB Dan Kreider|
|1985||P Harry Newsome||2001||LB Kendrell Bell|
|1986||LB Anthony Henton||2002||OG Kendall Simmons|
|1987||CB Delton Hall||2003||S Troy Polamalu|
|1988||RB Warren Williams||2004||QB Ben Roethlisberger|
|1989||SS Carnell Lake||2005||TE Heath Miller|
|1990||TE Eric Green||2006||WR Santonio Holmes|
|1991||TE Adrian Cooper||2007||P Daniel Sepulveda|
|1992||FS Darren Perry||2008||LB Patrick Bailey|
|1993||LB Chad Brown||2009||WR Mike Wallace|
|1994||RB Bam Morris||2010||C Maurkice Pouncey|
|1995||QB Kordell Stewart||2011||OT Marcus Gilbert|
|1996||FB Jon Witman||2012|
OT Mike Adams
RB Le'Veon Bell