Jan. 18, 2005
The National Football League announced the five finalists for the 2004 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR award.
Click here to vote for Boulware.
Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com or SuperBowl.com from January 7 through January 31 to determine the 2004 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR.
The winner will be presented the 2004 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR award during a press conference in Jacksonville, the site of Super Bowl XXXIX, on Thursday, February 3, 2005.
The five finalists were selected after tabulating this season’s fan voting. Each week, five nominees were chosen and NFL fans voted for the winner on NFL.com.
Following is a closer look at the five 2004 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR finalists:
Michael Boulware (Seattle Seahawks) – Boulware tied for second on the team and third in the NFC in interceptions with a club rookie record of five. Two of his interceptions sealed wins for the Seahawks. Against Miami in Week 11, Boulware returned an interception 63 yards for the game-winning touchdown in the final minute. Three weeks later, he made a diving interception in the corner of the endzone against Minnesota to preserve a Seahawks’ win with 2:09 remaining. Boulware finished the season with 63 tackles and one sack. He was nominated for Pepsi Rookie of the Week five times.
MICHAEL CLAYTON (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Clayton led all rookies with 80 receptions and 1,193 receiving yards, and added seven touchdown catches, setting club rookie records in all three categories. Clayton became just the 14th rookie in NFL history to reach the 1,000-yard receiving plateau. He was nominated for Pepsi Rookie of the Week five times, winning the award in Week 14. KEVIN JONES (Detroit Lions): Jones led all rookie running backs with 1,133 rushing yards on 241 carries, joining Barry Sanders and Billy Sims as the only rookies in club history to surpass 1,000 yards. He recorded four 100-yard rushing games, including two 150-yard games, and scored six touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving). Jones finished the season with 825 yards in his final seven games, the most of any NFL running back in that span. He was nominated for Pepsi Rookie of the Week five times.
BEN ROETHLISBERGER (Pittsburgh Steelers): Roethlisberger won all 13 of his starts in 2005, leading all rookie quarterbacks with 2,621 passing yards and 17 touchdown passes. He posted a passer rating of 98.1, fifth among all NFL quarterbacks, and led the Steelers to a 15-1 record and the top seed in the AFC playoffs. In leading his team to back-to-back wins over the defending-champion New England Patriots and the NFC’s top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles in Weeks 8 and 9, Roethlisberger recorded passer ratings of 126.4 and 109.3 respectively, throwing two touchdown passes in each game. He was nominated for Pepsi Rookie of the Week nine times, winning the award every week he was nominated.
JONATHAN VILMA (New York Jets): Vilma finished second on the Jets with 116 tackles and added two sacks, three interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In Week 12 against Arizona, Vilma had one of his best games of the season, recording 10 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in the Jets’ win. In Week 17 against St. Louis, Vilma scored his first career touchdown, returning an interception 38 yards for a score. He was nominated for Pepsi Rookie of the Week two times.
This is Pepsi’s third year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL.