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Awards Season At Redskins Park

Posted by Matt Terl on December 30, 2010 – 12:14 pm

In the NFL, the big individual honor is a berth in the Pro Bowl; those were announced a couple of days ago, and the one Redskins player who’s definitely going already knows it. The big team honor, of course, is a division title, and the Redskins were eliminated from contention for that weeks ago.

Which is not to say that there are no honors left to be bestowed here. In fact, two separate awards were handed out today.

First up: Lorenzo Alexander was selected as the Redskins’ Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year. Every team names one; three finalists are invited to the Super Bowl, and one of them is named as the overall winner. The award honors off-the-field-community service as well as on-field excellence; London Fletcher was the Redskins’ recipient last year and became one of the three finalists.

If you just search for Lorenzo Alexander on this blog, it immediately becomes clear how much he deserves this award. The titles of the posts more or less alternate between “Alexander does something nice in the community” and “Alexander levels some guy on special teams and is praised by the coaches.”

The other award is a bit less august but no less serious: the annual Good Guy award from the local media.

The Good Guy Award is annually given, according to the plaque that hangs in the locker room, “”To The Washington Redskins Player Who Has Best Helped The Media Do Its Job.” You can read about the history and background of the award here, but basically if you can find a player who consistently talked to the media, especially one who talked when things went bad, and double especially if it was someone who talked after he himself made a mistake … well, that’s probably going to be your Good Guy Award Winner.

This year, the award went to Carlos Rogers, and it’s not hard to see why. Rogers made sure he was available every week, yes, and he’s done that for most of his career, too. But I have to believe that the main reason he won is something I covered in this post, “Carlos Rogers Is Frustrated With His Hands”. Or this one, “Carlos Rogers Discusses His Hands. Again.”

As every Redskins fan knows, Rogers has one major knock against him as a cornerback: he can’t seem to catch interceptions. There are guys who would refuse to talk about something like that, and even more guys who would dismissively brush off questions about it. Rogers has patiently answered them, ruefully laughed at the jokes, given the matter honest consideration … and then done it all again two weeks later. So, yeah, it’s safe to say that he deserved this award as well.

It’s probably worth mentioning, given that Rogers is a free agent after this season, that two previous cornerbacks have won this award. Fred Smoot wound up in Minnesota the next year, and Champ Bailey lasted one full season before being shipped to Denver to join Mike Shanahan. So if you believe in that sort of thing, this might not be the best sign for Rogers’ return next year. Rogers was asked about a potential return (although not in the context of Good Guy winners leaving) and sounded eager to stay if somewhat noncomittal. “Hopefully I’ll be back, but you know how negotiations go,” Rogers said, and later added, “I like the city, I like the players. Being around these guys — like I said, six years, man. I don’t want to move — but being here around these guys, the players, the closeness we have with this defense … I feel that even though it hasn’t shown on the field, I feel in games we’ve been there. We’ve shown that we can fight, we’ve shown that we can games, and we’ve shown that we are going in the right direction. But it’s still gonna take time.”

Twitpic of the plaque via Grant Paulsen.

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