Around the time Washington fell to 3-6, the media began to wonder who in the locker room would change.
When the team struggled, beat reporters knew they could trust at least two players to provide consistent, honest answers to their questions.
Wide receiver Santana Moss and fullback Darrel Young stood out. On Friday, they were recognized for their professionalism with the Redskins Media Good Guy Award.
Each received eight votes according to ESPN NFL Nation reporter John Keim, who has covered the team since 1994.
“When you have a bad game or you have a tough game and the team is in a bad spot, are you available? Those guys always were,” Keim said.
“A lot of the guys in this locker room were, but those two have been very good with that for a few years.”
Keim announced the winners to all the players during the league-mandated open locker room period. The reporter told the players he appreciated their courtesy with the press in the midst of a 3-12 campaign.
“When you’re in a bad season like this, it’s helpful to have a good locker room because it helps us do our jobs,” Keim said.
“It’s not fun to ask these questions. It’s not fun to answer them, but most of those guys have stayed very professional.”
Moss and Young had their names inscribed on a plaque that reads, “To the Washington Redskins Player Who Has Best Helped The Media Do Its Job.”
“There’s a million different ways to interpret that, but I think the best way to look at it is in good times, bad times, win or lose, a guy who will always stand up and answer the questions,” said Associated Press reporter Joseph White, who has covered the Redskins since 1995.
“You can’t pick two better guys than that.”
This marks the third time since 2002 two players have shared the award. Moss was honored with Philip Daniels in 2006. London Fletcher and Jason Campbell were each recognized in 2007.
With a communications degree from Villanova, Young said his education prepared him to tailor his message with the media while remaining frank.
Washington has lost seven games in a row, which can make his responsibilities with the media monotonous.
“It is hard because it’s the same thing every week, ‘Hey, next week we’ve gotta be better,’” Young said. “The most important thing is just addressing and letting people see we know we have a problem right now. We know we’re 3-12.
“Be smart about what you say. Be careful, but you have to talk to about it because people respect you more when you do.”
The Redskins Media Good Guy Award
2002: Champ Bailey
2003: Champ Bailey
2004: Fred Smoot
2005 Renaldo Wynn
2006: Phillip Daniels & Santana Moss
2007: London Fletcher & Jason Campbell
2008: Pete Kendall
2009: Andre Carter
2010: Carlos Rogers
2011: Lorenzo Alexander
2012: Lorenzo Alexander
2013: Santana Moss & Darrel Young
Tags: Darrel Young, Redskins Media Good Guy Award, Santana Moss
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