FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Ed Block Courage Award. The honor is voted on by teammates and bestowed annually upon the player who best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship while also serving as a source of inspiration. Brady and award winners from the 31 other NFL teams will be honored at the 31st Annual Ed Block Courage Awards Banquet in Baltimore in March.
Brady, 32, made 128 consecutive starts (including playoff games) from 2001-2008 prior to being injured in the first quarter of the Patriots' 2008 season opener. The 10-year veteran was coming off a 2007 season in which he was voted the Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player after guiding the Patriots to the NFL's only 16-win season and another conference championship while breaking many league and franchise passing records. Brady completed seven of his first 11 passes in the first 7:33 of the season opener against Kansas City on Sept. 7, 2008 before suffering a severe injury to his left knee that ended his season. Brady was placed on injured reserve two days later.
The San Mateo, Calif. native returned to the Patriots lineup in 2009 and has helped lead the Patriots to an AFC East division championship, the seventh in Brady's eight years as a starter. Brady led the Patriots to a thrilling come-from-behind victory Week 1 over the Buffalo Bills and was named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week for his 378-yard, 2-touchdown passing performance. With one game remaining in the 2009 season, Brady has already recorded the second-best passing totals of his career with 4,212 yards, 28 touchdowns (tied) and a 65.7 completion percentage (354 of 539). During the 2009 season, the two-time Super Bowl MVP became the Patriots all-time passing leader and posted a franchise record third season with over 4,000 passing yards.
On Tuesday, Brady learned that he had earned Pro Bowl honors for the fifth time in his career and today was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his near perfect passing performance (23 of 26, 267 yards and 4 touchdowns) in a Week 16 division-clinching 35-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. It is the third such weekly honor he has earned this season. Brady was also named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month in October after setting an NFL record for touchdown passes in a quarter, throwing five of his six touchdowns in the second quarter of a Week 6 game against the Titans.
The Ed Block Courage Award is named after Ed Block, a long-time head trainer for the Baltimore Colts and a respected humanitarian dedicated to helping children. Recipients are often players who have overcome devastating injuries or tragedies in their personal lives to return to top-level competition in the NFL.
Officially formulated in 1986, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that is sanctioned by the NFL and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS). The Foundation is committed to heightening awareness of the plight of abused children in cities throughout the league. Proceeds from the annual Courage Awards event benefit the Foundation's Courage House National Support Network For Kids.