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Ed Block Courage Award Foundation special awards announced

BALTIMORE (Jan. 17, 2007) -- The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation announced the names of special awards that will be presented at 29th Annual Ed Block Courage Awards on March 20 at Martin's West.

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan has been named the Assistant Coach of the Year by Pro Football Weekly Magazine. Hub Arkush, Senior Editor of Pro Football Weekly is scheduled to be in Baltimore to present the award to Coach Ryan during the 29th Annual Ed Block Courage Awards. Rex led the Baltimore Ravens to the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL. The Ravens notched 60 sacks in the season, second most in the league, and four members were named to the Pro Bowl. Rex is the son of former Eagles and Cardinals head coach Buddy Ryan and his brother, Rob, is the Oakland Raiders' defensive coordinator.

The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Association (PFATS) has announced that the Athletic Training Staff of the Year is the Miami Dolphins. Head athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill; assistant athletic trainer Troy Mauer; and director of rehabilitation/assistant athletic trainer Ben Westby will be presented their awards during the Annual Ed Block Courage Awards banquet.

Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap will be participating as this year's Courage Captain and will play a major role during the events of the 29th Annual Ed Block Courage Awards.

Some notable recipients that will be presented the Courage Award at the annual banquet this year are Deuce McAllister, New Orleans Saints; Rex Grossman, Chicago Bears; Rodney Harrison, New England Patriots; and Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts. All of these Courage Award Recipients will be playing this weekend in the AFC and NFC championship games.

The recipients were selected by their teammates for displaying a commitment to the principles of courage and sportsmanship, while serving as inspirations in their locker rooms. The accolade has become one of the most esteemed honors bestowed upon a player in the NFL, especially since the recipient is selected by his peers. Recipients are often players who have overcome devastating injuries or tragedies in their personal lives and returned to the top level of competition that is the NFL.

The Courage Award is named after Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. The Foundation's efforts are endorsed by the NFL and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS). The inaugural Ed Block Courage Award was presented in 1978 to Baltimore Colts defensive end Joe Ehrmann. Following the Colts departure from Baltimore in 1984, the scope of the Award expanded to include one player from every team in the NFL.

For more than 28 years, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation has celebrated the courageous efforts of players in the NFL while raising the nation's awareness of the plight of abused children in NFL communities. Through the Foundation's Courage House National Support Network for Kids, the organization has helped Courage Houses improve the lives of abused children across America. Named after the NFL team in a respective city, a Courage House is a facility that provides support and quality care for abused children in that community. Currently, more than 50-percent of the teams in the NFL support a Courage House. That group includes: Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Dallas, Baltimore, Oakland, New York (Giants), Seattle, Carolina, Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Buffalo, San Francisco and Minnesota. A new Courage House will be dedicated at this year's event. The Green Bay Packers Courage House has been selected for inclusion in the Courage House National Support Network for Kids.

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