Big-play specialist Abram Elam has proven he can deliver the big hit on the field. He's also proven to be a big hit with everyone in the Jets organization.
Elam thanked reporters repeatedly today after being congratulated for receiving the 2008 Kyle Clifton Good Guy Award, as voted on by the Jets staff.
"I really appreciate it," said Elam. "Knowing that some people in the organization considered me and were thinking of me, it inspires me to continue to do what's right.
"I just enjoy my teammates and everyone here. I think we're a great family."
It's no coincidence that the recipient of the next award is someone whom Jets head coach Eric Mangini constantly cites when he talks about the Jets' core characteristics.
Jerricho Cotchery was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award as voted by teammates. Recipients of this award embody everything that is positive about professional athletes, serving as inspirations in their locker rooms and as role models in their communities.
"Jerricho works every single day exactly the same way," Mangini said, "and he's just such a consistent guy. He had a great off-season again this year and spent a lot of time focusing on things that he wanted to do better. He is very honest with himself in terms of what he needs to improve and then he puts together a plan to do those things. He follows up on the plan and it's consistent.
"He's just a real model of consistency and work ethic. He is a great example for all of the young guys, especially the young guys that are primarily focused on special teams right now, as to how your career can develop."
Cotchery also won the Marty Lyons Award in 2007 and the Kyle Clifton Award in 2006
Tony Richardson is the recipient of this year's Lyons award, presented to the player who gives from the heart through charity and community involvement.
"The commitment Tony has shown to his new community in his first year here with the Jets has been nothing short of spectacular," said Jesse Linder, the team's director of community relations. "Through the Be A Champion Disability Awareness Campaign, the Dictionary Project, and the Holiday Shopping Spree he funded for Generation Jets Academy, Tony has touched the lives of more people in one year than most do in a lifetime."
Richardson is renowned for paving the way for less fortunate individuals throughout his 14 years in the NFL. This year he has also been named as the Jets' Walter Payton Man of the Year.
"It's been a week of individual recognition and I think all of those things are fantastic," Mangini said in today's news conference, two days after the announcement that seven Jets were voted to the 2009 Pro Bowl.
"What I really like about being able to give out these awards and talking to the players is just hearing the things that they give back and how much they credit their teammates, how much they recognize that as much as these accomplishments are really a positive thing for them individually, it's a function of a collective effort."