Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan honoured by Pro Football Writers of America

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  • Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan honoured by Pro Football Writers of America

Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan honoured by Pro Football Writers of America

On Monday 2 May, 2011, the Pro Football Writers of America honoured New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Ryan won the Horrigan Award for being the non-player that helped the media in doing their job the best in 2010. The coach made headlines almost every week, from trash talking other teams to predicting the Jets winning the Super Bowl. Ryan is known for creating controversy in almost everything he says and has annoyed fans, the media and opposing teams with his rash and usually outrageous comments. However, he says simply that "I’m not embarrassed to say what I believe in.”

The Jack Horrigan Memorial Award is named after Jack Horrigan, who was a sportswriter for the American Football League (AFL) before the National Football League (NFL) and AFL merged to form the current NFL system. The award is given every year by the Pro Football Writers to a non-player "for his or her professionalism in helping football writers do their job." Horrigan was the inventor of the current passer rating system, which allows players to be compared from every era.

Rodgers won the Good Guy Award which is given to the player that made the media’s job a lot easier, working with them on their requests for interviews and giving them the information that they requested.

This is the fourth straight year that a quarterback has won the award and is the second straight year that the Super Bowl champion team’s quarterback was the winner. Rodgers won this year after being named Super Bowl MVP and leading the Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. In Super Bowl XLIV last year, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts and Saints quarterback Drew Brees was named Super Bowl MVP and then won the Good Guy Award.

Before Brees, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner won the award in 2009 and Packers quarterback Brett Favre won the award in 2008 before he joined the Jets later that year. Pittsburgh Steelers runningback Jerome “The Bus” Bettis won the award in 2004 and New York Giants runningback Tiki Barber won it in 2005. Before then, LaDainian Tomlinson won the award while a runningback for the San Diego Chargers in 2006.

Mike Heimerdinger, offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, was honoured with the George S. Halas Courage Award for “overcoming adversity.” He was diagnosed with cancer last season and continued to work without missing a single game. The award is presented annually to “the player or coach who has performed with abandon despite injury or personal problems.”