Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis, who helped the Panthers to a Super Bowl 50 appearance, has been selected as the 2016 Good Guy Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Davis, the 12th Good Guy Award winner, is the first member of the Panthers to receive the honor from the PFWA.
Other 2016 nominees for the Good Guy Award were Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell, Philadelphia Eagles tackle Lane Johnson, Denver Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware and Cincinnati Bengals tackle/NFLPA President Eric Winston.
The Good Guy Award is given to a NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs. The award was first given by the PFWA in 2005.
“Thomas Davis exudes professionalism not only on the field, but in the locker room dealing with reporters,” said ESPN.com’s David Newton. “He’s candid and honest. He says what he thinks. He doesn’t hide behind clichés or sugar-coated responses when discussing something that might be construed as controversial. He also doesn’t respond to topics that may be controversial in a disrespectful or outlandish way. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Davis started all 16 games in 2015, registering 123 tackles (92 solo), a career-high 5.5 sacks and four interceptions to go with four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and seven passes defensed as the Panthers finished 15-1 and earned the NFC’s No. 1 seed. He was the only player in the NFL in 2015 with five or more sacks and three or more interceptions, and he was selected to the PFWA’s All-NFC team.
Davis added 20 tackles, including one pass defense in three postseason games, including Super Bowl 50 (seven tackles) against Denver.
“Davis tackles questions the same way he does ball-carriers – direct and to the point,” said Joe Person, who covers the Panthers for the Charlotte Observer. “Davis is the Panthers’ longest-tenured player, so he’s a great guy to talk to for context. He’s seen it all during more than a decade in the league, and he is not afraid to speak his mind on topics he feels strongly about.”
ABOUT THE PFWA: The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis. Jeff Legwold, who covers the Denver Broncos for ESPN.com, is the organization’s president for 2015-17, while Bleacher Report national columnist Dan Pompei is the PFWA’s first vice-president and ESPN’s Jim Trotter is the organization’s second vice-president. Follow the PFWA at ProFootballWriters.org and on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.
GOOD GUY AWARD WINNERS (To a NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job): 2005 – Jerome Bettis (Pittsburgh Steelers); 2006 – Tiki Barber (New York Giants); 2007 – LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers); 2008 – Brett Favre (Green Bay Packers); 2009 – Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals); 2010 – Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints); 2011 – Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers); 2012 – Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos); 2013 – Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons); 2014 – Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks); 2015 – Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks); 2016 – Thomas Davis (Carolina Panthers).