Undated (incnow.tv)- Maxwell Football Club President, Ron Jaworski, announced that Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings has been selected as the winner of the 54th Bert Bell Professional Player of the Year Award, and also announced that tandem of Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians of the Indianapolis Colts, have been selected as the winner of the 24th Greasy Neale Professional Coach of the Year Award.
Peterson returned in 2012 from a major knee injury to record one of the most prolific rushing seasons in NFL history. After tearing the ACL and MCL ligaments in his left knee just eight months before the start of the 2012 season, Peterson started every game for the Vikings and rushed for 2,097 yards which ranks as the second-most in a single season and just nine yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s single-season NFL record.
In addition to leading the league in rushing, Peterson also led the NFL with 2,314 total yards from scrimmage. His 12 rushing touchdowns and 13 total touchdowns both finished third in the league. Peterson rushed for more than 100 yards in 10 games, including two games where he rushed for over 200 yards, and tied Earl Campbell’s NFL record of seven games with 150 or more yards rushing in a single season. His season also included seven runs of 50 or more yards, tying Barry Sanders single-season record. From Week Seven to Week 15, Peterson gained 1,313 yards in eight games, the most over any eight-game span in NFL history.
Peterson’s play also guided the Vikings to a seven-game improvement in 2012. Following a 3-13 season in 2011, the Vikings finished second in the NFC North with a record of 10-6. The 10-6 season, which included four consecutive wins to end the regular season, gave the Vikings their first winning season and first playoff appearance since 2009.
Peterson earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection for his performance and was a unanimous choice for his third First Team All-Pro selection. Among the other accolades that Peterson garnered for his performance in 2012 included being named a FedEx Ground Player of the Year Finalist and the Vikings offensive team MVP for the third time. In recognition of his remarkable return to the gridiron, Peterson was also chosen as the Vikings’ Ed Block Courage Award Winner by his teammates. He was also selected as the Maxwell Football Club’s Bert Bell Award winner in 2008.
Peterson was a three-time First Team All-Big 12 honoree and a First-Team All-American in 2004 at Oklahoma University. Selected as the seventh overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Vikings, he was named the Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowl MVP in his first season. Peterson has led the NFL in rushing yards twice during his career and ran for an NFL-record 296 yards in his rookie year of 2007. After only six seasons with the Vikings, Peterson holds numerous team rushing records including rushing yards in a single season, career rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.
Off-the-field, Peterson established the All Day Foundation in 2008 with the mission to raise awareness and funds for programs that inspire hope and build a better future for at-risk children. He has also taken two mission trips to Africa in 2010 and 2011, working with Starkey Hearing to provide hearing aids for disadvantaged children and adults.
In their first season in Indianapolis, Head Coach Chuck Pagano and Offensive Coordinator/Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians guided the Colts through difficult circumstances to an 11-5 record and a playoff appearance.
Pagano, who was named the team’s head coach on January 25, 2012, was on the sidelines for the Colts’ first three games of the 2012 season before announcing in September of 2012 that he had been diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. Pagano also announced he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the team, a period in which he underwent three rounds of chemotherapy to fight off the cancer.
During Pagano’s absence, the Colts organization was inspired by his fight and showed their support by beginning a campaign called “CHUCKSTRONG.” In addition to showing their support for Pagano and his family, the purpose of the campaign was to raise money for leukemia research. About 30 players and coaches and two cheerleaders shaved their heads while Pagano underwent treatment.
During the emotional period for the Colts organization, Bruce Arians took over as the team’s interim head coach. The Colts went 9-3 with Arians at the helm, earning a playoff berth with a Week 16 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Pagano returned to the team on December 24 after a three-month absence and took the field as head coach of the Colts for their regular season-ending victory and first round playoff matchup. Together, Pagano and Arians led a Colts’ turnaround that included a 9-game improvement over the team’s league-worst 2-14 record in 2011.
The formal presentation of the 54th Bert Bell Award and the 24th Greasy Neale Award will take place at the Maxwell Football Club National Awards Gala which will be held on Friday March 1, 2013 at the Harrah’s Atlantic City Resort. Other awards presented at the event include; The Maxwell Award (Outstanding Collegiate Player of the Year) Manti Te’o – Notre Dame, The Chuck Bednarik Award (Collegiate Defensive Player of the Year) Manti Te’o – Notre Dame, The Francis “Reds” Bagnell Award (Contributions to Football) Ozzie Newsome – Baltimore Ravens, MFC Collegiate Coach of the Year Award (Outstanding College Coach) Bill O’Brien – Penn State, The Brian Westbrook Tri-State Player of the Year – Khaseem Greene – Rutgers University, The MFC Tri-State Coach of the Year – Isaac Collins – formerly of Widener University, and the Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award which will be presented to 31 Penn State senior football players.
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