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Teammates Vote Charles and Berry as Award Recipients

Posted Feb 10, 2011

Jamaal Charles earns his second consecutive Derrick Thomas MVP Award, while Eric Berry is named the 2010 Mack Lee Hill Award winner

In a week where the Chiefs needed him most, Jamaal Charles made the type of run that has defined his young NFL career.

Charles was handed the ball in the backfield, cut off right tackle and used a burst of speed to run smack through the middle of the Rams secondary. It was the longest run of Charles’ NFL career, 80 yards.

The damage was already done before Ron Bartell could close his pursuit angle. Charles’ 80-yarder set Thomas Jones for a two-yard TD plunge on the next snap that iced victory in St. Louis.

Charles helped Kansas City answer its most disappointing performance of the season – a 31-0 whitewashing in San Diego – with a critical December road victory. The surging Chargers were kept in second place for another week and eliminated from postseason competition just seven days later.

Seven weeks before Kansas City regained possession of the Governor’s Cup, a winless Buffalo team was giving the Chiefs all they could handle on a frustrating Halloween at Arrowhead. With the game tied 10-10 and less than a minute to play, Buffalo crossed mid-field and looked destined for a last-second field goal try.

When the ball reached Kansas City’s 41-yard line, rookie Eric Berry stepped up with an interception that ensured an extra period. Buffalo’s first win would have to wait as Kansas City went on to churn out a 13-10 victory on the final play of the fifth quarter.

Charles’ 80-yard run and Berry’s late-game INT were pivotal moments in the AFC West crown returning to Kansas City. Both players delivered at critical times throughout the 2010 season and earned Pro Bowl recognition for their efforts.

As a reward for their game-changing performances, teammates voted Charles and Berry the recipients of two prestigious team awards.

Charles was named the club’s Derrick Thomas Award (MVP) winner for the second straight season, while Berry earned the team’s Mack Lee Hill Award (Rookie of the Year).

The Derrick Thomas Award is the latest installment on a mantle full of hardware for Charles. After finishing second in the NFL with 1,935 yards from scrimmage and falling just short of Jim Brown’s NFL record for yards per carry (two-hundredths of a yard), Charles earned first-team All-Pro honors from Pro Football Weekly/PFWA and the Associated Press as well as the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year Award.

He now becomes the fourth player in franchise history to win MVP honors in back-to-back seasons, joining Priest Holmes (2001-02), Trent Green (2003-04) and Larry Johnson (2005-06). No player has ever won the award three times.

As the 2010 Mack Lee Hill Award winner, Berry joins a long list of revered Chiefs that have won the rookie honor.

The first-round pick recorded a team-high four INTs last season and finished second on the team with 126 tackles to become the first Chiefs rookie since Derrick Thomas to earn a Pro Bowl invitation. He was also the first rookie to lead the team in INTs since Dale Carter (’92) and earned NFL All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly/PFWA and The Sporting News.

Both awards will be presented at the 41st annual 101 Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 5th at the Westin Crown Center. Head Coach Todd Haley will receive the 101 AFC Coach of the Year Award that evening as well. In addition, Clay Matthews, Troy Polamalu, Michael Vick, Tom Brady and Mike Smith will be recognized as 101 Award winners during the event.

Tickets and sponsorships to the 101 Banquet are available by calling Premier Sports Management at (913) 681-6990.

Derrick Thomas Award

For the past 29 years, the Chiefs have upheld the tradition of selecting the club’s most valuable player. Named in honor of the late Derrick Thomas, the Chiefs custom is especially meaningful for its recipients because it is selected by a vote of its peers. Thomas was the heart and soul of the Kansas City defense from 1989-99 and will always be regarded as one of the best linebackers to ever play the game.

1979 S Gary Barbaro 1995 RB Marcus Allen
1980 DE Art Still 1996 S Mark Collins
1981 RB Joe Delaney 1997 WR Andre Rison
1982 CB Gary Green 1998 G/T Glenn Parker
1983 QB Bill Kenney 1999 LB Marvcus Patton
1984 DE Art Still 2000 WR Derrick Alexander
1985 S Lloyd Burruss 2001 RB Priest Holmes
1986 CB Albert Lewis 2002 RB Priest Holmes
1987 WR Carlos Carson 2003 QB Trent Green
1988 S Deron Cherry 2004 QB Trent Green
1989 RB Christian Okoye 2005 RB Larry Johnson
1990 QB Steve DeBerg 2006 RB Larry Johnson
1991 LB Derrick Thomas 2007 DE Jared Allen
1992 DE Neil Smith 2008 TE Tony Gonzalez
1993 RB Marcus Allen 2009 RB Jamaal Charles
1994 LB Derrick Thomas 2010 RB Jamaal Charles

Mack Lee Hill Award

Each year since 1966, Chiefs players have selected a recipient for the Mack Lee Hill Award. It is a tribute to the late Mack Lee Hill, a great running back who played as much with his heart as he did his driving legs. The award is presented annually to the Chiefs rookie or first year player who, as the inscription on the trophy reads - “best exemplifies the spirit of the late Mack Lee Hill … the man with the giant heart and the quiet way.”

1966 RB Mike Garrett 1989 LB Derrick Thomas
1967 K Jan Stenerud 1990 LB Percy Snow
1968 RB Robert Holmes 1991 LB Tracy Simien
1969 CB Jim Marsalis 1992 WR Willie Davis
1970 C Jack Rudnay 1993 G Will Shields
1971 WR Elmo Wright 1994 WR Lake Dawson
1972 WR Larry Marshall 1995 WR Tamarick Vanover
1973 TE Gary Butler 1996 S Reggie Tongue
1974 RB Woody Green 1997 TE Tony Gonzalez
1975 TE Walter White 1998 T Victor Riley
1976 S Gary Barbaro 1999 LB Mike Maslowski
1977 CB Gary Green 2000 S Greg Wesley
1978 NT Don Parrish 2001 DT Eric Downing
1979 P Bob Grupp 2002 LB Scott Fujita
1980 CB Eric Harris 2003 LB Kawika Mitchell
1981 S Lloyd Burruss
DE Jimmy Wilkerson
1982 C Les Studdard 2004 DE Jared Allen
1983 T David Lutz 2005 LB Derrick Johnson
1984 CB Kevin Ross 2006 DE Tamba Hali
1985 RB Jeff Smith 2007 WR Dwayne Bowe
1986 LB Dino Hackett 2008 CB Maurice Leggett
1987 RB Christian Okoye 2009 K Ryan Succop
1988 RB James Saxon 2010 S Eric Berry
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