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Teammates select Jon McGraw as Chiefs Ed Block Courage Award winner

Posted Nov 4, 2011

McGraw's leadership qualities stand out to teammates

Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt announced Friday that veteran safety Jon McGraw is the recipient of the club’s 2011 Ed Block Courage Award.

The Ed Block Courage Award has annually honored one player from every NFL team who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.

McGraw was selected by a vote of his teammates.

“It’s a tremendous honor and something that I’m very proud of,” McGraw said. “The award is part of a tremendous organization that has a long line of special players and special human beings that have been recognized through it.”

Named in honor of longtime Colts athletic trainer Ed Block, the Ed Block Courage Award has been known as one of the NFL’s most prestigious honors since 1983.

Teammate Kendrick Lewis said that McGraw’s leadership and toughness made him an absolute choice for the honor.

“He’s a well-mannered and well-respected guy,” Lewis said. “He’s very humble and doesn’t have a big head. As we came in as rookies, I had heard stories about when you’re competing with a guy for the job, he might not look out for you.

“It wasn’t that way with Jon. From the moment we got here, me, Eric (Berry) and Javier (Arenas), Jon has just been a helping hand and it’s turned out great for each one of us.”

McGraw has continually displayed toughness throughout his 10-year career, competing in 118 games (31 starts) and recording 298 tackles (216 solo), nine interceptions, 22 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

He has also amassed 107 special teams tackles.

Lewis says that he’s continued to seek advice from McGraw even since becoming a regular starter.

“For me, Jon has been a mentor,” Lewis said. “He’s been a leader and a guy that you can get advice from whenever and wherever. He’s been a helping hand from the moment I stepped foot in this locker room.”

“It’s always fun watching a player develop, especially guys with so much talent and so much desire to work hard and do the right thing,” added McGraw. “I’ve just tried to do my best to show them what it takes to be a pro and to be consistent every day. These guys have taken it and ran with it, and really done a great job.”

McGraw and the NFL’s other 31 Ed Block Courage Award winners will be honored at the 34th annual Courage Award Banquet in Baltimore on March 13, 2012.

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