Bill Belichick: Marcus Cannon ‘great selection’ for Ed Block award
|01.05.12 at 1:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — One of the best ways to impress Patriots coach Bill Belichick is to show you can overcome adversity.
Marcus Cannon certainly fits the bill.
The Patriots rookie offensive lineman and cancer survivor was selected by his teammates as the recipient of the 2011 Ed Block Courage Award, as announced by the team on Thursday morning. The honor is voted on by teammates and bestowed annually upon the player who best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship while also serving as a source of inspiration. Cannon and award winners from the 31 other NFL teams will be honored at the 34th Annual Ed Block Courage Awards Banquet in Baltimore on March 13.
“Great selection,” Belichick said Thursday morning. “I had the privilege of working for a year with Ed and he is tremendous guy, real inspiration to all of us at the Colts.”
The Ed Block Courage Award is named after Ed Block, a long-time head trainer for the Baltimore Colts and a respected humanitarian dedicated to helping children. Recipients are often players who have overcome devastating injuries or tragedies in their personal lives to return to top-level competition in the NFL.
Belichick began his NFL career as an assistant on the 1975 Colts coaching staff.
“Marcus has gone through a lot this year,” Belichick added. “He’s certainly had to deal a lot more than a normal rookie would have to deal with, which is a big transition as it is, just coming into this league. And he dealt with a lot very maturely and unselfishly. He did what he had to do but at the same time he was always there for the team and was always doing what he could do to help the team, and he’s helped the team in a lot of ways. I’m proud that he’s on our team, what he’s accomplished and he certainly deserves to be recognized for it.”
Cannon was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma following his senior season at Texas Christian University just prior to the 2011 NFL Draft. He was selected by the Patriots in the fifth round (138th overall). After completing treatments, he began the season on the reserve/non-football injury list before being promoted to the active roster on Nov. 15.
Cannon made his NFL debut on Monday Night Football against Kansas City on Nov. 21, playing on the field goal and extra point units before entering the game at right tackle late in the fourth quarter. He played in a reserve role on special teams and at offensive tackle in the Patriots final seven games of the season, seeing significant time at right tackle against Miami on Dec. 24.
Cannon appeared in 49 games at Texas Christian, starting the final 36 contests that he appeared in ‘ 24 at right tackle during his sophomore and junior seasons and 12 at left tackle during his senior season. He did not allow a quarterback sack in 2009 or 2010, receiving First-Team All-Mountain West Conference honors in both years. He was named a Third-Team All-American by the NFL Draft Report and Rivals.com in 2010.
Officially formulated in 1986, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that is sanctioned by the NFL and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS). The Foundation is committed to heightening awareness of the plight of abused children in cities throughout the league. Proceeds from the annual Courage Awards event benefit the Foundation’s Courage House National Support Network For Kids.