Bears safety Eddie Jackson on Thursday was presented with the 2023 Jeff Dickerson Good Guy Award by the Chicago chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.
The honor is given annually to a Bears player who best helps the media do its job. It was named after Dickerson, a popular ESPN reporter, who passed away two years ago Thursday due to cancer.
Jackson, who has spent his entire seven-year NFL career in Chicago, shared his gratitude for receiving the award this season in front of Dickerson's parents, George and Sandy.
"I'd like to thank everyone in here," Jackson told reporters at a press conference Thursday. "Also Jeff, the times I met him, he was a nice, humble guy. Always asked the right, positive questions. Us, as players, we're always thankful for that.
"To his family, I just want to say thank you guys for being here. It means a lot. Like I said, the times I met your son, it was always a great conversation. He was a very humble, nice, respectful guy. You guys did a fine job of raising him. So I'm honored to accept this award."
George and Sandy called the moment "more than special," saying that presenting the award on the anniversary of their son's passing turned "a rough day" into one that "put a smile on our face."
"Today with Eddie, when he was talking, just an optimistic guy, and Jeff's glass was always half full no matter what," Sandy said. "And that's kind of the feeling I got about Eddie, not knowing too much about him otherwise. But it's a good feeling. It's a good feeling just for all the media to recognize Jeff and to still talk about him and reach out to us, which means so much to us. So it's a real honor."
George recalled a moment from training camp two years ago when Dickerson's family had the opportunity to meet several players. He remembered Jackson "went out of his way" to spend time with Dickerson's son, Parker, and his friend.
"My grandson saw Eddie walking down the hall and waved. He turned around and showed [Jackson] he had on his jersey, and he came into the lobby there and signed his jersey for him. It was so nice. And the boys just had stars in their eyes after. They couldn't believe that they had lunch with NFL players. They couldn't believe it.
'This organization has treated us so well. We'll never forget Jeff, of course, but the fact that this organization remembers just a normal guy — he was our son. But to find out what a wonderful organization he was involved with, it's good. It's really good. It does my heart real good. And I'm thanking people like [Bears vice president of communications] Brandon [Faber] and the whole operation that we've been involved with, it's just been great."
In addition to receiving the award, Jackson will receive a $1,000 donation the charity of his choice, courtesy of the Vaughn McClure & Jeff Dickerson Foundation.
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Patrick Finley introduced the award and spoke about why Jackson received the honor, saying that throughout this season the safety was "helpful, courteous, good-natured and answered our questions in the spirit in which they were intended."
Finley also announced that tight end Cole Kmet, who was the 2022 recipient, and cornerback Jaylon Johnson were runners-up for the award. Four more players — Jaquan Brisker, DJ Moore, Teven Jenkins and Cairo Santos — and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert all received multiple votes.
"We think the media did a good job on choosing Eddie this year and last year Cole and all the other runners up," Sandy said. "You just have a great bunch of guys. You're really blessed."
This is the 11th year the Good Guy Award has been presented. Previous recipients were Josh McCown (2013), Ryan Mundy (2014), Matt Slauson (2015), Tracy Porter (2016), Zach Miller (2017), Prince Amukamara (2018), Allen Robinson II (2019), Mitchell Trubisky (2020), Robert Quinn and Tashaun Gipson Sr. (2021) and Kmet (2022).