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Roquan Smith wins Ed Block Courage Award


Veteran linebacker Roquan Smith has been named the winner of the Bears' 2020 Ed Block Courage Award.

The prestigious awards are presented to one player on all 32 NFL teams who best exemplifies a commitment to sportsmanship and courage and serves as an inspiration in the locker room. The award recipients, who are voted for by their teammates, symbolize professionalism, great strength and dedication, and they are considered community role models.

"It's a tremendous honor for me," Smith told "Being voted on by my teammates, I think that speaks volumes, just having your peers vote for you and think you deserve this award. That means a lot to me just because of the brotherhood that we have."

Smith and the other winners are slated to be honored virtually Saturday night by the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, which is based in Baltimore and is dedicated to supporting the well-being of abused, neglected and at-risk children throughout its Courage House National Support Network for Kids.

Fans can tune in live to the ceremony, which will begin at 6 p.m. (CT) Saturday.

Last season Smith was named second-team All-Pro after finishing the year as the only NFL player to record at least 100 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss, two sacks and two interceptions. His career-high 18 tackles-for-loss tied for the second most in the NFL.

Selected by the Bears with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Georgia, Smith has registered at least 100 tackles in each of his first three seasons. He's the first Bears player to top the century mark in at least three consecutive seasons since Lance Briggs did so for six straight years from 2004-09.

Each NFL team participating in the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation program selects a "Courage House" that supports victims of abuse, violence and neglect. The Bears' designated Courage House is Maryville Academy's Crisis Nursery in Des Plaines. Maryville is a social service agency which sponsors programs for children and families. Maryville's Crisis Nursery provides temporary emergency child care for families in crisis.

For the second straight year, the annual Ed Block Courage Award luncheon that's held in the Chicago area to honor the Bears' recipient has been cancelled due to COVID-19. The luncheon traditionally also honors the late Ed McCaskey by raising money for a fund in his name that provides high school, college and vocational scholarships to the children of Maryville. During his tenure with the Bears—first as vice president and treasurer and later as chairman and chairman emeritus—McCaskey was known for his generosity to Maryville.

Ed Block was a long-time head trainer with the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his field. Block and his wife dedicated their lives to helping children in distress as foster parents and advisers. There are presently 23 Courage Houses connected with NFL teams and this is the 43rd year the awards have been presented.