Rams Announce Team Awards
A quintet of Rams players were honored on Monday as the club announced their 2013 team awards.
In a vote amongst Rams players, Quinn received the Daniel F. Reeves Memorial Award, which goes to the team’s Most Valuable Player. Laurinaitis was named Carl Ekern Spirit of the Game Award winner and Stacy was awarded the Carroll Rosenbloom Memorial Award, which goes to the team’s top rookie performer.
DE Williams Hayes is the Rams’ recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in recognition of Hayes’ commitment to community service. TE Lance Kendricks is this year’s winner of the Ed Block Courage Award, an honor given to a player who had to overcome some form of adversity.
The Daniel F. Reeves Memorial Award was established in 1969 in honor of the former owner of the Rams, Dan Reeves, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967. Reeves owned the Rams from 1941-71 and claimed World Championships in 1945 and 1951. He was the first to integrate football in the modern era with the signing of Woody Strode and Kenny Washington in 1946.
Quinn earned the honor after leading the Rams with 19.0 sacks to establish a new franchise single-season record. Quinn, who last week was named to his first Pro Bowl, led the NFC and ranked second in the NFL in sack. His seven forced fumbles was also second league. Coaches credited Quinn with 18 tackles for loss in the run game.
Established in 1990, the Carl Ekern Spirit of the Game Award is given to the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, ethic, and commitment to his teammates. Those traits were displayed by former Rams linebacker Carl Ekern, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1990. Ekern was a starter for the Rams from 1982-88 and earned an invitation to the Pro Bowl in 1986.
In addition to racking up 144 tackles during the 2013 season, Laurinaitis provided physical and inspirational leadership throughout the year as a defensive captain. The fifth-year linebacker took on the responsibility of mentoring a number of young players on the defensive side of the ball, including one of the Rams first-round draft picks in Alec Ogletree, who went on to lead the team in tackles in his rookie season.
Stacy took home The Carroll Rosenbloom Memorial Award after rushing for 973 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. The award was established following the passing of former owner Carroll Rosenbloom in 1979. Rosenbloom became the owner of the Rams when he orchestrated an unprecedented franchise trade in 1972. Rosenbloom traded the Baltimore Colts to Robert Irsay for the Rams. The Rams won an NFL-record seven consecutive NFC West titles from 1973-79 under Rosenbloom’s leadership.
Stacy ran his way into the Rams’ record books, finishing in third place all-time for single-season rushing yards by a Rams rookie running back behind Eric Dickerson and Jerome Bettis. Stacy also led the team with eight total touchdowns on the year.
This spring, Kendricks aggressively attacked the weight room as he prepared for what he hoped would be a strong third NFL campaign. Early in the process, Kendricks suffered a knee injury, one that required surgery to repair his meniscus. The injury was expected to keep him off the field for four to six months, but Kendricks was determined to return much earlier.
Through a vigorous rehabilitation program, Kendricks was back on the practice field by the end of training camp, and when the Rams opened the season against the Arizona Cardinals, the former Wisconsin Badger was in the starting lineup for his team’s Week 1 victory. He caught 32 passes for 258 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Each holiday season, the St. Louis Rams join the Urban League of St. Louis to distribute turkey dinners to local families in need. For the second year in a row, Hayes spearheaded a home delivery effort, where he and the rest of the defensive line made home deliveries, donning festive costumes and personally delivering hundreds of pounds of food.
Hayes is also involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, participates in Coach Fisher’s Celebrity Softball Game, and he dined with fans at the 2013 Taste of the NFL benefitting the St. Louis Area Foodbank and the St. Louis Sports Commission. He also actively supports the St. Patrick Center and hosted a paintball event to raise money to provide school supplies for kids in need.