Playing one of the most challenging positions on the football field, center Matt Paradis displays courage on each and every snap. Friday, he was recognized by his teammates for showing that trait as the recipient of this year’s Ed Block Courage Award.
Paradis joins other Bronco notables like Chris Harris, Jr., Terrell Davis and Steve Atwater, as Ed Block winners. The second-year player is also the third center to win the award, joining former greats Tom Nalen and Keith Kartz.
The award is given in honor of the longtime athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts. The distinction goes to players who “exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage”.
After Block’s retirement from the team, local leaders came together to give out an award to a Colt for showing exemplary character during the season. Since then, all 32 NFL teams select one player to be their choice for the award each year.
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Paradis has been the lone bright spot on an offensive line that has struggled through a disappointing season. Since earning the starting center job in training camp last year, Paradis hasn’t missed a start, nor a snap, amid a variety of injuries.
Ranked as one of the best centers in the league according to Pro Football Focus, the Boise State product was also selected as a Pro Bowl alternate for the first time in his career. The lingering injury to both hips has kept him out of practice since mid-season but hasn’t stopped Paradis from taking his place on the offensive line on gameday.
In a testament to his character, Paradis has shown bravery in continuing to play a demanding position at a high level, while battling injury. And he plans to have surgery on his hips when the season ends.
With a team that has so many high-character players, the selection of Paradis is not to be taken lightly. Look for the emerging lineman to continue his iron man streak as the Denver Broncos finish out the regular season on New Year’s Day against the Oakland Raiders.
Adam Uribes is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @auribes37.
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