The second time is the charm for Carolina Panthers’ linebacker Thomas Davis who won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award for his service off the field. He was one of the finalist for the award, alongside Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and San Francisco’s Anquan Boldin. This is the first time a Carolina Panther has won the award.
Bryan Strickland of Panthers.com put together an excellent, in-depth look at Davis’ work off the field in the Charlotte community. One of the key programs that Davis runs, along with his wife Kelly, is the Thomas Davis Youth Leadership Academy.
The Panthers’ outside linebacker certainly doesn’t need this award to validate what he does in the community, but it an award that Davis doesn’t take lightly. In the article Davis said:
“This award means so much to me because it's a community service award and also an award for what you've done on the field. It ties both of those together. There is only one guy selected for this award each year. To say I was the Man of the Year would mean an awful lot to me.”
On the field, Davis is coming off one of his best seasons of his career with 100 total tackles and 2.5 sacks. This is the third consecutive season that Davis has surpassed the 100 tackle mark, which is great to see for a player that has battled injuries for a large part of his career.