Tebow, the eighth Good Guy Award winner, is the fifth consecutive quarterback and first member of the Broncos to receive the honor from the PFWA.
The Good Guy Award is given to a NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs. The award was first given by the PFWA in 2005.
Tebow, now a member of the New York Jets after a March trade, was cited by numerous national writers for how he handled the attention that came with his play on the field during the 2011 season for Denver. After a 1-4 start, the Broncos made Tebow the starting QB, and Denver won seven of the final 11 regular-season games – five by thrilling fourth-quarter comebacks – to capture the AFC West title. He threw for 1,729 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 660 yards and six TDs during the regular season.
In the AFC Wild Card Game, his pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on the first play from scrimmage in overtime resulted in an 80-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown and a 29-23 victory over the Steelers.
“I think Tim handled himself well all season long with the kind of attention few players are asked to contend with at any point in their careers,” said PFWA Second Vice-President Jeff Legwold, who covered Tebow for the Denver Post. “Tim not only dealt with the traditional media obligations both locally and nationally, but he was also the focus of many non-traditional media outlets, both from in Denver and across the country. And while he didn’t always let folks peer into his innermost thoughts, he did always conduct himself professionally, with a great deal of respect for both the process and the people who take part in it.”
ABOUT THE PFWA: The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis. The Buffalo News’ Mark Gaughan, who covers the Buffalo Bills, is the organization’s president for 2011-13. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter, who covers the Atlanta Falcons, is the first vice president for 2011-13. The Denver Post’s Jeff Legwold, who covers the Denver Broncos, is the second vice president for 2011-13.
GOOD GUY AWARD WINNERS (To a NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job): 2005 – Jerome Bettis (Pittsburgh Steelers); 2006 – Tiki Barber (New York Giants); 2007 – LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers); 2008 – Brett Favre (Green Bay Packers); 2009 – Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals); 2010 – Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints); 2011 – Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers); 2012 – Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos).
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog