Veteran defensive tackle Brandon Noble has been selected as this year's Redskins winner of the Ed Block Courage Award. Noble and winners from all 32 NFL teams will be honored at a banquet next spring in the Baltimore area.
The award, named for the long-time Baltimore athletic trainer, singles out those NFL players who have been steadfast in overcoming injuries while at the same time have maintained a high level of sportsmanship and professionalism both on and off the field.
Last year's Redskins winner was cornerback Fred Smoot.
Noble, the 6-2, 304-pound six-year NFL player, suffered a serious knee injury during the 2003 preseason that forced him to the sidelines for the entire season.
He's returned in 2004 to be a solid contributor to the Redskins' defensive line. Through the first 12 games of the season, Noble had started three times and had played in all 12. He had 27 tackles and one sack, that one coming versus Donovan McNabb on Nov. 21 in Philadelphia.
Noble and the Redskins are set to face those same Eagles this Sunday evening (8:30 p.m.) at FedExField in a key NFC East matchup.
Said Redskins assistant head coach/defense Gregg Williams: "There are a lot of guys who don't come back from that injury. Brandon is the epitome of toughness on the defensive line. I've used his name several times when guys thought that they had an injury. I say, Go to Brandon for sympathy. If Brandon gives you sympathy, then I'll give you sympathy.'"
Added Williams: "Brandon's done a tremendous job and I'm very proud of him. He's an example of the kinds of guys Joe Gibbs talks about, the tough Redskins he wants to build around. Brandon Noble has been a very good example for our defensive front."
As he prepared to take on the Eagles, Noble said he felt proud to be a part of what the Redskins have accomplished this season, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
Commenting on the team's defensive front, Noble said: "We don't have one big superstar or a guy with one huge ego. That makes it really easy to come to work. You know every day we're going to be working hard on the field and giving it everything we have."