Carolina Panthers starting left tackle Ryan Kalil has been selected as the winner of the second annual Tom Berry Good Guy Award, the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) announced Thursday. The award, which recognizes the Panthers player most helpful to the media in doing its job, will be given to Gross after the season.
Gross was a unanimous selection by members of the Carolinas Chapter of the PFWA. A starter in 117 regular season games and all eight of the Panthers' postseason contests since being drafted in the first round in 2003, Gross earned Pro Bowl and AP All-Pro first-team honors in 2008. He also was chosen as the Panthers' recipient of the 2010 Ed Block Courage Award.
The award is named after long-time High Point (N.C.) Enterprise sports writer and columnist Tom Berry. Covering the Panthers from their expansion season in 1995 until his death near the start of the 2009 season, Berry was known and widely respected throughout the Carolinas. In addition to writing about the Panthers, he reported on virtually every sport in the Carolinas, including youth leagues, high schools, colleges and professional teams.
Former Carolina fullback Brad Hoover won the inaugural award last season.
"People like Jordan Gross and Brad Hoover truly symbolize what we wanted when we decided to create this award in memory of Tom," said ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas, who serves as the NFC South representative for the PFWA and previously covered the Panthers for The Charlotte Observer.
"Jordan is one of the classiest players in the NFL. He's one of those guys who, win or lose, is always willing to cooperate with the media. Jordan truly is a stand-up guy. That's why it's so fitting that his name now will be linked forever to Tom Berry's name."