Paea, Roach win 2011 Pioccolo Awards

LB Nick Roach (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

Nick Roach and Stephen Paea were voted by teammates as the rookie and veteran that best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo.

LAKE FOREST, IL — The Chicago Bears and the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund announced Stephen Paea and Nick Roach as the 2011 Brian Piccolo Award winners. The honor has been given to a Bears rookie since 1970 and was expanded in 1992 to include a veteran winner. Bears players vote for the rookie and veteran who best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo.

Roach joins Myron Baker (1983), Mickey Pruitt (1988), Hall of Famer Mike Singletary (1981 and ‘92) and teammate Brian Urlacher (2000 and '07) as Bears linebackers to be honored with the Piccolo Award. In 2011, Roach started 15 of 16 games played at SLB, recording 61 tackles, six tackles for losses, three pass break ups and two special teams stops.

Paea, the Bears 2011 second-round draft choice (53rd overall) appeared in the final 11 contests of the season, recording 18 tackles, two sacks – including a safety – and two tackles for losses. He is the first Bears rookie defensive tackle to be honored with the Piccolo Award since Tommie Harris in 2004.

In all, 56 different Bears have won the award including six others on the current roster: Matt Forté (2008), Devin Hester (2006), Johnny Knox (2009), Charles Tillman (2003 and 2008), Urlacher (2000 and '07) and J'Marcus Webb (2010).

Brian Piccolo joined the Bears in 1965, following a senior season at Wake Forest during which he led the nation in scoring (111 points) and rushing (1,044 yards). Piccolo was not selected in the NFL draft, but he signed with the Bears as a free agent and made the club. He was in his fourth season when a chest x-ray revealed a malignancy. Several months later on June 16, 1970, he died at age 26 from embryonal cell carcinoma. At the time Piccolo died, the disease was 100% fatal, but today the cure rate is over 70%. He left behind his wife Joy, three daughters, and legions of friends.

Proceeds from the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund benefit breast cancer research at Rush Medical Center and the Clearbrook Center for the developmentally disabled in Arlington Heights.

Past Piccolo award winners are listed below (active players in bold):

ALL-TIME BRIAN PICCOLO AWARD WINNERS (1970-2010)

1970
Glen Holloway (G)

1971
Jerry Moore (S)

1972
Jim Osborne (DT)

1973
Wally Chambers (DT)

1974
Fred Pagac (TE)

1975
Roland Harper (RB)

1976
Brian Baschnagel (WR)

1977
Ted Albrecht (T)

1978
John Skibinski (RB)

1979
Dan Hampton (DE)

1980
Bob Fisher (TE)

1981
Mike Singletary (LB)

1982
Jim McMahon (QB)

1983
Jim Covert (T)

1984
Shaun Gayle (DB)

1985
Kevin Butler (K)

1986
Neal Anderson (RB)

1987
Ron Morris (WR)

1988
James Thornton (TE)
Mickey Pruitt (LB)

1989
Trace Armstrong (DE)

1990
Mark Carrier (S)

1991
Chris Zorich (DT)

1992
Troy Auzenne (T)
Mike Singletary (LB)

1993
Myron Baker (LB)
Todd Perry (T)
Tom Waddle (WR)

1994
Raymont Harris (RB)
Shaun Gayle (S)

1995
Rashaan Salaam (RB)
Erik Kramer (QB)

1996
Bobby Engram (WR)
Chris Zorich (DT)

1997
John Allred (TE)
Van Hiles (S)
Ryan Wetnight (TE)

1998
Tony Parrish (S)
Bobby Engram (WR)

1999
Jerry Azumah (CB)
Marcus Robinson (WR)

2000
Brian Urlacher (LB)
Clyde Simmons (DE)

2001
Anthony Thomas (RB)
James Williams (T)

2002
Alex Brown (DE)
Phillip Daniels (DE)

2003
Charles Tillman (CB)
Olin Kreutz (C)

2004
Tommie Harris (DT)
Olin Kreutz (C)

2005
Chris Harris (S)
John Tait (T)

2006
Devin Hester (CB/KR)
Olin Kreutz (C)

2007
Greg Olsen (TE)
Brian Urlacher (LB)

2008
Matt Forté (RB)
Charles Tillman (CB)

2009
Johnny Knox (WR/KR)
Olin Kreutz (C)

2010
J'Marcus Webb (T)
Anthony Adams (DT)

2011
Stephen Paea (DT)
Nick Roach (LB)


Bear Report: The only publication exclusively dedicated to your Chicago Bears.

BearReport.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets