The Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) have announced their list of nominees for their 2020 Off-field Awards. A Las Vegas Raiders player as well as a position coach are on the list of this year’s nominees.
On their official website, the PFWA say they “vote for several off-field awards given to people working in or associated with the NFL.” They announced the potencial recipients on June 9 and will announce the winners on June 22. In 2020, Raiders tight end Darren Waller and assistant coach Rod Marinelli were nominated.
Tight End Darren Waller
For his part, Waller will have the chance to win the George Halas Award. NFL Players, staff members, or coaches who have overcome the most in order to succeed qualify for this accolade. It’s no surprise to see the tight end’s name in this category. Even though he struggled with additions early in his career, he was able to overcome his demons. Last year, he broke out and played at a Pro Bowl level after having a marginal with the Ravens in his first few years in the league. He finished the 2019 season with 90 catches for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. The other nominees are Russell Okung, Everson Griffen, Travis Fredrick and Bobby Engram.
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Defensive Line Coach Rod Marinelli
Marinelli was nominated for the Dr. Z “Paul Zimmerman” Award, which is a lifetime achievement for assistant coaches. Although this is Marinelli’s first year with the Raiders, he’s coached in the NFL for 25 years. He started his career in Tampa Bay, where he oversaw the team’s defensive line on their way to a Super Bowl victory in 2002. Later, he was part of the first 0-16 season in league history. Nevertheless, he didn’t let failure define him. After the Lions fired him, he reinvigorated his career in Dallas before he joining the Las Vegas coaching staff. Marinelli’s navigated through ups and downs in his career, the Raiders will benefit from that.
It’s not surprising to see Marinelli and Waller be part of PFWA’s awards. Nevertheless, their fellow nominees are as deserving as the coach and the tight end. Whoever wins the accolades will do so deservingly.
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