The Kansas City Chiefs announced Thursday that RB Jamaal Charles has been named the club’s 2010 Derrick Thomas Award winner and S Eric Berry earned the team’s Mack Lee Award. Both honors are voted on by Chiefs players and will be officially presented at the 41st annual 101 Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 5th.
Charles (5-11, 199) is the fourth player in Chiefs history to win the Derrick Thomas Award in back-to-back seasons. He was selected to his first career Pro Bowl after posting 230 carries for a team-high 1,467 yards (6.4 avg.) with five TDs and 45 receptions for 468 yards (10.4 avg.) with three TDs in 2010. The third-year pro also earned first-team All-Pro honors from Pro Football Weekly/PFWA and the Associated Press. Charles was voted the NFL FedEx Ground Player of the Year by the fans. He produced five 100-yard rushing games. Charles combined with WR Dwayne Bowe to become the third same-season 1,000-yard RB/WR tandem in team history.
The Port Arthur, Texas native led the NFL by averaging 6.38 yards per carry (min. 100 atts.) and was first with 45 rushes of 10+ yards. He finished second in the league with a career-high 1,467 rushing yards, the seventh-highest seasonal total in club annals. Charles ranked second in the NFL with a team-high 1,935 yards from scrimmage and added 10 rushes of 20+ yards, tying for sixth in the NFL. He compiled 22 carries for 177 yards vs. Buffalo (10/31) to earn FedEx Ground Player of the Week honors. He produced 11 rushes for 126 yards with a TD at St. Louis (12/19), including a career-long 80-yard rush, tying for fourth-longest run in team history.
A third-round draft pick out of the University of Texas in 2008, Charles has played in 47 games (18 starts). He has rushed 487 times for 2,944 yards (6.0 avg.) with 12 TDs and 112 catches for 1,037 yards (9.3 avg.) with five scores. He has returned 51 kickoffs for 1,246 yards (24.4 avg.) with one TD. He owns 10 career 100-yard rushing games and one 100-yard receiving game.
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Berry (6-0, 211) was named a Pro Bowl starter this season, becoming the first Chiefs rookie to earn a berth in that game since LB Derrick Thomas following the ’89 season. Berry earned NFL All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly/PFWA and The Sporting News. He started 16 contests in 2010, amassing 126 tackles (82 solo), a team-high four INTs with one TD, 13 passes defensed, 2.0 sacks, six QB pressures, a forced fumble and nine special teams tackles. He was the first rookie to lead the team in INTs since CB Dale Carter in ’92. His 126 tackles were the highest tally ever by a Chiefs rookie safety and were the third-highest mark ever produced by any Kansas City rookie. The Fairburn, Georgia native led all rookie safeties in INTs, and ranked second among NFL rookie safeties based on press box totals for tackles and pass breakups.
Berry was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for December/January, becoming the first member of the Chiefs to ever win that honor. He also tied for the NFL lead by being named a finalist for NFL Rookie of the Week accolades on five occasions. He registered his initial NFL score on a 54-yard interception return TD in a 31-14 victory vs. Tennessee (12/26). In a 27-14 win vs. St. Louis (12/19), he set career highs with three passes defensed and three special teams tackles. Berry joined the Chiefs as a first-round pick out of the University of Tennessee in the 2010 NFL Draft.
The 41st annual 101 Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, March 5th at the Westin Crown Center. The 101 AFC/NFC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year and 101 AFC/NFC Coach of the Year will be recognized during the event, in addition to the Chiefs honorees. Tickets and sponsorships to the 101 Banquet are available by calling Premier Sports Management at (913) 681-6990.