LAKE FOREST, Ill. —
The Chicago Bears named Josh McCown as one of its two Piccolo Award winners for the 2013 season on Tuesday during a ceremony that was held at the team's Halas Hall.
McCown, who is from Jacksonville, was named as the veteran Piccolo Award winner while defensive lineman Jordan Mills was lauded as the rookie award winner.
The honor is present annually to a pair of Bears that manifest the traits and characteristics that best mirror those of the late Bear running back such as courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and a sense of humor.
McCown was not able to attend Tuesday's ceremony in Chicagoland in a move that, perhaps, exemplified Piccolo within itself.
McCown recently signed a free agent contract to quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he was hard at work Tuesday with his new team and he reportedly deemed it inappropriate to lose valuable preparation time with the Buccaneers in order to travel back to Chicago to receive an award.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler accepted the honor for McCown and read a statement that his former teammate had sent him which expressed regret for not being able to attend the event, but that he knew the place for him to be on Tuesday was in Tampa, with his new team.
McCown also stated to Cutler that he wanted to thank Bears' ownership and management in addition to his teammates and that it was because of them — his teammates — that he was able to exhibit the qualities required in Piccolo Award winners.
McCown's message to Cutler also contained this paragraph: “The most vivid moment (of the 2013 season) was when I was pressed into action halfway through the seaosn. I was flooded with emotions when I took the field with concern for my injured teammate (Cutler) but also anxious over how I'd perform, The anxiety began to go away when I remembered the countless hours that we had put in. We had full trust and the brotherly love and we served one another in the early stages of learning the offense. When my focus turned away from myself and onto my teammates, I gained a peace and my fears were gone.”
NOTE: Brian Piccolo was a running back for four seasons with the Bears. He passed away in 1970 as a result of cancer. The following year the hit-movie “Brian's Song” was released.