LAKE FOREST – It’s one of the honors that means quite a bit to the franchise considering the players it’s named after and what it represents.
The Brian Piccolo Award is given annually to the player in the franchise that exemplifies the “courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor” of the former Bears running back who died of cancer in 1970. It’s been awarded since that year and now includes both a veteran along with a rookie selection.
On Tuesday, that award was given out at the first in-person ceremony for it since 2019.
Outside linebacker Robert Quinn and running back Khalil Herbert were named the winners for the 2021 award as selected by their teammates from this past season.
Quinn just finished his second season with the Bears and made franchise history as he broke Richard Dent’s 37-year old record for sacks in a single season with 18 1/2 over the course of 16 games. He also had four forced fumbles just a season removed from a disappointing 2020 season where he had only two sacks in 15 games.
His performance was so strong that Quinn’s name has been reportedly brought up by other teams in trade discussion ahead of this weekend’s NFL Draft. This has been raised as a possibility since fellow outside linebacker Khalil Mack was traded to the Chargers earlier this offseason.
A sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Herbert played in all 17 games for the Bears last season as he rushed for 432 yards (4.2 per carry average) with two touchdowns while also making 14 catches for 96 yards. Herbert also returned 27 kickoffs for 650 yards with a 24.1 yards per return average.