Award season is in full effect at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, and Sean Davis and Arthur Moarts are the last winners, receiving the Pittsburgh Chapter of Pro Football Writers of America's annual awards.
Davis, the Steelers' second-round draft selection in 2016, received the "Joe Greene Great Performance Award," given annually to the Steelers top rookie. Davis has played in all 15 games in 2016, starting eight of them. He became the first Steelers' rookie defensive back to start a season opener since 1997.
Davis said he was honored to win an award named after Greene, especially with the play of fellow rookies Artie Burns and Javon Hargrave, who all push each other to be better.
"I've been in a pretty cool situation," said Davis. "I have gotten to get to know these guys. Hargrave plays on the defensive line, but I've gotten to know him on a personal level because of our rooming situations. I was Artie's roommate throughout OTAs. So I got to know him. We were always talking about, 'Let's take over. Let's make plays. Let's do everything we can to be on the field.' The same thing with Hargrave. Every time we travel, at the hotel we are roommates. We all think alike. We all want to be the best at our position. We all want to dominate. At such a young, not young, but as rookies, to think like that, I feel like that is special. And it makes sense why those three names came up. We are making plays because we think like champions. Just because we are rookies, we don't want to be the slack of the team, stuff like that. I just feel like we all have a similar mindset and same goals."
On the season, Davis has started in seven of the 15 games he has played in and recorded 60 tackles, ranking fourth on the team, and is tied for ﬁfth among all NFL rookie defensive backs. He has also added a half-sack and one interception.
"It wasn't the start that I had envisioned," said Davis. "But I work. And I worked through adversity. I work at problems. I never give up. I know what I am capable of. I am just blessed to be out there to showcase my skillset and put all that hard work out on the field. I am an optimistic guy. I never worry. I never freak out. And this is just how things all worked out."
Moats was named the recipient of the "The Chief Award," which was established in honor of Steelers' founder, Arthur J. Rooney, Sr., and is presented annually to a member of the Steelers' organization that best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media that he embodied.
Moats is a player who always makes himself available to the media, through good and bad.
"I don't feel like there's any question I shy away from or anything that doesn't need to be talked about," said Moats. "I love getting my message out there. I feel like all of us in here have a great relationship. We're all able to communicate with each other on a, I want to say personal level. I feel like it's always easy to talk to you all."
Moats has played in 15 games in 2016, starting five of them. He has recorded 3.5 sacks, including a single-game career high 2.0 sacks against Cleveland on November 20.
And while his playing days are far from over, he is thinking about life after football, a life that could find him in the media.
"I definitely would. I like your jobs," said Moats. "You're still around the game, it's not coaching and it's fun. Any time I get a microphone and am able to talk, I definitely like that."
"The Chief Award" Winners
|1988||Dan Rooney||2003||Mike Logan|
|1989||Dwayne Woodruff||2004||Jerome Bettis|
|1990||Merril Hoge||2005||Alan Faneca|
|1991||Gerald Williams||2006||Brett Keisel|
|1992||Tunch Ilkin||Deshea Townsend|
|1993||D.J. Johnson||2007||Alan Faneca|
|1994||Rod Woodson||2008||Ryan Clark|
|1995||Levon Kirkland||2009||James Farrior|
|1996||Chad Brown||2010||Ben Roethlisberger|
|1997||Darren Perry||2011||James Farrior|
|1998||Jerome Bettis||2012||Casey Hampton|
|1999||Lee Flowers||2013||Ike Taylor|
|2000||Jerome Bettis||2014||Cameron Heyward|
|2001||Lee Flowers||2015||Ramon Foster|
|2002||Hines Ward||2016||Arthur Moats|
"Joe Greene Great Performance Award" Winners
|1984||WR Louis Lipps||2001||LB Kendrell Bell|
|1985||P Harry Newsome||2002||OG Kendall Simmons|
|1986||LB Anthony Henton||2003||S Troy Polamalu|
|1987||CB Delton Hall||2004||QB Ben Roethlisberger|
|1988||RB Warren Williams||2005||TE Heath Miller|
|1989||SS Carnell Lake||2006||WR Santonio Holmes|
|1990||TE Eric Green||2007||P Daniel Sepulveda|
|1991||TE Adrian Cooper||2008||LB Patrick Bailey|
|1992||FS Darren Perry||2009||WR Mike Wallace|
|1993||LB Chad Brown||2010||C Maurkice Pouncey|
|1994||RB Bam Morris||2011||OT Marcus Gilbert|
|1995||QB Kordell Stewart||2012||OT Mike Adams|
|1996||FB Jon Witman||2013||RB Le'Veon Bell|
|1997||CB Chad Scott||2014||WR Martavis Bryant|
|1998||OG Alan Faneca||2015||LB Bud Dupree|
|1999||WR Troy Edwards||2016||S Sean Davis|
|2000||FB Dan Kreider|