HOUSTON -The Houston Texans have selected linebacker Zac Diles as the 2009 Ed Block Courage Award winner. Recipients are selected by a vote of their teammates to recognize extra efforts both on and off the field and their ability to overcome great adversity.
Diles joins past Texans winners wide receiver Harry Williams (2008), defensive end Anthony Weaver (2007), linebacker Kailee Wong (2006), wide receiver Jabar Gaffney (2005), defensive tackle Seth Payne (2004), cornerback Aaron Glenn (2003) and cornerback Jason Bell (2002). He will be recognized at the 32nd annual Ed Block Courage Awards in March, 2010, in Baltimore, Md.
Diles (6-2, 237) won the strongside linebacker job coming out of the 2008 training camp and played extremely well to begin the season. He started the first eight games of the season and led the team with 66 tackles to go along with one sack, one forced fumble and his first career interception against Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Diles suffered a broken left tibia during practice as the team was preparing for their Week 10 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.
After rehabbing the entire offseason, the third-year player found himself in another battle for the starting spot at weakside linebacker. Despite his offseason recovery and move to another position, Diles won the starting job and has appeared in all 14 games this season. His 12 starts are a career high and he currently ranks fourth on the team with 54 tackles. He has a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for the league's 12th-ranked defense.
Since 1984, the Ed Block Courage Award annually honors one player from every NFL team who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. The Ed Block Courage Award has become one of the most prestigious awards a player can receive because no other national football award is chosen solely by a vote of his peers. Winners travel to Baltimore to receive their trophy at a gala in their honor and to visit the Ed Block Courage House. The Courage House is a facility that provides support and quality care for abused children and their families in the community. Block was the longtime head athletic trainer for the old Baltimore Colts, who in addition to being a pioneer in athletic training, was passionate about causes helping children.
Houston's Ed Block Courage Award winners