Jairus Byrd was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award at the 33rd Ed Block Courage Award Gala in Baltimore on March 8, 2011.
The Ed Block Courage Award is presented to the Buffalo Bills player who exemplifies a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. The recipient symbolizes professionalism, great strength, dedication and serves as a community role model for others.
Byrd posted a record setting rookie season for Buffalo in 2009. He tied for the NFL-lead with nine interceptions. The nine interceptions were also a team rookie record. He also recorded at least one interception in five straight games, which also set a team record (weeks 5-10). He was selected to the Pro Bowl as a reserve safety, but did not play due to injury. Byrd was placed on injured reserve on December 23rd with a hip injury.
Off the field, Byrd was a valued member of the community as he participated in the Buffalo Bills Toyota Rookie Club. The club participated in various community events including taking cancer patients to Dave and Buster’s, hosting a football clinic at Toronto’s Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, served thanksgiving dinner at Northwestern Buffalo Community Center. Byrd was also an honored guest at the Conn Smythe Dinner in Toronto. The event raises money and awareness for youth and young adults in Ontario with physical disabilities. He also started the ‘Louder than Words’ campaign via Facebook and Twitter. ‘Louder than Words’ encourages people to share good deeds done by others.
The award is named for Ed Block, the former Head Athletic Trainer of the Baltimore Colts from 1954 through 1977 and continued to serve the team until his death in 1983. Block, a WWII veteran, cared for his player’s physical health as well as for the well being of countless children. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation promotes the prevention of child abuse by raising awareness of the epidemic and assisting agencies who provide for the care and treatment of abused children in communities throughout the National Football League (NFL). That objective is coupled with the Foundation's commitment to celebrating players of inspiration in the NFL