MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins today announced their team award winners for the 2017 season. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was named the Dan Marino Most Valuable Player, defensive end Cameron Wake earned the Don Shula Leadership Award, center Mike Pouncey was named the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner and wide receiver Kenny Stills earned the Nat Moore Community Service Award. It marks the second consecutive season that Wake and Stills have won their respective awards.
Suh is a first-time winner of the Dan Marino Most Valuable Player award and the first defensive tackle to earn the honor. Entering Week 17, Suh has totaled 45 tackles (29 solo), 4.5 sacks, 6.5 stuffs, two passes defensed, 12 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles. His 4.5 sacks are tied for ninth among all NFL defensive tackles and his 6.5 stuffs are tied for fourth at the position. Suh's 51.5 sacks since entering the league in 2010 are the second-most among NFL defensive tackles in that span and his 55 stuffs lead the position. He has 416 career tackles (288 solo), the second-most by an NFL defensive tackle since 2010. Suh is the 15th defensive player to win the team's MVP award and just the fourth defensive lineman, joining Jason Taylor (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006), Adewale Ogunleye (2003) and Wake (2012). This award is voted on by South Florida media and the organization and was re-named the Dan Marino Most Valuable Player Award in 2000 to reflect the achievements of Hall of Fame quarterback and 12-time team MVP Dan Marino.
Wake earned the Don Shula Leadership Award for the second consecutive season and the fourth time in his career. He also earned the honor in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Wake joins Taylor (2002, 2006, 2007, 2009) as the only players to win or co-win the award four-or-more times and is the first player in team history to win the award outright on four occasions as Taylor was a co-winner in 2009. Wake is one of six Dolphins to win the award in consecutive seasons, but the only one to win it in consecutive seasons on two separate occasions. The others to win it twice in a row include Zach Thomas (1998-99), Derrick Rodgers (2000-01), Junior Seau (2003-04), Jason Taylor (2006-07) and Karlos Dansby (2010-11). The Don Shula Leadership Award is voted on by the players and is given to the teammate who exhibits leadership on and off the field. It was re-named the Don Shula Leadership Award in 2005 to reflect the accomplishments of Hall of Fame Head Coach Don Shula.
Pouncey is a first-time recipient of the team's Ed Block Courage Award and the only center to earn the honor in team history. He bounced back from a hip injury that limited him to just five games in 2016 and was concerned he may not be able to continue his football career. Pouncey has started all 15 games this season and if he starts on Sunday, he'll have started all 16 games in a season for the first time since 2012. He began the season with 10 straight games without allowing a full sack before it came to an end at New England on Nov. 26. Those were the final 10 contests of a 26-game streak without allowing a full sack, which began back on Sept. 27, 2015. Each year, players from all 32 teams select a teammate to receive the Ed Block Courage Award. The recipient symbolizes professionalism, great strength and dedication. The honoree also is a community role model.
Stills is just the second player in team history to win the Nat Moore Community Service Award in back-to-back seasons, joining Lousaka Polite (2009-10). He is the team's most active player in the South Florida community, making appearances and lending a hand nearly every single week. The team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, Stills has become a pioneer among NFL players in addressing societal issues. His advocacy for social justice and equal rights has led to a partnership with RISE (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality). Along with RISE, Stills has helped organize police ride alongs and CommUNITY tailgates, bringing local student-athletes, coaches, parents, community leaders, law enforcement and military personnel together at every Dolphins home game. Stills has used his platform to help inspire other NFL players to host similar programs in their local communities. Five other teams joined the effort and hosted their own ride alongs this season, encouraging dialogue and displaying the teamwork that unites communities and their NFL teams directly to youth in the area. The Nat Moore Community Service Award is given each year to a Miami Dolphins player recognized for his involvement in the South Florida community. The winner of this award is given to the player that logs the most community service hours and is named after Moore to highlight the commitment the former wide receiver had in the South Florida community. Moore spent 13 seasons in a Dolphins uniform, culminating by his placement on the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1999.