Throughout the regular season, we give out a weekly award titled "The Unsung Hero of the Week Award" and let the readers vote on some nominees that are named in the post. The nominees are those that showed great effort in the previous week's game, but it usually gets overlooked because of the contributions of some more high-profile players. If there's a pattern with the nominees, we usually see special teams guys and/or the big boys who man the trenches. Not always, though.
We decided to make that weekly award into a yearly one for "The CJ's". And, wouldn't you know it, a couple of members of the CJ staff named a special teamer. We'll give you a few players that we thought worthy of a nomination and allow you the opportunity to vote for your guy.
Lucas Greta: "Long Snapper Clark Harris. You want to talk about unsung, how about unknown. I'd be willing to guess most fans have no idea who our long snapper is. I can't recall any botched snaps this year on field goals/extra points and he was also integral on most of our 4th down conversions. It can't be easy to direct snap it at an angle while not telegraphing what he's about to do. He gets my vote."
Jason Garrison: "I'd give the 'Unsung Hero Award' to punter Kevin Huber. Huber quietly had a great year and was ranked among the best punters in the league. When coupled with a solid defense, a good punter can completely dominate a game by pinning offenses back near their own end zone and giving the offense a short field to work with. Huber is a free agent and while most fans kind of forget about their punter, re-signing him is a must."
Anthony Cosenza: I'd like to pull the hat trick with another special teamer and nominate one of the Bengals kickers, but neither played a full season with the team, so I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm going to go with Kevin Zeitler. As a rookie, Zeitler impressed me with his on-field play and workman-like demeanor. You almost never heard his name during a telecast and that's a good thing for an offensive lineman. He teamed with Andre Smith for a formidable right side of the line in the running game and looks to be a key offensive player in the years to come.
Who gets your vote for the CJ Award for "The Unsung Hero of the Year"?