Rookie H-back Chris Cooley has made an impression both on and off the field in 2004.
Cooley has been named the Redskins' nominee for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year award, given annually to the NFL player that is not only outstanding on the field, but also outstanding in the community.
Since the Redskins' selected Cooley in the third round of last April's NFL Draft, the rookie out of Utah State has been involved in many Charitable Foundation events, including Redskins Read, a program designed to promote literacy, and distributing turkeys to families in need on Thanksgiving.
On the field, Cooley has been an impact player primarily as a pass receiver. For the season, he has caught 31 passes for 266 yards and five touchdowns.
Cooley has become more of an integral part of the offense as the season has progressed. He has also developed a solid rapport with quarterback Patrick Ramsey. In the last five games with Ramsey starting, Cooley has caught 20 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
The Man of the Year honor is the only league award that recognizes player off-the-field community service as well as playing excellence. This year's finalists--one player from each NFL team--have demonstrated an outstanding balance between civic and professional responsibilities in their lives this season.
The winner will receive $25,000 to donate to his selected charity. Each finalist will receive a $1,000 contribution towards a charity of his choice.
The 2004 Walter Payton Man of the Year winner will be announced during a Super Bowl press conference, Feb. 4, in Jacksonville, Fla.
2004 WALTER PAYTON MAN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Arizona Cardinals, Anquan Boldin, WR
Atlanta Falcons, Warrick Dunn, RB
Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis, LB
Buffalo Bills, Drew Bledsoe, QB
Carolina Panthers, Steve Smith,WR
Chicago Bears, John Tait, T
Cincinnati Bengals, Willie Anderson, T
Cleveland Browns, Kenard Lang, DE
Dallas Cowboys, Roy Williams, FS
Denver Broncos, Rod Smith, WR
Detroit Lions, Fernando Bryant, CB
Green Bay Packers, Marco Rivera, G
Houston Texans, Jay Foreman, LB
Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning, QB
Jacksonville Jaguars, Joe Zelenka, TE
Kansas City Chiefs, Trent Green, QB
Miami Dolphins, Shawn Wooden, DB
Minnesota Vikings, Matt Birk, C
New England Patriots, Troy Brown, WR
New Orleans Saints, Aaron Brooks, QB
New York Giants, Kurt Warner, QB
New York Jets, Kareem McKenzie, T
Oakland Raiders, Roland Williams, TE
Philadelphia Eagles, David Akers, K
Pittsburgh Steelers, Duce Staley, RB
St. Louis Rams, Torry Holt, WR
San Diego Chargers, LaDainian Tomlinson, RB
San Francisco 49ers, Bryant Young, DT
Seattle Seahawks, Mack Strong, FB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Shelton Quarles, LB
Tennessee Titans, Kevin Carter, DT
Washington Redskins, Chris Cooley, TE