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Duke Johnson and Joel Bitonio earn local PFWA awards

Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson Jr. and OL Joel Bitonio each have earned awards from the local chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) for the 2017 season. Johnson was voted the PFWA Player of the Year and Bitonio was named the PFWA Dino Lucarelli 'Good Guy Award' winner. The pair will be honored at the 38th annual Akron Browns Backers banquet in May at the Tangier Restaurant. 

Johnson leads the team this season in receptions (68) and receiving yards (618), while totaling six touchdowns (three receiving, three rushing). He has added 328 rushing yards. His 68 receptions are the most by a Browns running back in a season.  Johnson joined Herschel Walker (1986-88) as the only NFL running backs to record 500 receiving yards in each of their first three seasons. Johnson is averaging 6.6 scrimmage yards per touch this season, third most in the NFL among running backs. His 1,666 career receiving yards are the fifth-most by an NFL running back through his first three seasons. Johnson is the only NFL running back with at least 50 catches in each of the past three seasons. Among all NFL running backs since 2015, Johnson ranks first in receiving yards (1,666) and third in receptions (184).

The 'Good Guy Award' is given annually to a player for his cooperation with the media and for the way the player carries himself in the community and with his teammates. Bitonio, who missed the final 11 games of the 2016 season with a foot injury, has played every offensive snap this season. He has helped the Browns to a 4.51 rushing average this year, fifth-best in the NFL.

Cleveland Browns PFWA Player of the Year Winners:

2001    LB Jamir Miller

2002    RB William Green

2003    LB Andra Davis

2004    SS Robert Griffith

2005    RB Reuben Droughns

2006    LB Kamerion Wimbley

2007    QB Derek Anderson

2008    DL Shaun Rogers

2009    KR Joshua Cribbs

2010    RB Peyton Hillis

2011    LB D'Qwell Jackson

2012    K Phil Dawson

2013    WR Josh Gordon

2014    OL Joe Thomas

2015    TE Gary Barnidge

2016    OL Joe Thomas

2017    RB Duke Johnson Jr.

Cleveland Browns PFWA Dino Lucarelli 'Good Guy Award' Winners:

2001    QB Tim Couch

2002    DB Corey Fuller

2003    OL Shaun O'Hara

2004    DB Daylon McCutcheon

2005    OL Jeff Faine

2006    DB Brian Russell

2007    K Phil Dawson

2008    DB Brandon McDonald

2009    LB David Bowens

2010    OL Joe Thomas

2011    DB Mike Adams

2012    LB D'Qwell Jackson

2013    OL Joe Thomas

2014    QB Brian Hoyer

2015    QB Josh McCown

2016    LB Christian Kirksey

2017    OL Joel Bitonio

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