Cleveland Browns S Juston Burris has been selected by his teammates as the Browns' 2019 Ed Block Courage Award. The Ed Block Courage Award is given annually to a member of each of the 32 NFL teams who exemplifies the qualities of Ed Block, the former head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts, based on courage, compassion, commitment and community.
"I'm humbled, very humbled," said Burris when learning he would be the Browns' honoree this year. "I'm thankful that my teammates thought of me in that light and that they see the hard work I put in to come back to be here to help this team win. I just want to say thank you to them and just for being there and helping me through everything that I went through. I really appreciate them for that."
In addition to showing his resiliency after offseason shoulder surgery, Burris has been a reliable presence on defense since returning to Cleveland on Sept. 20, two days before he would ultimately start at safety against the L.A. Rams on Sunday Night Football. While playing every defensive snap in the primetime matchup, he notched four solo tackles and intercepted Rams QB Jared Goff with 2:46 remaining in the game to provide the Browns a final opportunity to level the score during a 20-13 loss to the defending NFC Champions.
"As soon as I came back, they welcomed me with open arms," Burris added. "Any questions that I had, anything that I needed help with because maybe some things had changed, they were there to help me. I just appreciate them for showing me support and making me feel confident going into [the Rams] game that they trusted me to come in and do what I had to do to help the team."
This season, Burris has started eight of his 11 games with the Browns, registering 22 tackles (18 solo), his first career sack (vs. Pit., 11/14), two interceptions, four passes defensed and one forced fumble. He is one of only two Browns with multiple interceptions this year, and his four passes defensed tie for fourth on the team and second among Cleveland DBs. Additionally, he has played every defensive snap in three of those contests.
After joining the Browns for the final seven games of 2018, Burris re-signed with Cleveland during the 2019 offseason when he ultimately underwent shoulder surgery and started his rehabilitation process. Burris spent all of training camp and preseason with the Browns before being waived during final roster cuts. He was then claimed by the Oakland Raiders, where he was on the active roster for two weeks prior to coming back to Cleveland.
"Definitely, my mom and my dad are my inspiration – things my parents taught me, to keep fighting no matter whatever the circumstances is," Burris said. "Things are going to happen in life and you just have to keep pushing. Do not make excuses, just keep pushing and just go through it. One quote kind of helped me through it, 'You grow through what you go through.' That has kind of been my motto over time. Things are going to happen so you just have to keep fighting."
Burris has also been active in Browns Give Back's efforts in the Northeast Ohio community and the team's commitment to education, youth football and the First and Ten volunteering movement. Last week, he advocated for mental health awareness efforts through his commitment to Dream the Impossible, a foundation launched by his former NY Jets teammate and current Jaguars S Doug Middleton. Dream the Impossible was founded to help fix the lack of awareness surrounding mental health in the African American community.
Burris will be presented the Browns' 2019 Ed Block Courage Award tonight at the Providence House Annual Deck the House Benefit Auction at FirstEnergy Stadium, where the program will begin at approximately 6:15 p.m. Browns alumnus WR/KR Josh Cribbs and his wife, Maria, are once again serving as honorary co-chairs for the event.
Providence House's Deck the House at FirstEnergy Stadium tonight, The Get 2 School Network school visit, complemented by the "Get 2 School, Stay in the Game!" Network visit to Mound STEM School this afternoon, highlights Day 3 of Browns Give Back's "10 Days of Giving."
Throughout "10 Days of Giving," spanning Dec. 8-17, Browns players, coaches and staff will host unique community events and make special contributions to various organizations during the holiday season as part of the team's yearlong commitment to education, youth football and inspiring others through its signature First and Ten volunteer movement.
The extended week of community engagement, initially inspired by the Browns' signature #give10 First and Ten volunteer movement, has expanded in recent years to fully encompass the team's commitment to supporting school attendance in Ohio through the "Get 2 School, Stay in the Game!" Network and its yearlong efforts to enhance youth and high school football throughout the state.
Providence House, the Cleveland Browns Courage House for Children since 1999, protects at-risk children and supports families through crisis, strengthening communities to end child abuse and neglect. For more information, visit www.provhouse.org.
Cleveland Browns Ed Block Courage Award winners:
1984 WR Willis Adams
1985 DE Carl Hairston
1986 TE Ozzie Newsome
1987 RB Earnest Byner
1988 LB Eddie Johnson
1989 T Cody Risien
1990 RB Kevin Mack
1991 CB Mark Harper
1992 WR Lawyer Tillman
1993 WR Patrick Rowe
1994 LB Carl Banks
1995 DB Bennie Thompson
1999 DE Derrick Alexander
2000 LB Jamir Miller
2001 OG Jeremy McKinney
2002 TE Mark Campbell
2003 DL Courtney Brown
2004 RB Lee Suggs
2005 LB Kenard Lang
2006 K Phil Dawson
2007 DB Gary Baxter
2008 WR Joe Jurevicius
2009 WR Mike Furrey
2010 LB Eric Barton
2011 LB D'Qwell Jackson
2012 P Reggie Hodges
2013 DB T.J. Ward
2014 DL Desmond Bryant
2015 OL Alex Mack
2016 DB Joe Haden
2017 OL Kevin Zeitler
2018 DB Terrance Mitchell
2019 S Juston Burris
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
Education – The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Northeast Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed. The team engages local schools and promotes education in various capacities throughout the year to help identify and remove attendance barriers and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive by monitoring attendance patterns to help understand how best to support students and schools.
Youth Football – The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns' goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.
First and Ten – Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. To date, nearly two million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.
About Providence House
Providence House – Ohio's first crisis nursery – provides emergency shelter and care for children in crisis, newborn through age 12, who are at risk of abuse or neglect while offering family support services to strengthen and stabilize families long term. Visit www.provhouse.org for more information.