Johnson and Bitonio earn local PFWA awards

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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