Hard Hat Award (Game #7, @ Arizona)
Stillers WR/kick returner Antonio Brown is the winner of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.
Brown had a career game in the win over the Cards, snagging 7 passes for 102, both career highs. He also ripped off 2 punt returns for 47 yards and 3 KO returns for 66, giving him 215 total yards. Of course, the Hard Hat is more than compiling raw stats. Tonio took a lot of heavy hits on crossing routes, and took an obvious helmet-to-helmet shot from ILB Daryl Washington near the s-line at the end of a WR screen that went unflagged and unpunished by Adolf Goodell. He also took punishment on some of the returns, but never backed down and kept on chugging.
Others receiving consideration were NT Steve McClendon, TE Heath Miller, PK Sean Suisham, and OLB LaMarr Woodley. It bears repeating that there is almost always -- if not always -- a strong correlation between the number of players in consideration for the Hard Hat, and if the team won or lost. Simply put, Hard Hat kind of football leads to victory; pansy football (a term used here long before Troy Pola popularized it) leads to defeat.
Kudos to Brown for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, Tonio !
Previous 2011 Hard Hat Winners:
Game #6, vs. Jax: Troy Polamalu
Game #5, vs. Tenn: Ben Roethlisberger and Max Starks
Game #4, @ Houston: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu
Game #3, @ Indy: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu
Game #2, vs. Seattle: Mike Wallace and Troy Polamalu
Game #1, @ Balt: No One