Rivera, Mularkey, Roberts finalists for military salute
NEW YORK (AP) Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera, former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Mularkey, and Atlanta Falcons receiver Andre Roberts are the finalists for the NFL's Salute to Service Award.
The recipient of the award, presented by USAA, will be revealed at the NFL Honors show on Feb. 3, when The Associated Press announces its individual NFL awards.
Roberts, Rivera and Mularkey were selected for their exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community. USAA, which provides insurance and other services to U.S. military members, veterans and their families, will contribute $25,000 in the award recipient's honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches.
''Each having grown up in a military family, all three finalists for the `Salute to Service Award' ... share a common understanding of the sacrifices that our service members and their families face in their daily lives,'' said Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Bird, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. ''We thank and salute Andre and coaches Rivera and Mularkey for their continued strong commitment to America's military community.''
Last October, all 32 NFL teams nominated coaches, active and retired players, and team executives and personnel who best demonstrated support for the military. Those submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges that included last year's award recipient, Falcons coach Dan Quinn.
Also on the panel were Bird; Rocky Bleier, a U.S. Army veteran and four-time Super Bowl champion; Chad Hennings, an Air Force Academy graduate and three-time Super Bowl champion; Tod Leiweke, NFL chief operating officer; Jim Mora, a Marine Corps veteran and former NFL head coach; and Roger Staubach, a Naval Academy graduate, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and Super Bowl MVP.
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