The first annual Roaring Riot Awards, which are voted on by the most loyal and rabid fans of the Carolina Panthers, honors the performances of those Panthers who have gone above and beyond both on and off the field.
Roaring Riot members, which number over 6,000 and are located in over a dozen countries around the world, voted in multiple categories and collectively decided on their favorite players and moments from the 2020 Panthers season.
Robby Anderson was voted the 2020 Offensive Player of the Year and rookie Jeremy Chinn has cleaned up in 2020 – the second-round pick was voted Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year while his back-to-back scores against the Vikings was chosen as Play of the Year. The rest of the awards, including the Thomas Davis Panther of the Year Award, will be announced later in the week.
This year’s Most Valuable Panther Award, which rewards the Panthers player who made the biggest impact on the field, goes to second-year defensive end Brian Burns, who was consistently a force to be reckoned with off the edge and proved himself to be a cornerstone for the Panthers defense for years to come.
One thing I’ve noticed about watching Brian Burns over the years is how good he is at dissecting option plays. Brilliant use of hesitance as he makes the Panthers’ biggest defensive play of the game. pic.twitter.com/W1jduqjo1Z
— Johnny Kinsley (THE BROWNS DID IT) (@Brickwallblitz) November 9, 2020
After tallying the second most sacks by a rookie (7.5) in franchise history last year, the Panthers 2019 first-round pick added nine more in his second season, including three strip-sacks, fifth-most in the NFL in 2020. His 37 career QBHs are the most by any player from his rookie class and Burns’ 16.5 sacks over the past two seasons are the most among not only all current Panthers, but the second-highest total of the entire 2019 draft class – that has him trailing only Julius Peppers for the most sacks in their first two seasons as a Carolina Panther.
This season, “Spider-Burns” racked up 36 pressures, 8th-most in the NFL and had 21 hits on opposing QBs this year, the most by any Panther and tied for 11th in the NFL. His team-high nine sacks rank t-11th in the league. Burns’ three forced fumbles are t-12th most, despite only playing in 15 games this season as he battled a knee injury late in the year.
His 58 tackles were the second-most by any defensive end in the NFL in 2020 and in November, Burns was named by Pro Football Focus as one of the 25 Best Players Under 25 in the NFL and NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his two-sack effort in a shutout win over the Detroit Lions.
To mark this occasion, the Roaring Riot designed a personalized Most Valuable Panther belt for Burns, which was presented to Brian last week as the season wrapped up. Designed by Dennis Walsh, a different belt will be presented annually to the Roaring Riot’s Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Panther.
Burns’ belt features his signature “Spider-Burns” logo, designed by Michael Truhe.