For the second time in three years, Khalil Mack won the professional Butkus Award, given to the game’s best linebacker.
This time, he wore a Bears practice uniform when the man himself presented him the trophy.
Bears legend Dick Butkus and his son Matt surprised Mack at the Bears’ OTA practice Tuesday. Butkus is in town for the Bears’ centennial convention this weekend.
Mack received two-thirds of the first-place votes and 39 percent of the overall weighted vote. The Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner and the Colts’ Darius Leonard finished second with 19 percent of the weighted vote, while the Panthers’ Luke Kuechly got 13 percent.
The Butkus Award committee is made up of 51 coaches, recruiters, scouts and journalists. They use a 3-2-1 weighted vote in determining which player best displayed the toughness, leadership, competitiveness, character and skill that Butkus possessed.
Mack won the award in the 2016-17 season as a member of the Raiders. At Buffalo in 2013, he finished second for the college Butkus Award.
“Mack returned fear to a vaunted Bears defense and was an instrumental, game-changing mismatch weapon who brought a havoc-wreaking presence to the NFC North champions with his signature strip sacks,” the selection committee said in a statement.
“His inspiring leadership and rare practice habits helped set the tempo for all phases of the team. Combining with Bears rookie and 2017 collegiate Butkus Award winner Roquan Smith went a long way toward returning the Bears atop the division and uniquely added to the richest linebacker tradition in the league.”