The 8th Annual Commitment to Excellence Awards Dinner and Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, March 13, 2010, at the Hilton - Oakland Airport. RB Justin Fargas and TE Zach Miller are the co-recipients of the 2009 Commitment to Excellence Award. An on-field presentation took place during pregame ceremonies prior to the 2009 regular season finale.
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Recipients of the award, who are chosen by their teammates, exemplify throughout the season pride, poise and excellence and show leadership not only on the field but in the community as well.
The first two winners of the Commitment to Excellence Award were Jim Otto and Daryle Lamonica and over the years have included such greats as Fred Biletnikoff, Willie Brown, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, and
For Fargas, this marks the third time in a row he has received the award and further solidifies his place in Silver and Black history. “I was actually pretty surprised, but it is an honor to be elected by my teammates,” Fargas explained.
On the field, Fargas split time at running back with RBs
Fargas has also been a huge presence in the locker room assuming a leadership role for not only the offense but for the team as a whole. “As you get older or been with the team for so long, a little bit of that responsibility comes with it as far as being a leader and a guy other guys can look to,” Fargas said.
That leadership was truly displayed during the thrilling come-from-behind 20-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at the Coliseum.
In the locker room prior to kickoff, Fargas reminded the team of their fallen teammate and dedicated the effort to Marquis Cooper yelling out “Ninety-five on three.”
“He’s not here anymore,” Fargas said to his teammates. “A lot of people don’t know Marquis (Cooper). He loved this game. He can’t play this game anymore. He’s not coming back. His family is here today. His mom, wife, and daughter are here trying to hold on to a little piece of what’s left.”
As the season came to a close, Fargas reminded his teammates to hold onto the positives from the season and build on it for next year.
“As a team we need to take with us this offseason the positive things that we did. Hold on to that and build on that and take it into next year,” Fargas explained. “We have a lot of good things going on. We figured out a lot of things this year and it should help us for next year.”
For TE Zach Miller winning the award for the first time marks an accomplishment he has wanted since he joined the team three years ago. “It’s great. It has been something I’ve been striving for and one of the awards I have wanted to win since I became a Raider,” Miller said.
Throughout his career Miller has tried to lead his teammates by example, letting his effort do the talking for him. “I feel like I am a leader by example. I am not a big talker but I try to set a precedent and set an example, especially for the younger guys, with the way I work and the way I study,” Miller said.
Miller led the team in receptions and receiving yards in 2009 and he is now receiving national attention being named a Pro Bowl alternate for the AFC team. “As soon as I made it to the NFL, it was one of my first goals to make it to a Pro Bowl. It would be something great to play in. Just to be an alternate is a great honor,” Miller said.