PFWA creates award named after Dr. Z to honor longtime assistant coaches

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Whether he was working at a newspaper, for Sports Illustrated or writing the seminal book The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football, Paul Zimmerman has been one of the best analytical minds around pro football for decades.

Zimmerman’s writing career came to a halt several years ago after a stroke, but his contributions to the game are being honored by his colleagues at the Pro Football Writers of America. The PFWA has created an award named after Zimmerman that shares his frequent focus on less celebrated aspects of the game.

The Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award recognizes lifetime achievement by assistant coaches. Longtime offensive line coach Howard Mudd, offensive guru Ernie Zampese and the late defensive coordinators Jim Johnson and Fritz Shurmur were named as recipients of the award in 2014.

“I’m very flattered,” Mudd said, via Peter King of “I also really appreciate the award being named after Paul. When he interviewed me, he was fixated on my troops. I appreciate how he saw the game. I’m quite taken aback. This is such an elite group.”

In this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback, King also includes a picture of Zimmerman with a Sports Emmy given to an NFL Films feature about Dr. Z that was named the winner of the Dick Schapp Outstanding Writing Award. All the honors are well deserved for a man who helped us all understand the game of football a little bit better.

6 responses to “PFWA creates award named after Dr. Z to honor longtime assistant coaches

  1. Both efforts should be applauded. Honoring Paul Zimmerman, who’s work helped inspire many, including myself to love football during my formative years, and recognizing some of the outstanding assistant coaches who have influenced the game.

    Now, if we can get some of these men into Hall of Fame, in an assistant coaches wing, where they belong, we’ll be cooking with fire.

    Well done, PFWA!!!

  2. My only issue with “Dr. Z” is that he would make football picks, but never post his record…

    However, I have enjoyed his analysis over the years and applaud the recognition!

  3. Paul Zimmerman was a great writer and I enjoyed his work immensely.
    No one else came close to bringing me an appreciation for the NFL and its history.
    It makes me happy to see him get some recognition.

  4. Zimmerman is a corrupt turd. He is black balling one the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Kenny (The Snake) Stabler should of been in the HOF along time ago. Zimmerman vowed to never, ever vote for Stabler. Zimmerman has a personal vendetta against Stabler. Zimmerman should not be allowed to vote for HOF at all. The HOF committee is a joke.

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