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Packers’ Engel named NFC assistant athletic trainer of the year

Posted by Mike Spofford on February 26, 2014 – 4:17 pm

Bryan Engel

Bryan Engel

The Packers’ Bryan “Flea” Engel was named the NFC’s winner of the Tim Davey Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year award at last week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis.

The award began in 2010 in honor of Davey, a former assistant trainer for the Jets, who passed away that year. An employee of the Jets and the NFL for 33 years, Davey worked on the athletic training staff for the Jets (1969-77), moved into team operations (1977-91) and then joined the league office in game operations.

One assistant athletic trainer from the NFC and one from the AFC is recognized each year by the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society. Packers head athletic trainer Pepper Burruss, who worked with Davey while with the Jets, presented Engel with the award at the PFATS annual business meeting last week at the combine.

“It’s humbling to get an award like that amongst your peers,” Engel said. “Knowing who the award is named after, it has a special meaning from the stories I’ve heard about Tim Davey from ‘Pep’ and the special relationship he had with him.”

Engel just completed his 17th season as an athletic trainer for the Packers. He began his time in Green Bay as an intern in 1997 following two internships with the New England Patriots. He initially met the Packers’ training staff at Super Bowl XXXI while working for the opposing Patriots and came to Green Bay for an interview just a few weeks after that game.

After two seasons as an intern for the Packers, Engel became a full-time assistant in 1999 and has remained with the Packers since, though he never necessarily envisioned staying with one team this long.

“Each year, I just wanted another opportunity, and I figured I’d just keep doing it until somebody told me no,” the humble and soft-spoken Engel said. “Fortunately, nobody’s told me no yet. The door still opens when I put my (ID) card up to it. That’s pretty cool.”

Engel is the third member of the Packers’ medical staff to be honored in recent years. Dr. Patrick McKenzie received the Jerry “Hawk” Rhea award as the NFL’s outstanding team physician in 2011, while Burruss received the Fain Cain Memorial Award as the league’s top athletic trainer last year.

“An award like this speaks to who we are as a staff,” said Engel, adding the names of team physician Dr. John Gray, assistant athletic trainers Kurt Fielding and Nate Weir, plus multiple interns. “We all work together to try to take care of the team, take care of the players and do right by them. If one of us gets an award, we’re all thankful for the support from each other. We’re a group effort, and to me you have to have that.”

Posted in Packers.com Blog | 22 Comments »

22 Responses to “Packers’ Engel named NFC assistant athletic trainer of the year”

  1. By mohawkchieftain on Feb 26, 2014 | Reply

    They give an award for handing out Gatorade & towels?

  2. By Samuel Resz on Feb 26, 2014 | Reply

    I am sure some of the fans will freak out about him getting an award, given that a number of them blame the athletic trainers for the hamstring injuries.

  3. By Patti Harris on Feb 26, 2014 | Reply

    You deserve this award. Congratulation! The Packers are very lucky to have you on staff.

  4. By darklife41 on Feb 27, 2014 | Reply

    I’m freaking out over the award. With all the soft tissue injuries the Packers have had with this training staff, this is a ridiculous choice for the award.

  5. By northerner on Feb 27, 2014 | Reply

    I guess since they were all minor season ending injuries for most players he deserves the award. Way to go and keep up the great job in 2014.

  6. By Al Neubauer on Feb 27, 2014 | Reply

    Grwe\\eat to here. He has a lot of people to take care of. Lets hope that we don’t have year like last.

  7. By J Pruemer on Feb 27, 2014 | Reply

    Congratulations, Bryan! Not too bad, considering your employer, lol. Wishing you continued success…

  8. By WCPackfan on Feb 27, 2014 | Reply

    I guess it makes sense that the Packers medical staff has raked in some awards over the last few years. They’ve been working for one of the most injury plagued teams in the league. Kinda difficult to know how good a trainer is when there aren’t many patients

  9. By longtimefanhtr on Feb 27, 2014 | Reply

    What’s the good news?

  10. By Bones816 on Feb 27, 2014 | Reply

    “They give an award for handing out Gatorade & towels?”
    You sir, are a fool. Congratulations to Bryan. I wish people understood what Athletic Trainers really do, how much education they have and how many hours, including nights and weekends that they put in only to be talked about like glorified water boys and water girls by people like mohawkchieftan.

  11. By Bill Johnson on Feb 27, 2014 | Reply

    Over the course of a year, NFL athletic trainers work more hours than most folks are awake. Mohawkchieftain reminds me of a comment made by a basketball coach I used to work once said of a clueless fan: “Guy’s never worn a jock in his life!” Translation: don’t speak to things you know ABSOLUTELY nothing about. Or, if you want to keep spewing your ignorance, post your real name and stand behind your comments.

  12. By Happy Hour on Feb 28, 2014 | Reply

    Who hid the lemon slices?


  13. By john on Mar 1, 2014 | Reply

    As an organization, the Packers have been terrible at avoiding injuries. I am convinced this has nothing to do with luck, but a training program that leaves them vulnerable. Don’t believe me? Go to Football Outsiders and look up the history of the “Adjusted Games Lost” stat. Since they started tracking this in 2008, the Packers have been “average” only once… They average 25th in the ranking, meaning the 8th worst. I haven’t looked to see if 2013 rankings are out yet (March sometime), but the Packers will be right at the top again. This is not a blip…it is a trend.

  14. By Happy Hour on Mar 1, 2014 | Reply

    Football Outsiders looks like the ultimate stat nerd website.

  15. By Stan on Mar 1, 2014 | Reply

    Is this April 1? The Packers were a MASH unit.

  16. By Kris on Mar 1, 2014 | Reply

    Yea. Hand the award to the guy who was on the training staff that oversaw 15 hamstring injuries. Making the Packers the most battered team in the league in 2013. Yea, well conditioned athletes they were!!! Sheesh!

  17. By Happy Hour on Mar 3, 2014 | Reply

    Kris, hamstring injuries usually come from over-training.

  18. By David on Mar 3, 2014 | Reply

    I agree with John. There is not a chance that the Packers rash of injuries EVERY year is a fluke. The entire traing staff should be held responsible and unless changes are made in training regimens, off-season programs,etc. the injuries will continue.

  19. By John Denver's Gavel on Mar 7, 2014 | Reply

    The whole traing/ medical staff should be fired not awarded! For Shame Mr Engel, give it back and hit the road. Maybe he should do some research on our recurring hammy issue during his “longer office hours longer than I am awake.”

  20. By Bones816 on Mar 8, 2014 | Reply

    The Strength and Conditioning coaches are the people who give the athletes their workout regimens. Athletic Trainers are there to diagnose injuries and help the athlete recover from injury.

  21. By Matt on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    For everyone talking about hamstring injuries being the training staff’s fault, you should know what your talking about first. The Strength and conditioning coaches deal with STRENGTHENING and CONDITIONING the athletes hamstrings. The athletic trainers deal with diagnosing and treating the injury once it happens, they have nothing to do with conditioning of the athletes!! If you want to blame someone blame the strength coaches! The Green Bay Medical staff is considered one of the best by their peers and the NFL community as a whole!

  22. By Ryan on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Well put Matt. I am an Athletic Trainer. One of our biggest fights is to differentiate between a physical/personal trainer and an Athletic Trainer. Two completely different things. We frequently get called trainers and it confuses people. We also get called water boys because making sure the athlete is hydrated is a big part of our job but not our only job. There would be so many more injuries on game day if teams didnt have Athletic Trainers. So instead of criticising us, thank us and do some research as to what we actually do.
    P.S. Well done Bryan. Keep up the good work

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