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New Orleans Saints Offensive Line Honored with First Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award Presented by Prilosec OTC(R)
Date:2/3/2010

CINCINNATI, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- For the New Orleans Saints, this past season has been marked as the winningest in franchise history, with a first time trip to Super Bowl XLIV.  The five players who provided quarterback DREW BREES (PURDUE) consistent and dependable blocking throughout the season will add another to their list of "firsts" today.  The New Orleans Saints offensive line was the first to be honored and named winner of the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award, presented by Prilosec OTC®. This award recognizes the NFL's top offensive line, based on 2009 regular season performance.  Pro Football Hall of Fame member JOHN MADDEN and Prilosec OTC presented the inaugural trophy to the New Orleans front five at a ceremony this afternoon in South Florida.

Providing the powerful protection up front for New Orleans this season were tackles JON STINCHCOMB (GEORGIA) and JERMON BUSHROD (TOWSON), while guards JAHRI EVANS (BLOOMSBURG) and CARL NICKS (NEBRASKA) provided the interior blocking. JONATHAN GOODWIN (MICHIGAN) handled the center position. Providing depth on the Saints offensive line this year were tackle ZACH STRIEF (NORTHWESTERN), center NICK LECKEY (KANSAS STATE) and guard JAMAR NESBIT (SOUTH CAROLINA).

All season Hall of Fame Coach John Madden and the Award's Purple Ribbon Panel of football experts have closely tracked the offensive lines in the NFL.  Following the end of regular season play, the top five finalists were announced: the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, NEW YORK JETS, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES and the TENNESSEE TITANS.

"There were a lot of choices during the regular season for which group of guys would take home this first ever honor, but the Saints offensive line has been a model of consistency all season and are truly a deserving winner," said Madden.  "I am very passionate about this award that Prilosec OTC helped to create, and hope this encourages football fans to pay attention to the less watched parts of the game like run blocking and pass protection."

The New Orleans offensive line provided reliable run blocking and powerful pass protection for the top-ranked offense in the NFL. Contributing to their Most Valuable Protectors Award win, the Saints led the league in points per game (31.9) and average yards (403.8). They finished fourth in passing yards per game (272.2), sacks allowed (20) and ranked sixth in average rushing yards (131.6).

About the MADDEN MOST VALUABLE PROTECTORS AWARD PRESENTED BY PRILOSEC OTC

The Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award commemorates the accomplishments of a high-performing group of offensive linemen and their unique ability to provide protection for their teammates. The inaugural Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award was presented on Feb. 3 in South Florida, leading up to Super Bowl XLIV.

As a proud sponsor of the NFL for the past five years, Prilosec OTC is presenting this award to recognize the loyal protectors who serve as the backbone of every NFL team – just as Prilosec OTC provides powerful OTC protection against frequent heartburn.

After the 2009 regular season, fans were encouraged to vote online for the best offensive line.  Criteria set forth to choose this year's winner included opinions from The Purple Ribbon Panel, O-line performance statistics and fan votes.  The Purple Ribbon Panel consists of NFL Network analysts JAMIE DUKES, MARSHALL FAULK, STEVE MARIUCCI and NFL Network host RICH EISEN.

For more information on the Madden MVP Award, visit MaddenProtectorsAward.com.

All player participation will be facilitated by NFL PLAYERS, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.

About PRILOSEC OTC®

Prilosec OTC® is the #1 Doctor recommended acid reducer+ and the #1 Pharmacist recommended OTC Heartburn medicine++, the first of a class of OTC heartburn medicines that treats frequent heartburn with just one pill a day, unlike most over-the-counter heartburn medications. Prilosec OTC® is a leading heartburn medicine that can work for 24 hours with one pill a day by directly shutting down many acid pumps in your stomach when used as directed for 14 days for treating frequent heartburn. Prilosec OTC® is the #1 selling OTC heartburn medicine+ on the market. For more information about Prilosec OTC®, visit www.prilosecotc.com. Prilosec OTC® is available over-the-counter through an alliance between P&G and AstraZeneca.

Prilosec OTC is the Official Heartburn Remedy Sponsor of the NFL.

About Procter & Gamble ( PG)

Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Gain®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®,  Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, Braun® and Fusion®. The P&G community includes approximately 135,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

About NFL PLAYERS

Formed in 1994, NFL PLAYERS is the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. Representing more than 1,800 active and many memorable retired NFL players, NFL PLAYERS "takes the helmets off" the players and markets them as personalities as well as professional athletes. Through an exclusive sponsorship agreement between the organization and the NFL, players are integrated into NFL sponsor activation programs. In addition, under an exclusive agreement between NFL PLAYERS and the NFL, NFLPLAYERS.COM, the company's official website, is part of the NFL Internet Network. Each year NFL PLAYERS negotiates and facilitates extensive player marketing opportunities for players. NFL PLAYERS activities include retail licensing, corporate sponsorships and promotions, special events, radio and television projects, publishing and internet. For more information, please visit NFLPLAYERS.COM.

©2009 NFL Properties LLC.  All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

+ Wolters Kluwer Health, Wolters Kluwer Health Physician Recommendation Audit (April 2004-June 2007, Acid Reducer Category).  Data on file.

++ Pharmacy Times, OTC Supplement, June 2009

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Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award Presented by Prilosec OTC

SOURCE Procter & Gamble

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