It didn’t take long for Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon to understand the impact Pat Tillman had on the organization and the Valley community.

He and many other members of the organization participated in Pat’s Run last year, only two-plus months after he was hired as the team’s head coach, and that was repeated last Saturday for the 20th run since it began in 2005, one year after Tillman was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.

Prior to the run last weekend, Gannon told Cards Wire, “This is fantastic. Obviously, what Pat meant to the city, to the country, the positivity around him, his legacy and the energy here is just fantastic. It really brings a tear to your eye.”

Asked how much he knew about the Tillman story before arriving in the desert a year ago, Gannon said, “Not as much as I am now. But obviously knew the story playing football growing up. When that happened, I think I was in high school going into college. I’m very familiar now. There’s a statue of him at our stadium, a statue in our facility. We do an award for him. It’s really cool.”

Gannon was 19 years old when Tillman turned down an opportunity for a big NFL contract when he enlisted in 2002, several months after 9/11.

He talked more about Tillman at the beginning of his media session with reporters Monday to mark the start of the team’s offseason program.

Gannon said, “Just want to touch on Pat’s Run first. I thought that was awesome. That’s just obviously the importance that he has on this community. I mean, the world in general, but the community, our team, Arizona State, the Cardinals. That was a pretty cool deal. Glad we got to take part in that. Definitely brings a tear to your eye.”

The award Gannon mentioned was for the scout-team player of the week last season during practice preparation. It was voted on by the coaches, and the player wore a No. 40 jersey in practice the following week. It had the full support of owner Michael Bidwill and general manager Monti Ossenfort.

Gannon said last September, “Pat Tillman, what he stands for, huge part of our organization. Monti and Michael talked about; I’ve always wanted to do something with (the scout team) because it’s such an important piece of preparation for all three phases. That’s what we decided to implement. So, they were excited about it. You’ll see that jersey bounce around here every week.

“Everyone knows about Pat. Our guys were excited about it. I thought it was kinda a cool thing.”

Wide receiver Andre Baccellia wore a green jersey after Week 1 because the special jersey ordered hadn’t arrived yet. For the second week, it did and depicted on the black jersey within the number worn by Clayton Tune was a camouflage pattern.

It was done with the full support of owner Michael Bidwill and general manager Monti Ossenfort.

The Week 2 winner, quarterback Clayton Tune, told the team website it was “cool to wear it and it’s the camo No. 40, and you get to wear it all week.”

For the record, here are the Cardinals players that won the award last season. Each got to wear the jersey the following week of practice. There was no winner for Week 18 because there was obviously no practice the next week.

Week 1: WR Andre Baccellia

Week 2: QB Clayton Tune

Week 3: LB Tyreek Maddox-Williams

Week 4: T Jackson Barton

Week 5: S Qwuantrezz Knight

Week 6: RB Corey Clement

Week 7: G Marquis Hayes

Week 8: CB Divaad Wilson

Week 9: WR Kaden Davis

Week 10: LB Owen Pappoe

Week 11: TE Bernhard Seikovits

Week 12: WR Daniel Arias

Week 13: S Joey Blount

Week 14: Bye week – Cardinals didn’t practice

Week 15: G Marquis Hayes

Week 16: RB Corey Clement

Week 17: LB Cam Thomas