We investigate how nonlinearity and topological disorder affect the energy relaxation of local kicks in coarse-grained network models of proteins. We find that nonlinearity promotes long-range, coherent transfer of substantial energy to specific functional sites, while depressing transfer to generic locations. In some cases, transfer is mediated by the self-localization of discrete breathers at distant locations from the kick, acting as efficient energy-accumulating centers. Copyright (C) EPLA, 2009