Manning, Gronkowski on All-Fundamentals team
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Peyton Manning, Rob Gronkowski and Earl Thomas are among the 26 players chosen by USA Football for its All-Fundamental team.
Players from 22 NFL teams have been selected with guidance from a five-man committee of Bill Polian, Herm Edwards, Merril Hoge, Charles Davis and Carl Peterson.
USA Football, the governing body for the sport in the United States, recognizes NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters safety benefits and better on-field performances.
Among the other players chosen for the squad are Reggie Wayne, Golden Tate, Matt Forte, Joe Thomas, Luke Kuechly, Cameron Wake, Gerald McCoy and three rookies: place kicker Chandler Catanzaro, linebacker Khalil Mack, and guard Zack Martin.
''These 26 men serve as examples to the millions of youth football players across the nation that fundamentals are vital to success at every level,'' said Peterson, USA Football's chairman and a longtime NFL executive. ''According to medical experts, players who master the fundamentals and learn them at younger ages are safer as they progress within the sport.''
Quarterback: Peyton Manning, Denver
Running Back: Matt Forte, Chicago
Fullback: John Kuhn, Green Bay
Wide Receivers: Golden Tate, Detroit; Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, New England
Center: Ryan Kalil, Carolina
Guard: Zach Martin, Dallas; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore
Tackle: Jason Peters, Philadelphia; Joe Thomas, Cleveland
Defensive End: Cameron Wake, Miami; Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets
Defensive Tackle: Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay; Kyle Williams, Buffalo
Linebacker: Khalil Mack, Oakland; Luke Kuechly, Carolina; Tamba Hali, Kansas City
Cornerback: Vontae Davis, Indianapolis; Terence Newman, Dallas
Safety: Ryan Clark, Washington; Earl Thomas, Seattle
Placekicker: Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona
Punter: Jon Ryan, Seattle
Return Specialist: Jacoby Jones, Baltimore
Long Snapper: Cullen Loeffler, Minnesota
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