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USA Football has selected Houston Texans running back ARIAN FOSTER and defensive end J.J. WATT to the 2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team, which honors 26 NFL players – 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams – who exhibit exemplary football techniques for youth players to emulate.
The fourth annual USA Football All-Fundamentals Team recognizes NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters better on-field performance and inherent safety benefits.
Foster is an example for young running backs on how to read and follow his blocks, maintaining patience to let the play develop in front of him. With his eyes up to see the holes as they open, Foster can plant with either foot to change direction and accelerate upfield. He keeps his shoulders and hips in balance, ready to sprint downhill when the opportunity arises.
Watt is proficient in batting down passes at the line of scrimmage because he keeps his hands up and arms extended to make himself bigger. He keeps his eyes up to see when the quarterback starts his throwing motion and uses proper footwork to maneuver into the passing lane to get a hand on the ball.
Each player chosen for the All-Fundamentals Team will receive a $1,500 equipment grant from USA Football to donate to the youth or high school football program of his choice. USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, is the official youth football development partner of the Texans, the NFL and each of the league’s other 31 teams.
A fan vote will determine All-Fundamentals Team captains at www.facebook.com/usafootball. Fans may vote for one captain on offense, defense and special teams. USA Football will award each of the three captains a $3,000 equipment grant to donate and an All-Fundamentals Team helmet trophy. Voting is open through Jan. 21.
Employing core football fundamentals advances a youth player’s performance and safety, particularly in the areas of blocking and tackling. USA Football has educated more than 100,000 youth football coaches in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., through its online courses and single-day coaching clinics. Approximately 3 million American children age 6-14 play organized tackle football, placing it among the country’s most popular youth sports.
The USA Football All-Fundamentals Team was assembled with guidance from a five-person selection committee:
- TOM CARTER, NFLPA player advocate and former NFL defensive back
- CHARLES DAVIS, USA Football spokesperson, football analyst for NFL Network and FOX Sports
- HERM EDWARDS, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL head coach
- MERRIL HOGE, USA Football board member, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL running back
- CARL PETERSON, USA Football chairman, former NFL team executive and assistant coach
More on past USA Football All-Fundamentals Team players’ techniques is available at:
2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Offense:
|Quarterback||Matt Ryan, Falcons|
|Running back||Arian Foster, Texans|
|Fullback||Henry Hynoski, Giants|
|Wide receiver (2)||Davone Bess, Dolphins||Reggie Wayne, Colts|
|Tight end||Tony Gonzalez, Falcons|
|Tackle (2)||Ryan Clady, Broncos||Nate Solder, Patriots|
|Guard (2)||Mike Iupati, 49ers||Carl Nicks, Buccaneers|
|Center||Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers|
2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Defense:
|End (2)||Chris Long, Rams||J.J. Watt, Texans|
|Tackle (2)||Haloti Ngata, Ravens||Vince Wilfork, Patriots|
|Linebacker (3)||London Fletcher, Redskins||Chad Greenway, Vikings||Aldon Smith, 49ers|
|Cornerback (2)||Champ Bailey, Broncos||Charles Tillman, Bears|
|Safety (2)||Thomas DeCoud, Falcons||Earl Thomas, Seahawks|
2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Special Teams:
|Return specialist||Leodis McKelvin, Bills|
|Kicker||Phil Dawson, Browns|
|Punter||Andy Lee, 49ers|
|Long snapper||Greg Warren, Steelers|
About USA Football: USA Football recommends national standards for America’s youth football community. As the sport’s national governing body in the United States, USA Football hosts dozens of football training events annually offering education for coaches, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent non-profit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competition and awards $1 million annually in equipment grants to youth and high school football programs based on merit and need. USA Football is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.