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26 NFL Players named to USA Football's 2012 All-Fundamentals Team

Steve Alic, Director of Communications Mon, 01/07/2013 - 10:04am

Fan vote to determine captains for annual squad that honors the best techniques for young players to emulate

Twenty-six NFL players across 18 teams have been selected for the 2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team. This team honors players – 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams – who exhibit exemplary football techniques for youth players to emulate. USA Football is the sport’s national governing body and is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and NFLPA.

The fourth annual USA Football All-Fundamentals Team recognizes NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters inherent safety benefits and better on-field performance.

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 NFL and each of the league’s 32 teams.

A fan vote at will determine All-Fundamentals Team captains. 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.

“Football never stands still, yet strong fundamentals are timeless,” said CARL PETERSON, USA Football’s chairman and longtime NFL executive who helped select the team. “According to medical experts, players who master the fundamentals and learn them at younger ages are safer as they progress within the sport.

“Many NFL players exhibit excellent fundamental skills, and those on this roster are extraordinary. We’re proud to recognize them.”

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:





Matt Ryan, Falcons


Running back

Arian Foster, Texans



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


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


Phil Dawson, Browns


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.