USA Football has selected Chicago Bears offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod as a member of the 2013 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 fifth 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.
Despite his size and powerful build, Bushrod keeps a low pad level to gain leverage on defenders. He maintains balance to counter quicker pass rushers and uses proper hand placement to control defenders.
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 Bears, 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. 29.
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 110,000 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:
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
BILL POLIAN, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL general manager
More on past USA Football All-Fundamentals Team players' techniques is available at: www.usafootball.com/all-fundamentals-team.
|Quarterback||Peyton Manning, Broncos|
|Running back||Frank Gore, 49ers|
|Fullback||John Kuhn, Packers|
|Wide receiver||Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals||A.J. Green, Bengals|
|Tight end||Jason Witten, Cowboys|
|Tackle||Jermon Bushrod, Bears||Tyron Smith, Cowboys|
|Guard||Jahri Evans, Saints||Andy Levitre, Titans|
|Center||Nick Hardwick, Chargers|
2013 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team: Defense
|End||Chris Long, Rams||Muhammad Wilkerson, Jets|
|Tackle||B.J. Raji, Packers||Kyle Williams, Bills|
|Linebacker||D'Qwell Jackson, Browns||Luke Kuechly, Panthers||Robert Mathis, Colts|
|Cornerback||Brent Grimes, Dolphins||Richard Sherman, Seahawks|
|Safety||Eric Berry, Chiefs||Earl Thomas, Seahawks|
2013 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team: Special Teams
|Return specialist||Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings|
|Kicker||Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots|
|Punter||Dustin Colquitt, Chiefs|
|Long snapper||Jon Dorenbos, Eagles|
About USA Football: Indianapolis-based USA Football is the sport's national governing body, leading the game's development for youth, high school and other amateur football players. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NCAA's Atlantic Coast Conference. USA Football (www.usafootball.com), endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002, is the sport's leader in coaching education and player skill advancement for a better, safer game.