NEWS

Peyton Manning selected to USA Football All-Fundamentals Team

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is among five players participating in Sunday's NFL championship games who were selected to the NFL All-Fundamentals Team, USA Football announced Wednesday morning.

The fifth annual All-Fundamentals Team honors players who display the offensive and defensive techniques that promote the standards of USA Football, which sponsors the Heads Up Football program and is the governing body of football.

Besides Manning, the team features San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore, Seattle Seahawks defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas and New England Patriots punter Stephen Gostkowski. Thomas was selected to the team for the second year in a row.

"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 Carl Peterson, USA Football's chairman and longtime NFL executive who helped to 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."

Fox Sports analyst Charles Davis, former NFL coach Herman Edwards, former NFL running back Merril Hoge and former NFL general manager Bill Polian also helped to pick the team.

The process for selecting the team began in November. Two of the four previous quarterbacks named to the team -- Drew Brees in 2009 and Aaron Rodgers in 2010 -- were selected as the Super Bowl MVP at the end of that season.

USA Football will donate a $1,500 equipment grant to a youth or high school team of each player's choice. Also, fans can vote for a captain of offense, defense and special teams. Each of the three winners will receive another $3,000 grant to donate and a helmet trophy.

Voting continues until Jan. 29 at www.facebook.com/usafootball.

For more about previous All-Fundamentals Teams, go to www.usafootball.com/all-fundamentals-team.


2013 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Offense:

POSITION

NAME, TEAM

Quarterback

Peyton Manning, Broncos

Running back

Frank Gore, 49ers

Fullback

John Kuhn, Packers

Wide receiver (2)

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

A.J. Green, Bengals

Tight end

Jason Witten, Cowboys

Tackle (2)

Jermon Bushrod, Bears

Tyron Smith, Cowboys

Guard (2)

Jahri Evans, Saints

Andy Levitre, Titans

Center

Nick Hardwick, Chargers

2013 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Defense:

POSITION

NAME, TEAM

End (2)

Chris Long, Rams

Muhammad Wilkerson, Jets

Tackle (2)

B.J. Raji, Packers

Kyle Williams, Bills

Linebacker (3)

D’Qwell Jackson, Browns

Luke Kuechley, Panthers

Robert Mathis, Colts

Cornerback (2)

Brent Grimes, Dolphins

Richard Sherman, Seahawks

Safety (2)

Eric Berry, Chiefs

Earl Thomas, Seahawks

2013 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Special Teams:

POSITION

NAME, TEAM

Return specialist

Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings

Kicker

Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots

Punter

Dustin Colquitt, Chiefs

Long snapper

Brian Jennings, 49ers

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