USA Football has selected Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas as a member of the 2014 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team, which honors 26 NFL players – 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams – who exhibit exemplary football techniques for young players to emulate.
The sixth 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 advances player safety.
Thomas is the best in the NFL at using a vertical pass set. He avoids kicking out to the side on the block, instead going straight back to meet the defender and take away the defensive end's angle to turn the corner. After intersecting defenders, he sinks his hips on contact and presents a proud chest with hands out to negate the rush.
Each player chosen for the All-Fundamentals Team will receive a $1,000 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 Browns, 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 $2,000 equipment grant to donate. Voting is open through Dec. 22.
USA Football educates more high school and youth coaches combined than any organization in the United States.
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, 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:
2014 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Offense:
Peyton Manning, Broncos
Matt Forte, Bears
John Kuhn, Packers
Golden Tate, Lions
Reggie Wayne, Colts
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
Jason Peters, Eagles
Joe Thomas, Browns
Zack Martin, Cowboys
Marshal Yanda, Ravens
Ryan Kalil, Panthers
2014 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Defense:
Cameron Wake, Dolphins
Sheldon Richardson, Jets
Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers
Kyle Williams, Bills
Khalil Mack, Raiders
Luke Kuechly, Panthers
Tamba Hali, Chiefs
Vontae Davis, Colts
Terence Newman, Bengals
Ryan Clark, Redskins
Earl Thomas, Seahawks
2014 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Special Teams:
Jacoby Jones, Ravens
Chandler Catanzaro, Cardinals
Jon Ryan, Seattle Seahawks
Cullen Loeffler, Vikings
About USA Football: Indianapolis-based USA Football (www.usafootball.com) is the sport's national governing body, leading the game's development for youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and sport to establish important standards rooted in education. USA Football advances coaching education and player skill development for safer play and positive experiences through athletics.