USA Football, the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels, and the NFL Players Association have selected wide receiver WES WELKERof the New England Patriots and 25 other NFL players to the inaugural USA Football/NFLPA "All-Fundamentals" Team. This 26-man roster honors the NFL's most fundamentally-sound players who also commit themselves to service in their communities.
This honor recognizes Welker as an example for youth players – particularly wide receivers – to emulate due to his ability to properly catch the ball with his hands.
The USA Football/NFLPA "All-Fundamentals" Team was selected by a six-person selection committee:
- JASON BELSER, former NFL player, USA Football board member, and NFLPA senior regional director
- TOM CARTER, former NFL player and NFLPA regional director
- HERMAN EDWARDS, former NFL head coach and player, ESPN NFL analyst
- SCOTTIE GRAHAM, former NFL player and NFLPA regional director
- LARRY KENNAN, former NFL assistant coach and NFL Coaches Association executive director
- CARL PETERSON, USA Football chairman, former NFL team executive and assistant coach
In addition to his fundamentally-strong play, Welker does exemplary work in his hometown of Oklahoma City. The six-year NFL veteran created the 83 Foundation, which provides underprivileged children of Oklahoma City to reach their full potential through values and mentoring relationships gained through football.
As part of this honor, Welker will designate a youth or high school football program to receive a $1,500 equipment grant from USA Football. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFLPA, the NFL, the New England Patriots and the league's 31 other teams. Each player also receives a pewter-dipped "All-Fundamentals" Team helmet trophy produced by Riddell, USA Football's official helmet and equipment partner.
A video clip of each of the 26 players, spotlighting their sound football technique for young players to emulate, resides at AllFundamentalsTeam.com. These exciting game-action clips offer visual instruction for youth players and coaches alike.
The USA Football/NFLPA "All-Fundamentals" Team consists of:
- All 11 offensive positions
- All 11 defensive positions
- Four (4) special teams positions (LS, K, P, KR/PR)
USA Football teaches the game's fundamentals and inherent values through more than 80 annual training events and innovative football training resources employed by its members who reside in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
2009 USA Football/NFLPA "All-Fundamentals" Team:
NAME POSITION TEAM FOOTBALL FUNDAMENTAL
Tony Gonzalez TE Atlanta Falcons Catching in traffic
Ryan Clady T Denver Broncos Hands in pass protection
Joe Thomas T Cleveland Browns Pass blocking footwork
Alan Faneca G New York Jets Combo/zone blocking
Steve Hutchinson G Minnesota Vikings Pulling, run blocking
Jeff Saturday C Indianapolis Colts Snapping and blocking
Larry Fitzgerald WR Arizona Cardinals Proper catching with hands
Wes Welker WR New England Patriots Proper catching with hands
Ryan Grant RB Green Bay Packers Ball security/proper cuts
Moran Norris FB San Francisco 49ers Run blocking
Drew Brees QB New Orleans Saints Throwing mechanics
Osi Umenyiora DE New York Giants Takeoff and pass rush
Kyle Vanden Bosch DE Tennessee Titans Playing the run
Darnell Dockett DT Arizona Cardinals Defeating blocks
Haloti Ngata DT/NT Baltimore Ravens Footwork and leverage
Mike Vrabel LB Kansas City Chiefs Shedding blocks
London Fletcher LB Washington Redskins Angle tackling
DeMarcus Ware LB Dallas Cowboys Pass rush/bull rush
Cortland Finnegan CB Tennessee Titans Man-to-man coverage
Nnamdi Asomugha CB Oakland Raiders Breaking up the pass
Troy Polamalu S Pittsburgh Steelers Playing the ball
Eric Weddle S San Diego Chargers Open-field tackling
David Akers K Philadelphia Eagles Kicking mechanics
Brian Moorman P Buffalo Bills Punting mechanics
David Binn LS San Diego Chargers Long-snapping mechanics
Clifton Smith KR Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kick catching and returning
About USA Football
USA Football, the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels, hosts more than 80 football training events annually offering education for coaches and game officials, 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 Players Association, the NFL, and its 32 teams. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competition and provides $1 million annually in equipment grants and subsidizes youth league volunteer background checks. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.