- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Peyton Manning, Rob Gronkowski and Earl Thomas are among the 26 players chosen by USA Football for its All-Fundamental team.

Players from 22 NFL teams have been selected with guidance from a five-man committee of Bill Polian, Herm Edwards, Merril Hoge, Charles Davis and Carl Peterson.

USA Football, the governing body for the sport in the United States, recognizes NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters safety benefits and better on-field performances.

Among the other players chosen for the squad are Reggie Wayne, Golden Tate, Matt Forte, Joe Thomas, Luke Kuechly, Cameron Wake, Gerald McCoy and three rookies: place kicker Chandler Catanzaro, linebacker Khalil Mack, and guard Zack Martin.

“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 Peterson, USA Football’s chairman and a longtime NFL executive. “According to medical experts, players who master the fundamentals and learn them at younger ages are safer as they progress within the sport.”

The team:

Quarterback: Peyton Manning, Denver

Running Back: Matt Forte, Chicago

Fullback: John Kuhn, Green Bay

Wide Receivers: Golden Tate, Detroit; Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis

Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, New England

Center: Ryan Kalil, Carolina

Guard: Zach Martin, Dallas; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore

Tackle: Jason Peters, Philadelphia; Joe Thomas, Cleveland

Defensive End: Cameron Wake, Miami; Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets

Defensive Tackle: Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay; Kyle Williams, Buffalo

Linebacker: Khalil Mack, Oakland; Luke Kuechly, Carolina; Tamba Hali, Kansas City

Cornerback: Vontae Davis, Indianapolis; Terence Newman, Dallas

Safety: Ryan Clark, Washington; Earl Thomas, Seattle

Placekicker: Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona

Punter: Jon Ryan, Seattle

Return Specialist: Jacoby Jones, Baltimore

Long Snapper: Cullen Loeffler, Minnesota


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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