Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson was named the special teams captain for USA Football's 2012 All-Fundamentals Team through a national fan vote conducted Jan. 7-21.
The fourth annual USA Football All-Fundamentals Team, which honors 26 NFL players – 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams – recognizes NFL players who exhibit exemplary football techniques for youth players to emulate. Playing fundamentally-sound football fosters better on-field performance and inherent safety benefits.
More than 10,000 fan votes were cast via www.facebook.com/usafootball to determine the team's three captains – one for each phase of the game. Joining Dawson as captains are Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (offense) and Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (defense).
Dawson is a kicker who combines accuracy with the ability to connect from long distance. With a solid plant foot and strong posture, he drives power through his hips to strike the ball correctly and retain precision even in the worst weather conditions.
By being voted a captain, Dawson, Wayne and Tillman each will receive an equipment grant valued at $3,000 from USA Football to donate to the youth or high school football programs of their choice. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the Browns, the NFL and each of the league's other 31 teams.
"Football never stands still, yet strong fundamentals are timeless," said Carl Peterson, USA Football's chairman and longtime NFL executive who helped select the team. "Phil has demonstrated exemplary kicking fundamentals throughout his career, including in high-pressure, game-winning situations. We're proud to recognize him as an All-Fundamentals Team captain."
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 100,000 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.
2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Offense:
2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Defense:
2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team – Special Teams: