Pittsburgh Steelers center MAURKICE POUNCEYand long snapper GREG WARRENwill each donate a $1,500 equipment grant to the youth football programs where they grew up playing through USA Football, the official youth football development partner of the Steelers and the NFL.
USA Football named Pouncey and Warren to its 2012 All-Fundamentals Team in January, honoring 26 NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters inherent safety benefits and better on-field performance. As All-Fundamentals Team players, Pouncey and Warren each received an equipment grant valued at $1,500 from USA Football to donate to the youth or high school program of their choice. Pouncey will award his grant to Lakeland Destroyers (Fla.) Youth Football League, and Warren will award his grant to Mount Olive (N.C.) Hurricanes Youth Football.
Pouncey maintains a strong base for balance after the snap to provide solid pass protection. He also has the agility and sound footwork to reach the second level and block linebackers to provide Pittsburgh ball-carriers a chance to break big runs.
"On behalf of the Lakeland Destroyers, we thank Maurkice Pouncey, USA Football and Riddell for your support," Lakeland Destroyers Vice President IVAN BROOKS said. "The blocking equipment set will allow us to teach proper tackling techniques and stances. We are aware of concussions in football and are teaching Heads Up Tackling."
Warren's proper pre-snap body position helps ensure a tight spiral and a straight, fluid delivery. With a wide stance, he looks between his legs to find his target before applying a proper passing grip and resting his other hand on top of the football to guide it.
"It is an honor to have been chosen by Mount Olives' very own Greg Warren as a 2013 USA Football equipment grant recipient. Greg's commitment to the children of his hometown has never wavered," Mount Olive Hurricanes Youth Football head coach ALEX FERRELL said. "Receiving this grant helps us continue to offer football to the youth of Mount Olive and put our players in the safest, most modern equipment available.
"Our coaches and players will work hard to honor Greg, USA Football and the Steelers by using the helmets and shoulder pads as part of our constant focus on the proper fundamentals of this game."
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.
The USA Football All-Fundamentals Team was assembled with guidance by a five-person selection committee:
- TOM CARTER, NFLPA player advocate and former NFL defensive back
- 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, USA Football board member, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL running back
- CARL PETERSON, USA Football chairman, former NFL team executive and assistant coach
More on past USA Football All-Fundamentals Team players' techniques is available at:
About USA Football:USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, hosts dozens of football training events annually offering education for coaches, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competitions and provides more than $1 million annually in equipment grants and youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football (www.usafootball.com) is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.