A few days ago our own Heath Miller was named to the 2011 USA Football All Fundamentals Team. HUH? OK so it’s not the Pro Bowl, or the All Madden Team, and by Google standards it not even worth an automatic search fill in, but it’s a nice nod to Heath nonetheless.
You can read for yourself all about it here http://www.usafootball.com/ but I’ll spare you the click through and give you all the details, ok some of the more interesting details. USA Football is the youth development partner of the NFL. They’re a not for profit that helps strengthen youth programs across the country with education and monetary resources. Each year, or so it seems, they name an All Fundamentals team, based not on stats or athleticism (it actually states that) but solely on their execution of football fundamentals.
It’s actually a nifty learning tool, there’s video that shows these guys in action and a little commentary explaining what they are doing right. Allow me to create a dramatic pause here, as I restate. A Steeler is being chosen among his peers for doing something right.
Heath gets recognized for his “under control” blocking. So, according to the video for #83, it’s engaging the defender under control (there’s that phrase again) with his head play side (as opposed to what?) and focusing on where he needs to put his guy. Then some fancy footwork helps to finish the block. There. Good blocking explained in less than 30 seconds. Have at it kids.
Bottom line, Heath is a great example on and OFF the field. Which to me, it’s about time some love gets spread on over to our guys. Cheers Heath on a job well done.
But on the flip side of this, maybe there needs to be a list of guys who may not look the part but just get it done. Give the runts, the uncoordinated spaz’s, the bench warmers their own inspiration. Let’s start with Steve Smith. Dude’s 5’9”, maybe, but is a solid, even dangerous receiver. Perhaps in need of a little Diva-control potion, had he not spent so many years waiting for Delhomme to throw a decent ball, his numbers would be outrageous. I’ll go ahead and put Tebow on here, and say no more considering everything has already been said about a ga-jillion times. How about Drew Brees? He was like a foster kid getting shipped around from house to house, always because there was a Prom King wanting to move in. Look where he is now. And going way back, let’s talk about Dick Lane, Dick ‘Night train’ Lane. I love him just for that. Straight out of the Armed Forces, no football experience, the guy walks on with the Rams. And to this day holds the rookie record for interceptions. Finally, Casey Hampton. Hope for even the fat kids. Though if you are 325 and can move like him, feel free to eat all the twinkies you want.
Theres so much chatter about rule breakers and dirty players these days. Dont get me wrong, I love me some Harrison, and no doubt those guys sell seats. But lets not forget Heath and so many others, fundamental or not, who also play hard and remind us every Sunday why we don our gear, spend hours in the cold and tell our kids “See that? Play it like he does”.