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Wood named to all-star team

Bills guard Eric Wood was named to the All-Fundamentals Team picked by USA Football and the NFL Players Association. Twenty-six NFL players were chosen in the annnual vote by a seven-person committee of former players and coaches. They're picked based on their ability to consistently execute the fundamentals of their positions and for making a positive impact on their communities.

The five offensive linemen on the team are: Wood and Kansas City's Brian Waters at guard, Kansas City's Casey Wiegmann at center, Tennessee's Michael Roos at tackle and Miami's Jake Long at tackle. Each player was cited for a particular attribute. Wood was singled out for pulling and run blocking.

The honor was particularly satisfying for Wood given the fact he came back from a broken leg suffered last November.

Said Wood: "You almost had to teach your leg how to do everything again. A lot of the muscle memory you take for granted. Playing ball your whole life you’ve got to get back to it. A lot of people have to do that coming off of injuries. Mine kept me out for six months or so, so that was a lot of time I had to make up quickly through training camp. ... I had to make sure I made progress through the season because at the beginning of the season I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be."

"Pulling is one of his attributes," said Bills line coach Joe D'Alessandris. "His technique is outstading on how he pulls and identifies on the move his target and then takes care of business at the point of attack."

Wood will play center instead of his normal guard position for a second straight week Sunday in Miami. He will face a tough nose tackle. Miami's Paul Soliai, 6-foot-4 and 355 pounds, is having a strong season.

Said D'Alessandris of Wood's play vs. Cleveland last Sunday: "We worked with him one day in training camp and said we may be put in that position sometime this season. We were and we didn’t miss a beat. He did a great job of orchestrating the offensive line, putting us in the right calls."

Miami's Long was cited for use of hands in pass protection; Roos for pass-blocking footwork; Waters fro run-blocking footwork; and Wiegmann for snapping and blocking. The quarterback on the team was Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. Other members of the offense: WR Davone Bess (Miami), WR Kevin Walter (Houston), TE Jason Witten (Dallas), RB LaDainian Tomlinson (Jets), FB Vonta Leach (Houston).

The rest of the team: DL - Justin Tuck (Giants), Kyle Vanden Bosch (Lions), Haloti Ngata (Ravens), Jay Ratliff (Cowboys); LB - LaMarr Woodley (Steelers), Jonathan Vilma (Saints), Barrett Ruud (Bucs); DBs - Antoine Winfield (Vikings), Champ Bailey (Broncos), Antoine Bethea (Colts), Darren Sharper (Saints); P - Sam Koch (Ravens); K - Jason Hanson (Lions); LS - Patrick Mannelly (Bears); KR-PR - Josh Cribbs (Browns).

The voters: Former players Merril Hoge, Jason Belser, Tom Carter, Scottie Graham; former coaches Herm Edwards and Larry Keenan; and former team president Carl Peterson.

---Mark Gaughan





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