BOSTON (CBS) — The 2020 season was not a banner year for the New England Patriots on offense or defense, but a pair of special teamers put forth some tremendous performances. As a result, Gunner Olszewski and Jake Bailey were rewarded with a spot on the Associated Press’ All-Pro First Team.
The news — announced Friday — had Bailey slotted in as the league’s best punter and Olszewski as the league’s best punt returner. Neither selection was a surprise.READ MORE: Local Researchers Test COVID Samples To Determine Prevalence Of Omicron Variant In Massachusetts
Bailey led the NFL with a 45.6-yard net average per punt. He also led the league with 31 punts inside the 20, and the 12 Bailey punts that led to returns amounted to having just 71 return yards.
Olszewski likewise led the NFL with an average of 17.3 yards per return on his 20 punt returns on the season. He had the most returns of 20-plus yards (four) and 40-plus yards (three) and returned one for a touchdown.
Both Bailey and Olszewski were in their second seasons with the Patriots. Bailey was drafted in the fifth round of the 2019 draft out of Stanford, while Olszewski was an undrafted free agent, after his collegiate career as a defensive back at Division II Bemidji State.
Special teamer Matthew Slater — who was a part of that coverage unit that allowed just 71 punt return yards all season — was named to the AP All-Pro Second Team.
The complete AP All-Pro voting results are is below. Tight end travis Kelce and defensive lineman Aaron Donald were unanimous selections of the 50 media members who voted on the team.
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
Running Back: Derrick Henry, Tennessee
Tight End: Travis Kelce, Kansas City
Wide Receivers: Davante Adams, Green Bay; Stefon Diggs, Buffalo; Tyreek Hill, Kansas City
Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari, Green Bay
Right Tackle: Jack Conklin, Cleveland
Left Guard: Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis
Right Guard: Brandon Scherff, Washington
Center: Corey Linsley, Green Bay
Edge Rushers: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh; Myles Garrett, Cleveland
Interior Linemen: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams; DeForest Buckner, Indianapolis
Linebackers: Fred Warner, San Francisco; Bobby Wagner, Seattle; Darius Leonard, Indianapolis
Cornerbacks: Xavien Howard, Miami; Jalen Ramsey, Los Angeles Rams
Safeties: Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh and Budda Baker, Arizona (tie)
Kicker: Jason Sanders, Miami
Punter: Jake Bailey, New England
Kick Returner: Cordarrelle Patterson, ChicagoREAD MORE: Latest COVID Travel Ban To South Africa Interrupts Christmas Plans For Some Families
Punt Returner: Gunner Olszewski, New England
Special Teamer: George Odum, Indianapolis
Long Snapper: Morgan Cox, Baltimore
Quarterback: Josh Allen, Buffalo, and Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (tie)
Running Back: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans
Tight End: Vacant
Wide Receivers: DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona; Justin Jefferson, Minnesota; Calvin Ridley, Atlanta, DK Metcalf, Seattle, and Cole Beasley, Buffalo (tie)
Left Tackle: Garett Bolles, Denver
Right Tackle: Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans
Left Guard: Joel Bitonio, Cleveland
Right Guard: Wyatt Teller, Cleveland
Center: Ryan Kelly, Indianapolis, and Frank Ragnow, Detroit
Edge Rushers: Khalil Mack, Chicago; Za’Darius Smith, Green Bay
Interior Linemen: Chris Jones, Kansas City; Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh
Linebackers: Devin White, Tampa Bay; Demario Davis, New Orleans; Lavonte David, Tampa Bay, and Roquan Smith, Chicago (tie)
Cornerbacks: Jaire Alexander, Green Bay; Tre’Davious White, Buffalo
Safeties: Jamal Adams, Seattle; Jessie Bates III, Cincinnati
Kicker: Justin Tucker, Baltimore
Punter: Jack Fox, Detroit
Kick Returner: Andre Roberts, Buffalo
Punt Returner: Jakeem Grant, Miami
Special Teamer: Matthew Slater, New EnglandMORE NEWS: 'Old Ladies Against Underwater Garbage' Cleaning Out One Pond At A Time On The Cape
Long Snapper: Luke Rhodes, Indianapolis