The New England Patriots stand with special teams representatives on the 2020 Associated Press NFL All-Pro team.
Punter Jake Bailey and punt returner Gunner Olszewski were both named to the first-team roster on Friday. Captain Matthew Slater was named a second-team AP All-Pro by the national panel of 50 media members.
Bailey, 23, punted 55 times for an average of 48.7 yards per punt and a league-best net average of 45.6 yards. The 2019 fifth-round draft choice out of Stanford had 31 punts fall inside the opposing 20-yard line and saw just five bounce into the end zone for touchbacks. Bailey, who also earned Pro Bowl recognition during the 7-9 regular season, launched a long of 71 yards while also serving as New England’s kickoff specialist and holder.
Olszewski, 24, returned 20 punts for a league-high 346 yards along with a 70-yard touchdown versus the Los Angeles Rams. The former Bemidji State defensive back and undrafted tryout’s 17.3 yards per punt return set a franchise record. Olszewski also handled 18 kickoffs for 418 yards in the third phase. And on offense, the converted wide receiver handled five carries for 23 yards to go with five catches for 61 yards and a score.
Slater, 35, played 331 snaps on special teams for the Patriots, good for 85 percent of the workload. The 2008 fifth-rounder by way of UCLA earned his ninth Pro Bowl honor in the process and was credited with seven tackles. Slater has tallied five first-team All-Pros from the AP in his career, and was last named a second-team All-Pro in 2017. Safety George Odum of the Indianapolis Colts would be the NFL’s first-team special-teamer in 2020.
Cornerback J.C. Jackson and gunner Justin Bethel also garnered votes for the Patriots. They finished with one and two, respectively, at their positions.