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Arizona Cardinals’ Justin Bethel earns Pro Football Focus honor

Justin Bethel of the Arizona Cardinals continues to be one of the best special teams players in the National Football League.

The third-year player out of Presbyterian led the NFL with 18 special teams tackles and had two fumble recoveries. Due to this production, Bethel will make his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance later this month in Glendale.

But the honors don’t stop there. ProFootballFocus.com, a website that specializes in individual player analytics, has named Bethel to their All-Pro Special Teams unit, at the vice/hold up position, joining Kelcie McCray of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The job of these guys is to slow down the gunners on punts, something that’s not easy to do at all. So difficult in fact, that teams often set up with two men on each side in this role to better deal with the gunners. Bethel was the best in the league last year, and after a slow start he finished the year strong. That wasn’t enough to catch McCray, though, who just edged him as the best vice in the league in 2014, consistently a force to be reckoned with.

Bethel saw his role on defense grow in 2014 as well, playing a career-high 99 snaps at cornerback and registering seven total tackles.