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gopher2

Is tackling a "lost" art?

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Has tackling been replaced by ankle-diving or the big push out of bounds?  It seems that over the last 20 years with the massive increase of speed and size of NFL players, tackling quality there has gone down, with the focus now being on creating turnovers instead of stopping the runner.  I could be wrong (I hear that a lot in my own house), but it seems that this has trickled down to the college and HS level as well, where the push for the "big hit" highlight reel play, has been emphasized.  To those of you who also coach defense, am I missing something?  How many of you chart missed tackles?  I know when I chart our end of season film I want to swallow a pitchfork when I count our missed tackles at a somewhat successful 2A/3A team.

In your opinion what causes the missed tackle?

A.  Improper technique

B.  Alternative goal (turnover, making a big hit)

C.  Mental toughness

D.  Other

Talk amongst yourselves.  BTW   Not a Patriots fan, but interesting article .

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Great discussion point.

I think it largely B, but A is also definitely a factor. The biggest thing I see with our kids, and also at higher levels is the desire to make the big hit leads to poor technique i.e. no arm wrap, feet leaving the ground, head down etc..I think kids also struggle knowing when to use some of these new techniques that are being taught to make the game safer. While I think they are great and should be taught at all levels, it's definitely difficult to get kids to understand when to use a roll tackle, how to use leverage, what the difference is between a profile tackle and a heads up tackle etc..

As Belichick often puts it, the point of defense is to get the guy with the ball to the ground. Doesn't have to be a big hit, doesn't have to be a highlight reel event, just gotta get him to the ground. The Patriots have won a lot of games in very large part due to their tackling ability--see Dont'a Hightower's tackle on Marshawn Lynch the play before the infamous interception in the Super Bowl. 

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Do you watch Big 12 football? For the last 5 years there has been zero defense played in that league. I have seen better hitting at the HS level than on Saturday and Sunday's, thankfully the refs don't blow their whistle in HS if there is a big hit that is questionable as much as on Saturday and especially Sunday football. There is no such thing as a DB, that form tackles on Sunday's and many LB's are now just chase and drag versus form and thumpers. In the next 15-20 years, we will only have have HS flag football. 

Edited by DACNUT

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2 hours ago, gopher2 said:

Has tackling been replaced by ankle-diving or the big push out of bounds?  It seems that over the last 20 years with the massive increase of speed and size of NFL players, tackling quality there has gone down, with the focus now being on creating turnovers instead of stopping the runner.  I could be wrong (I hear that a lot in my own house), but it seems that this has trickled down to the college and HS level as well, where the push for the "big hit" highlight reel play, has been emphasized.  To those of you who also coach defense, am I missing something?  How many of you chart missed tackles?  I know when I chart our end of season film I want to swallow a pitchfork when I count our missed tackles at a somewhat successful 2A/3A team.

In your opinion what causes the missed tackle?

A.  Improper technique

B.  Alternative goal (turnover, making a big hit)

C.  Mental toughness

D.  Other

Talk amongst yourselves.  BTW   Not a Patriots fan, but interesting article .

Lack of practice.  If you dont practice tackling, and deal with the hurt that goes along with it, you dont learn how to tackle.  

Soft practice equals soft game performance

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3 hours ago, gopher2 said:

Has tackling been replaced by ankle-diving or the big push out of bounds?  It seems that over the last 20 years with the massive increase of speed and size of NFL players, tackling quality there has gone down, with the focus now being on creating turnovers instead of stopping the runner.  I could be wrong (I hear that a lot in my own house), but it seems that this has trickled down to the college and HS level as well, where the push for the "big hit" highlight reel play, has been emphasized.  To those of you who also coach defense, am I missing something?  How many of you chart missed tackles?  I know when I chart our end of season film I want to swallow a pitchfork when I count our missed tackles at a somewhat successful 2A/3A team.

In your opinion what causes the missed tackle?

A.  Improper technique

B.  Alternative goal (turnover, making a big hit)

C.  Mental toughness

D.  Other

Talk amongst yourselves.  BTW   Not a Patriots fan, but interesting article .

Yes.

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6 hours ago, DT said:

Lack of practice.  If you dont practice tackling, and deal with the hurt that goes along with it, you dont learn how to tackle.  

Soft practice equals soft game performance

I get the sentiment, but I’m not sure it matters DT. I know a program that hasn’t “live tackled” more than 5 times in the last 8 years. They’ve won 85% of their games over that period, put rings on fingers, and they haven’t lost a kid to injury during that time due to contact at practice. 

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We had some brutal tackling drills back in the day.  🥴

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9 hours ago, DT said:

We had some brutal tackling drills back in the day.  🥴

Yep.  I guess us old fogies are all lucky we didn't die.

 

1 hour ago, LuersLurker said:

The way kids hit in the past would get them thrown out of the game today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHfnZq1LCUE

 

Looked like a good, clean, hard hit to me. 

You wear pads and a helmet for a reason, right?

 

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9 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Yep.  I guess us old fogies are all lucky we didn't die.

 

Looked like a good, clean, hard hit to me. 

You wear pads and a helmet for a reason, right?

 

I would presume the "launch" part of the tackle is what the OP is talking about.

Instead of tackling with your back at pretty close to 180* angle (flat back with head and eyes up), this tackler appears to "launch" upwards (more of a 45* angle +).

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13 hours ago, dazed and confused said:

drives me crazy when defender goes for the strip instead of wrapping up resulting in extra yrds ...I think its gotten a little out of control

It's starting to be more of an analytics type approach to the game ... somewhat akin to homerun hitting in baseball.  Swing for the fences everytime and, in the end, it all evens out with the mass of strikeouts and you only have to bat one particular way.  In football, the strip mentality looks at possessions and figures that anytime you take a ball away, it's one less possession opportunity for the other team.  If it takes a team an overage of X plays to score, you have X-1 plays worth of opportunities to take the ball away from him before he scores ... as opposed to stopping him from getting a first down and taking the ball on downs.   Basically playing the odds ... but also changing the game.  With that said, I'm from the old school where you didn't strip ball ... you just hit the guy so hard that he had to make a decision whether to hold on to his head or the ball.

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41 minutes ago, foxbat said:

It's starting to be more of an analytics type approach to the game ... somewhat akin to homerun hitting in baseball.  Swing for the fences everytime and, in the end, it all evens out with the mass of strikeouts and you only have to bat one particular way.  In football, the strip mentality looks at possessions and figures that anytime you take a ball away, it's one less possession opportunity for the other team.  If it takes a team an overage of X plays to score, you have X-1 plays worth of opportunities to take the ball away from him before he scores ... as opposed to stopping him from getting a first down and taking the ball on downs.   Basically playing the odds ... but also changing the game.  With that said, I'm from the old school where you didn't strip ball ... you just hit the guy so hard that he had to make a decision whether to hold on to his head or the ball.

I'm an analytics guy too (teach math and stats).  Let's say that over a ten play drive Team A ( focuses on big hits or turnovers) gets 2 plays for -5 yards on "big hits", has 5 average plays of +5 yards, has 2 plays where it gives up 2 missed tackles for a total of 20 yards, another play with a missed tackle on a 10 yard pass resulting in +25 yards.  Team B focuses on sound tackling is on a 10 play drive and gets 1 play for -1 yards,  5 average plays of +5 yards, 2 plays of 8 yards, misses a tackle for a 10 yard gain, and allows one completion for 10 yards.  Both teams have given up 60 yards in 10 plays.  I get that both are giving up 6 yds/play, but which team is going to give you the best long term shot at winning the game?

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12 hours ago, Woody_Hayes said:

I get the sentiment, but I’m not sure it matters DT. I know a program that hasn’t “live tackled” more than 5 times in the last 8 years. They’ve won 85% of their games over that period, put rings on fingers, and they haven’t lost a kid to injury during that time due to contact at practice. 

I CANNOT LIKE THIS STATEMENT ENOUGH

I believe our tackling the last few years has also improved greatly and we also do not live to ground at all.   

We use wheels, non contact drills to emphasis technique, lots of reps on angles both as team and within position groups.   

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12 minutes ago, Coach Nowlin said:

I CANNOT LIKE THIS STATEMENT ENOUGH

I believe our tackling the last few years has also improved greatly and we also do not live to ground at all.   

We use wheels, non contact drills to emphasis technique, lots of reps on angles both as team and within position groups.   

Coach Nowlin, please go into more detail if you have time.  I've found that if we go live in drill work, when we go to team and just FIT UP, that our kids stop moving their feet on contact.

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Team Sessions are just that, FIT UP or THUD UP and quick whistle:    We also have to be wary of issues of Scout team vs 1st Team Defense, some days so real poor matchups for Scout, we try to get some Varsity OL to play Scout OL to give the best look possible.   

When we go team sessions we 100% are looking for perfect alignment, technique and auto adjustments, pad levels off snap and 11 hats to the ball every rep.   No focus on getting the guy to the ground.  I am big with our LBs making sure their hips are down and like you said, running feet and not taking shortcuts, its something you have to harp on from day 1 of summer.   

Our typical week:

Monday, Film, lift, condition, light walk thru sometimes. 

Tuesday:  Install, O and Def fundamentals in your groups, this is where we do most of our Wheel tackles, pursuit drills, 7 on 7, rally drills, DL work on their drills such as splitting doubles,, wrong arm, work against traps, et. al.    Modified short Team sessions as well. 

Wed:  ALL TEAM Sessions as we only have usually about 1 hour and 40 minutes to practice, we have to be off the field by 5:45 for "church night"   We do not get out to the field and taped up and stretched until about 4 daily.   

Thursday:   Full team script:  Special teams to O and D, light walk thru, some sessions just on air for us offensively

Friday:  Game on

Saturday:  7 a,m.   Stretch, weight room, conditioning.   .  

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49 minutes ago, gopher2 said:

I'm an analytics guy too (teach math and stats).  Let's say that over a ten play drive Team A ( focuses on big hits or turnovers) gets 2 plays for -5 yards on "big hits", has 5 average plays of +5 yards, has 2 plays where it gives up 2 missed tackles for a total of 20 yards, another play with a missed tackle on a 10 yard pass resulting in +25 yards.  Team B focuses on sound tackling is on a 10 play drive and gets 1 play for -1 yards,  5 average plays of +5 yards, 2 plays of 8 yards, misses a tackle for a 10 yard gain, and allows one completion for 10 yards.  Both teams have given up 60 yards in 10 plays.  I get that both are giving up 6 yds/play, but which team is going to give you the best long term shot at winning the game?

I understand what you are saying.  I was just pointing out where things often seem to go.  Kind of like what I see with baseball some of the time ... kids are less and less about learning how to hit behind runners or learning the art of a well-placed bunt or how to take a pitcher 8 deep into a pitch count.  There's just a few of them that can really clear a fence, but they all think they are going to have that Natural moment everytime they get up to bat.

BTW, our DC always taught "hard hits" as a function of sound tackling ... i.e., he didn't see them as opposing items, but instead as part of a fundamental philosophy.  The idea was that the more you punished the back for every yard he gained the less chance he was likely to be able to get away from you later on in the game.  It was "old school analytics" in his eyes.  

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Make a solid form tackle or try to strip the ball?

Which one of these is rewarded with a turnover chain, championship belt, or wearing savage spiked shoulder pads?

I personally wish all sideline gimmicks would get thrown away in Butch Jones’ Tennessee trash can, but that’s just me 

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2 hours ago, oldtimeqb said:

Make a solid form tackle or try to strip the ball?

Which one of these is rewarded with a turnover chain, championship belt, or wearing savage spiked shoulder pads?

I personally wish all sideline gimmicks would get thrown away in Butch Jones’ Tennessee trash can, but that’s just me 

One of our stations in our weekly tackle circuit is a strip drill. It teaches first defender to the ball secure the tackle, second and third defender help with tackle, strip the ball and recover the fumble. It has had a very positive impact on our defense. We strip multiple footballs per season and recover the football.

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10 hours ago, Coach Nowlin said:

Team Sessions are just that, FIT UP or THUD UP and quick whistle:    We also have to be wary of issues of Scout team vs 1st Team Defense, some days so real poor matchups for Scout, we try to get some Varsity OL to play Scout OL to give the best look possible.   

When we go team sessions we 100% are looking for perfect alignment, technique and auto adjustments, pad levels off snap and 11 hats to the ball every rep.   No focus on getting the guy to the ground.  I am big with our LBs making sure their hips are down and like you said, running feet and not taking shortcuts, its something you have to harp on from day 1 of summer.   

Our typical week:

Monday, Film, lift, condition, light walk thru sometimes. 

Tuesday:  Install, O and Def fundamentals in your groups, this is where we do most of our Wheel tackles, pursuit drills, 7 on 7, rally drills, DL work on their drills such as splitting doubles,, wrong arm, work against traps, et. al.    Modified short Team sessions as well. 

Wed:  ALL TEAM Sessions as we only have usually about 1 hour and 40 minutes to practice, we have to be off the field by 5:45 for "church night"   We do not get out to the field and taped up and stretched until about 4 daily.   

Thursday:   Full team script:  Special teams to O and D, light walk thru, some sessions just on air for us offensively

Friday:  Game on

Saturday:  7 a,m.   Stretch, weight room, conditioning.   .  

Good stuff Coach. Always good to affirm the things we’re doing by looking at great programs and coaches.

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22 hours ago, Muda69 said:

Yep.  I guess us old fogies are all lucky we didn't die.

 

Looked like a good, clean, hard hit to me. 

You wear pads and a helmet for a reason, right?

 

Here is his quote from the young man about the hit:  

Quote
"I went to the outside hard, came through, tried to hit him hard and take his head off," "In practice, we talk about driving through the guy. You have a point behind the guy, he's in your way and you've got to go through him.
 

 

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On 12/21/2019 at 7:27 AM, LuersLurker said:

Here is his quote from the young man about the hit:  

 

Young man is coaching in college now.  

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On 12/19/2019 at 10:41 PM, Woody_Hayes said:

I get the sentiment, but I’m not sure it matters DT. I know a program that hasn’t “live tackled” more than 5 times in the last 8 years. They’ve won 85% of their games over that period, put rings on fingers, and they haven’t lost a kid to injury during that time due to contact at practice. 

Marion Local hasn't done any live tackling in practice (NW Ohio) and have went to I believe 9 straight title games and at least winning 6 or 7 of them including this "down year" for them. My question is if the changing of technique is appropriate or not. I've saw some practice with tackling the back leg of the runner with head behind. I've saw others tackle with their head in front of the runner (like I was always taught). The one team tackling the back leg went 0-10 and the team that tackled with head in front went 12-2 with a semi state appearance that I observed. Is the new "Pete Carroll Seahawk" tackling technique the wrong method or just lack of execution? (I've been anti Pete & Seahawks due to my 49ers bias and I disliked him due to Rose Bowl drubbings to my Wolverines)

Edited by Basementbias

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On 12/20/2019 at 6:00 AM, LuersLurker said:

The way kids hit in the past would get them thrown out of the game today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHfnZq1LCUE

 

Back in the dark ages when I played, it was called ringing someone's bell.  It was highly encouraged to pop a guy like that if you could, in fact, if you had a chance to "knock him into the bleachers" and you didn't, you might have got chewed out a little for not taking the shot at him.  Been on both ends of hits like that.  I remember our starting running backs coming up at an angle if the tackler was not low enough and put those shoulder pads between his pads and helmet (basically hitting defender on chin strap/facemask).  Saw many necks snap back, many helmets come off and even guys lifted off the ground.

It used to be a brutal sport.  Looking back I'm really surprised more people didn't get hurt, or seriously injured, than did.  In more recent times (i.e. my sons playing days) I thought we had swung too far the other way, basically overcompensating, and were "wussifying" the sport.  I also thought the lack of reps would result in more injuries due to bad form.  I am re-thinking that however especially watching my youngest's last couple years (OLB/RB @ 2A school so plenty of chances to both tackle and be tackled).  I think they're getting it right and some of the new techniques focused more on bring a guy down than "cleaning out the cobwebs" results in the same net outcome but with somewhat less chance of injury.  If they can do reps with dummys or other means and figure it out, I'm all for it.

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