Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Whether you played football at the collegiate level or just on a little league team, one issue that you'll have with professional football players is that they don't have good fundamentals. 

The tackling in the NFL is, in general, lousy.  For some reason, defenders often forget they have arms and just bounce off ball carriers barely slowing them down.

Also, players don't apply basic skills properly like recovering a fumble.

Cowboys defensive back Alan Ball demonstrated my point on Sunday night. 

While covering a punt on special teams, the Giants return man fumbled, and Ball muffed a chance to easily recover the ball. 

Instead of slowing, grasping the loose ball with his hands and then lying down to cradle it with his body, he tries the full-speed scoop that quickly transforms into the oops "I overran the ball and now I am rolling with it". 

The correct technique is something that should have been second nature for a pro like Ball.  Supported by a drill that every coach from little league on up uses--tossing footballs on the ground and having players recover and protect the ball correctly.

Instead, Ball missed the chance, the Giants retained possession and went on to win easily.

Now, the Cowboys and their fans have a whole off-season to think about fundamentals and the "what-could have-beens."

And, as a lowly Buccaneer fan, I can relate. 

You can see Ball's missed fumble recovery, by going here (it starts around the 53 second mark of the video).

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