Thursday, July 31, 2014

Better Tackling Means Fewer Fumbles?

I watched the tackling instructional video released recently by Head Coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks staff.

In general, they advocate shoulder tackling using leverage and then wrapping up--avoiding head contact as much as possible

This is patterned after rugby techniques.

I commend Coach Carroll for this approach, and have wondered for years why the NFL got away from traditional tackling.

Too often, players tuck their arms and lead with their heads. This style results in so many missed tackles due to players launching themselves like a missile and going for the big hit.

Obviously, it has also caused enormous player safety issues--long and short term.

But will this change in philosophy catch on at the professional level?

I hate the "head and missile" technique, but when that helmet does hit the football being held by a ball carrier, it will cause fumbles.

Fumbles that can be game-changers and lead to victories.

The Seahawks were a great defense in 2013, but they were only tied for 10th in fumbles recovered with 11.

Will there be fewer fumbles as safer tackling is employed league-wide?

I believe so, but a better question is: Will coaches and players sacrifice their short-term success (winning games, individual accolades, financial rewards, etc.) for the long-term benefits that shoulder tackling offers?

We shall see.

You can go to the Seattle Seahawks' site here to watch the video.

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