One of the biggest problems the New York Giants had this past season was tackling. The Giants got gashed on the ground all year giving up 4.9 yards per carry. When you break football down into its simplest components, it is a game of blocking and tackling. The Giants need to get better at bringing down the ball carrier if they are going to improve defensively.
Tackling is seldom practiced in the National Football League. With little practice time and so few padded practices, there just is not enough time for regular tackling practice. Players are expected to know how to tackle yet it is becoming a lost art. Bad tackling form becomes a habit, especially when players are overly applauded for the kill shot.
There are four components to a textbook tackle.
First the defender must take a good pursuit angle. Taking a bad angle will force the defender to throw arms at the ball carrier. There is no running back in football that can’t run through an arm tackle.
Secondly the defender must run through the ball carrier. Some may coach to break down first, but I always thought this step was overrated (in my high school playing days). The defender must run through the ball carrier. The defender must not stop his feet as this helps drive the ball carrier to the ground.
It is important that he hits low. It is also important that his head is up-this avoids injuries. The ideal head placement is to the side with the football as this can knock out the football.
The most important aspect is wrapping up the ball carrier. A good hit is not enough, if you don’t wrap up, the ball carrier may maintain his balance and get away.
The Giants need to get better at this fundamental part of the game in order to be a great football team again.
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