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Form tackling for angle tackling and concussions.

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  • Form tackling for angle tackling and concussions.

    From an early age, it seems coaches teach the tackling technique of getting your head across the ball carriers' body, rolling your hips and driving them back. If you get in that position, it makes it tough for the ball carrier to fall forward, or break the tackle.

    It can be a very effective technique....if you actually can get your head across their body.

    The problem for me IMO is that it is often very hard to do in an angle contact situation. There are so many ways a back can make it so you don't get your head across their body. They may be faster than you and beat you to the edge, they may be good at contorting their body in a way so that you won't be able to get your head across them, and if you are in good position they may try and juke you out anyway.

    It is seemingly almost impossible to execute a picture perfect tackle in angle tackling on a guy who's good in open space, even if you are actually faster than them. A back would want to be in a position where if they are tackled, they will fall forward for yards while being tackled, and a smart back with that goal would try and avoid a tackler getting favorable position on them imo.

    If you try and get your head across a ball carriers' body and miss, the consequences could be pretty bad. I believe David Pollack had to wear a neck brace after trying that on a tackle of Reuben Droughns in 2006. If a defender gets too much into a habit of trying that, it could be very dangerous imo. I think it's key to teach defenders to not go for that unless they are very very confident they can get their head all the way across, to reduce an injury risk.

    If you can't tackle without getting your head across a ball carriers' body, you probably won't be a very good angle tackler I would guess, because most of the time you probably won't be able to get your head all the way across their body.

    For effective tackling, and for safety I think it's about time coaches started teaching the 'perfect form tackle' only for head on tackling situations, and teach a different technique for angle tackling that a tackler would likely be able to use in more situations.