Tackling 101 Makes An ImpactAugust 15th, 2013
Multiple members of the Boston media have been wide-eyed with surprise this week at the Bucs’ daily routine of Pop Warner tackling fundamentals practiced by the New Schiano Order.
The tackling focus should be nothing new to readers here. Heck, last year Gerald McCoy made waves saying he was learning how to tackle. Mason Foster, a tackling machine in college, recently told Joe how much he’s learned about tackling over the past year. Johnthan Banks, honored as college football’s top cornerback last year, even told Joe recently that Schiano and friends have completely overhauled his tackling technique.
But for most New Schiano Order outsiders, teaching Tackling 101 at the NFL level is something fresh.
Pats writer Jonathan Lemons was among them, so he mentioned in his practice-notes highlights yesterday from Foxborough.
3. Tampa Bay spends a lot of time on tackling fundamentals
Before the teams practiced against each other they ran through drills separately. During Tampa’s warm ups, the Bucs were grouped by position and rotated through five stations, each of which emphasized a different aspect of form tackling: getting the helmet in front of the ball carrier, wrapping up with the arms, driving up with the hips and stripping the ball loose.
Bucs cornerback Michael Adams, who joined the Bucs in late June after six years with the Cardinals, told Joe he credits the Schiano focus on tackling for him being regular-season ready for last week’s preseason opener against the Ravens.
“I’m coming from [Arizona] where we didn’t tackle anybody, or anything like that, until the [preseason] game. I felt real good [against the Ravens] tackling. I didn’t feel like I should miss any tackles. The drills have made me a better tackler already. I know I felt ready because of them,” Adams said.
Without being asked, Schiano praised Adams’ tackling following the Ravens-Bucs game.
Overall, the Bucs were stout tacklers last year. That wasn’t among their many defensive weaknesses. The continued push on fundamentals should keep that area sound.