Tackling 101 Makes An Impact

August 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.

22 Responses to “Tackling 101 Makes An Impact”

  1. snook Says:

    Love it.

  2. Biff Barker Says:

    Curious to know if Schiano thinks these drills also serve to prevent injury during practice?

  3. BFFL Says:

    I wish the NE press would cover the Bucs all year..they are way more informative than the Tampa press (not including Joe of course)

  4. Macabee Says:

    It’s been noticeable by more than the NE press!

    Stephen Holder ‏@HolderStephen 13 Aug
    Watching Bucs and Pats do individual drills side by side is interesting. One looks like college, the other doesn’t. Way more fundamentals

  5. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Now if our secondary holds, and the rest of the defense can continue making first contact tackles close to the line of scrimmage, this will undoubtedly create more 3 and outs. It would be perfect if we can control the time of possession. Plus, the offense won’t feel so pressed to put up more than 30 points a game.

  6. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Yeah Mac, have you ever been to NE? It feels like a college town. 🙂

  7. tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yea….last year, takling in the end zone did us no good….also the tackles after the catch. With our revamped secondary perhaps we won’t need to make as many tackles…..interceptions & passes defended equals no tackles!!!
    Lavonte David….a tackling machine.

  8. Macabee Says:

    Yes, Buc’n Junkie, as a matter of fact I have. Graduated from a little school up there! lol

  9. BucDan Says:

    I love the emphasis on tackling. It gets the players in the mode of WRAPPING UP!!!! I cannot for the life of me, stand it when a player does not attempt to wrap and make the ball carrier drag them as they are pulled to the ground. Ronde was a BEAST tackler. %^$%&^$ tackling machine. Because he wrapped up! DBs need to wrap more and stop worrying about laying people out. Schiano knows what he is doing here. He is an ‘old school’ coach and it must disgust him as well when he watches how the majority of NFL players ‘tackle’.

  10. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    Joe I am glad you ae keeping a recod of this.

    So in the season, if the clowns star missing tackles, you can point the fact that the Schiano did all hecould to teach the guys how to tackle.

  11. BucDan Says:

    @Buc Fan #238

    Exactly. No excuses when you practice form tackling all off season and during practice. It should become routine and I expect a big impact made on the number of yards after contact for our opponents.

  12. SacBucs Says:

    The last thing we shood do is show them our tackling drills. We need a win against them not help them beat us. They got the spy-cam on all night survilence while the buc are in town.

  13. Mike J Says:

    BucDan, hear, hear!! David is a form tackler.
    But maybe this emphasis on proper fundamentals also has a lot to do with the new rule against using the crown of the helmet.

  14. You Go Joe Says:

    Anyone remember when Ronde tackled Jason Witten in Dallas last year? Clear perfect example of tackling, Ronde was outmatched by Witten in size. But Ronde brought that mother down on his own.

  15. Erick Says:

    Last year, Derrick Brooks said it takes about 4 games to really be able to get your tackling form and arms used to the contact. Hopefully these little fundamental drills will the help players be more game ready by the time the season starts. It appears it’s helping Michael Adams.

  16. Buc'n Junkie Says:


    Speaking of Michael Adams, I think if the coach feels Banks isn’t ready to start at the beginning of the season, we might see Michael Adams starting at LCB. He’s been getting a lot of attention lately and rightly so.

  17. BucDan Says:

    I feel good with a bet that three quarters of the big plays last year were from a player running through/spinning off of terrible tackling. Too many players try to ‘lay the boom’ with the body and a shoulder. That’s why I mentioned #20. He will be honest and say he got trucked, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t bring the guy down in the process. He emphasized that he always tried to hang on and at least grab something!

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Biff Barker Says:
    “Curious to know if Schiano thinks these drills also serve to prevent injury during practice?”

    I think all teams should be required to teach proper tackling techniques each year. How many players are injured in pre season games because some inexperienced player trying to make a name for himself causes and injury due to a bad tackle?

  19. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    What was it Tony and Monte use to tell them? Clamp on and slow them down and your teammates will hit them.

  20. Joke Says:

    I’ll withhold judgment on this unitl we start seeing results. A big deal was made of Schiano’s emphasis on tackling last year (Ronde et al talking about having a “tackling plan” for each opposing player), but the defense was 29th in yards allowed (terrible) and 23rd in points allowed (not good).

    Practice time is a limited resource. Every minute spent on tackling drills takes a minute away from something else. Hopefully Schiano’s approach is the right use of that resource, and will pay off this year.

  21. wyllis Says:


  22. scubog Says:

    I always laugh when I hear people make statements like “college type practice” and NFL type practice” as if their opinion wasn’t a little biased by Schiano coming from the college ranks. I wonder if Jimmy Johnson, Pete Carrol and Chip Kelly would receive similar remarks. I remember back in the day when fans here would comment that the Bucs ran college plays under John McKay. It usually shut them up when I asked if they could diagram a “college” play and a NFL play and explain the difference. I loved “28 pitch” otherwise known as Student Body Right. Worked pretty well in 1979. It’s a wonder those Flying Elvis people see anything with their noses so far in the air.