Tackling Is What It Is

December 17th, 2020

Too late to learn tackling.

Former Bucs great Derrick Brooks made famous one of the all-time empty sports phrases.

Brooks, in answering questions for years, would often slip in the sentence, “It is what it is.”

(Column intermission: Joe once covered a team whose best player constantly said that same phrase. It got to be a game between the jock and Joe; the jock knew he would answer that way to Joe’s first question and he knew how Joe would respond. Joe knew it as well. When the jock said, “It is what it is” (or the substitute, “We did what we had to do”), Joe would respond, “What is ‘it?'” (Or, “What did you have to do?”) Then Joe would get a true answer. All in a day’s work.)

So with the Bucs tackling, if it is going to improve from last week’s 14 missed tackles (by Bucco Bruce Arians’ count), the improvement will have to occur organically.

That’s because the Bucs are not practicing in pads.

“There’s nothing you can do in shorts to fix tackling,” Arians said, other than telling defenders what to do.

Now Joe heard something the other night on Sunday Night Football for the first time. Joe always thought dudes wouldn’t wrap up a ballcarrier because they were either trying to blow up the ballcarrier or are trying to force a turnover, and that leads to sloppy, undisciplined tackling.

But Cris Collinsworth on NBC said guys don’t like to wrap up because opening up their bodies to tackling leads to shoulder injuries.

Joe’s not saying Collinsworth is full of it, just that Joe never heard that excuse (?) prior to Collinsworth explaining it (he, too, is frustrated by so much bad tackling in the league).

Well, if Arians said all he can do at this point is tell the players to not play touch football, Joe hopes Arians gives it to the Bucs defenders loud and dirty. That way they won’t forget.

10 Responses to “Tackling Is What It Is”

  1. Delawest Says:

    Joe, I heard that too, for years I have been yelling at the TV
    Wrap up! Wrap up! I played college ball. I say wrap up, but I played in the
    90’s what do I know 🙂

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    These guys have played football all their lives; they know how to tackle. However, just like in many other professions, PROFICIENCY suffers if you don’t continually & actively work at it.

    I suspect that most pilots would agree. Flying simulators is nice, and ‘Everything that goes up must come down’, BUT … landing nose first hurts. There’s no substitute for flying ENOUGH to stay proficient. Got a hunch it’s the same way with tackling.

  3. VA Tom Says:

    All I know is that while watching any Bucs game, when a “blur” tackles someone on the opposing team, and I think to myself…”damn, thats a beautiful tackle!” that “blur” is almost ALWAYS Winfield.

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    Fun fact from nextgen stats — Winfield has the fastest sack on the season at 2.06 seconds. Right in front of Demarcus Lawrence and Aaron Donald.

  5. ModHairKen Says:

    It’s not what it isn’t.

  6. PSL Bob Says:

    I thought that’s what shoulder pads were for.

  7. SB : Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    When I played football I used to tackle as if I was going off a cliff and by God you were going with me.
    I didn’t miss many tackles

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    SB … Off a cliff? LMAO. Favorite tackler of all time was John Lynch. I remember him saying that he tried to tackle THROUGH ball carriers; like it wasn’t enough to tackle them, he wanted to make them disintegrate in the process.

  9. unbelievable Says:

    Lynch and Barber were both great at it. I can remember hearing Ronde preach about “forming a T with your body and wrapping up”.

    As for Arians, ugh. I think it’s become quite clear what his approach towards everything with this team is:

    – Nothing is going to change
    – We’re gonna roll out the same game plan against every opponent
    – Hope for the best

    In other words: It is what it is.

  10. Bucs Fan Since ‘76 Says:

    I have surgical scars on both shoulders that say Collinsworth may have something there. LOL