Fixing Tackling Takes Center Stage

August 3rd, 2023

Lavonte David talks tackling.

Including the regular season and playoffs last season, iconic linebacer Lavonte David led the Buccaneers in combined tackles, solo tackles and tackles for loss.

David was not the problem when it came to Tampa Bay’s questionable tackling.

And that’s not just Joe’s assessment. Head coach/defensive guru Todd Bowles said he wants better tackling because it wasn’t good enough last season — and it’s been a focus this offseason.

David talked to CBS Sports HQ today and shared the challenges of improving tackling in training camp, where even when hitting is allowed, it’s not permitted.

“You know you can’t bring nobody down in camp or whatever, but you just gotta be able to come to a position where you know you can make a tackle,” David said. “You know, get a good thud. When there’s a running back running through the middle of the field, you’ve got to thud him up. Or a receiver catches the ball, just be there. Make sure you’re being in good tackling position. That’s something that we’ve made an emphasis on, for sure — a lot of open space tackling and stuff like that. That goes back to getting to our landmarks and our drops and breaking on the football.”

From Joe’s experience around NFL teams, when there’s a hyperfocus on tackling, it improves.

Just look at 2012, former Bucs Commander Greg Schiano showed up and started going crazy on tackling. Not only did he teach Gerald McCoy how to tackle, Schiano overhauled the defense quickly and was No. 1 in the NFL against the run. (Historically ugly against the pass, sure, but that unit could tackle.)

Bowles showed up in 2019 and the Bucs were the NFL’s best against the run that season.

Tackling should improve this season with the proper attention to detail. And if somehow the Bucs can restore their elite run defenses of the Bucco Bruce Arians era, this team will win at least a few games on defense alone.

14 Responses to “Fixing Tackling Takes Center Stage”

  1. KingLDavid54 Says:

    LVD54 is the solution, not the problem, when it comes to our tackling woes.

  2. KingLDavid54 Says:

    There are two ingredients to good tackling: skill and will. This team has all the skills necessary to be the top unit in the league. What it has lacked is the will required to hit, wrap up, and take down their opponents – at all costs

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    LD54 and Winfield Jr need to be put in charge of any onfield tackling sessions.

    Both are studs when it comes to wrapping up and getting your guy to the ground.

  4. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Let’s hope Winfield Jr doesn’t tackle with his head and neck anymore.

  5. Irishmist Says:

    Someone needs to teach White that he is trying to bring down a human being, not a steer.

  6. Red Skeleton Says:

    JTS needs real tackling practice. He get in position but can’t make it happen.

  7. Brian Norton Says:

    The EFFORT of tackling, last season, looked worse than the ACT of tackling itself. I know the piss poor display only stood out BECAUSE of how amazing it was in 2020 and still good in 2021.. The Buccaneer Defense won us our 2nd Trophy, as well as the first. As a Buccaneers fan since 1997, the Defensive intimidation and confidence IS THE BUCS WAY.

    Fire the cannons and make some contact!! Go Buccs!

  8. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:
    August 3rd, 2023 at 4:50 pm
    Let’s hope Winfield Jr doesn’t tackle with his head and neck anymore.
    That’s football. I’ve probably had at least 5 concussions, never had anything done about them, if you’re wondering WTF is wrong with me. Hahaha

  9. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Red Skeleton Says:
    August 3rd, 2023 at 6:20 pm
    JTS needs real tackling practice. He get in position but can’t make it happen.
    JTS is probably one of the easiest faked out players that I’ve seen. Can that be corrected? I hope so.

  10. DoooshLaRue Says:

    LVD is an awesome LB.
    Now if he could just focus on tackling the nuances of the English language…….

  11. Power Of Pewter Says:

    As good as LVD is as a player, I don’t care if he speaks Mongolian.

  12. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Does this mean that Shaq Barrett has switched to # 7 ? ( Checking Bucs “official”…but certainly not best website immediately ).

  13. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Yes he has…must have missed the memo…

  14. garro Says:

    Been waiting for some news on this front. I saw some attempted tackles last year that would not pass muster on a high school team! I mean pitiful! Especially for an NFL player.

    Go Bucs!