Colts wide receiver Austin Collie is the latest victim of a violent hit resulting in yet another concussion. There have been and always will be concussions in football; it is a violent game however the increasing number of injuries from violent hits is a result of one thing one thing only; poor tackling techniques.
I’m not sure who taught a lot of these guys that throwing a shoulder into the legs of a ball carrier or leading with their helmet were effective ways to tackle, but they’re dead wrong. My high school linebacker coach Kennedy would have had my backside for a midday snack if I attempted to tackle a ball carrier like that.
The proper way to tackle a ball carrier is:
1. Lower your body by bending at the knees.
2. Keep your head up so you can see the ball carrier.
3. Watch the ball carrier’s hips so you can adjust to a change in direction.
4. Put your face in the ball carrier’s numbers.
5. Wrap your arms around the ball carrier.
6. Lift with your legs and deposit him on his back.
7. If you are tackling from an angle, follow steps 1 thru 3.
8. As you make contact keep your head in front of the ball carrier, wrap and lift.
This is the safest way for both the ball carrier and the tackler, not to mention the most effective. An effective tackle doesn’t always create the loudest crack or make ESPN’s highlight film. Wrapping up a ball carrier, stopping his momentum, and bringing him down short of the first down marker is the objective. The tackling in the NFL in recent years is absolutely atrocious.
The debate this season seems to be who is a defenseless receiver and who is not. According to a Yahoo.com article Eagles safety Quintin Mikell stated, “It is a little confusing, it’s hard to tell in a split second what’s a defenseless receiver and what’s not.” Collie would have been taken off on stretcher regardless of whether he was ruled a defenseless receiver or not. Head hunting is the point.
Like most other unacceptable behavior on and off the field by these over-paid egomaniacs, a nominal fine or a suspension won’t solve the problem. If the owners and fans want professional sports cleaned up, then certain players need to be permanently removed. However the question is if the owners and fans really want to clean up pro sports.