The Packers shouldn't be afraid to throw Johnathan Franklin into the mix. Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports photograph

NFL defensive players: Learn the fundamentals of tackling



In recent years, the National Football League has started to crack down on the hard hitting that used to be a trademark of its brand in the past.

The new rules are a byproduct of the recent litigation related to the closed head injuries and concussions that former players brought suit against the league and recently settled.  It is important to note that the recent settlement did not include all of the litigants and the league is still embroiled in legal action over the league’s role, if any, in the onset of head trauma and other problems suffered by NFL players of the past.

Whatever the reason, the NFL has cracked down on tackling to the point that some defensive players have started to complain.

I have noticed over time that I have seen less real tackling by NFL defensive players and more launching of bodies like human missiles in order to get on a ESPN highlight reel.  I wonder what happened to the days where football players tackled by using their shoulders and wrapping their arms around a player and bringing them down.

Maybe if some players went back down to the fundamentals of tackling, we would see fewer injuries, fewer yards gained after the catch, and fewer personal fouls.

You can almost hear Vince Lombardi yelling at his defensive players complaining about “grab, grab, grabbing”, instead of tackling. Of course, there was no such thing as ESPN back then either and defensive players got away with more “illegal” hits than they can now.

Nevertheless, a refresher course in the art of tackling should be required learning each week at NFL practices and a little less whining.

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Tags: NFL Tackling

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