Yo Brian, ND kill shots on Tate?

Submitted by iawolve on September 17th, 2009 at 9:11 PM

You dropped that one into the conversation on the O UFR, but I did not see a follow up (unless I missed it somewhere). Any further thoughts or analysis? That is pretty f*cked up if you are able to show a marked difference in tackling technique for a particular player (and not b/c the dude in question is some monster that will dislocate shoulders of any would-be tacklers). Don't know if you have the bandwidth for more details.



September 17th, 2009 at 9:49 PM ^

Yes, you can light some guy up by hitting the guy. Completely understand it. You can also try to spear a dude, which is different and is flagged as such for a reason. The question is if the safeties were intentionally leading with the head when the QB was around as opposed to say a WR or TE in the middle of the field? One or two plays are just the flow of the game. More than that is going into the strange place where people try to twist ankles in the pile.


September 17th, 2009 at 9:57 PM ^

I'm not missing the point at all. Is it beyond reason to suggest that the accolades associated with putting the starting quarterback out of the game might influence a defensive player to tackle more aggressively (albeit, less legally)?

With all the attention a quarterback gets, a defensive player's eyes light up when they get to lay a lick on a quarterback, and sometimes adrenaline (and a lack of forethought) get the better of them.


September 17th, 2009 at 10:04 PM ^

I played safety, and anytime we played an option team, well all knew we had to light up the QB everytime he kept it. Yeah, there's a line with keeping it legal, I agree they shouldn't go helmet to helmet. But beyond that, you know every team's D tries to knock the QB out (legally, hopefully) every time he keeps it.


September 18th, 2009 at 12:33 AM ^

the "proper" tackling technique is head up. This has two advantages. First, you can see what you're doing. Always good. The second is that when your head takes a hit, it bends back rather flexibly rather than being a strong point that has nowhere to go but compress down to your spine. Tackling techniques vary somewhat but head up has ALWAYS been the rule. I (age 27) was taught to place my head between the ball carrier and where he was trying to go, and impact with the shoulder pad. My father (age 57) was taught to place his face mask in the chest of the opponent. In either case, head up. My high school coach had a former player that headrammed somebody, temporarily paralyzed himself, and wound up an inch shorter due to spinal compression.

Look at the end of a lot of Forcier's runs. Several times, a safety comes streaking in like a human missile, head fowards and down, arms positioned such that they're clearly not intended to be used as part of the tackling process. This is the "kill-shot". If this connects, it has a good chance of injuring Forcier, and a decent chance of injuring the tackler. A tackler should never do this, for two reasons: first, it's illegal and dangerous, and second, you are no longer actually looking at your target, so odds are you're going to miss. Tacklers are more likely to do this to a quarterback because they're generally less mobile than a running back and less likely to dodge it, and they're a more high-value target to injure. It's a dirty, dangerous play. Make no mistake about it.

Examples from the videos linked in the UFR:
"2 of 24": ND #28 leads with helmet down, arms at side. Looks like Forcier sees him coming, because he goes down untouched in a forward slide and misses the blow.
"9 of 24": NOT a kill shot. ND #8 comes in at controlled speed, keeps head up, wraps with arms. A good tackle.
"20 of 24" ND #22, head down, arms at sides. Forcier once again being tripped up goes underneath him.