Tackling issues

With Dietrich Riley’s leveling hit on Anthony Barr yesterday, the tackling issue came up. Neither player was injured, but the Bruins already have sustained injuries. Kevin Prince is on their sideline along with other players. How much do you tackle in fall camp? At USC, Lane Kiffin has barred tackling except in scrimmage situations. Asked if he could ever envision a scenario in which he limited tackling with the exception of scrimmages, Rick Neuheisel said:
“Well, there’s only so many times you can put your team at risk. Tackling is, there’s a lot of bodies on the ground, the strength and speed of these kids and the size, you’re going to have problems, so that makes all the sense in the world. But the game is a tackle game, so you have to practice it. We have to do it nicely under the circumstances but let the fur fly every now and again, and we’re going to do that for a few plays this afternoon. The kids like it. It’s emotional. It’s fun. Hopefully, we’ll survive.”

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.
  • andre

    I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t see any “issues” at all.

    Who cares about USC? Their program is in such a mess that Kiffin is afraid that they might not have enough people to even play in season. Hundreds of programs all around the country are training right now and we don’t hear any concerns about players practicing full-speed, full-contact.

  • Not rude at all. By issues, I mean the issues of how much to tackle and not tackle… every program wrestles with it unless they don’t have injuries. And usually it comes up with the first injury in practice. UCLA already has a few of those.

  • Coach Thom

    Many of the injuries incurred in practice are self-inflicted…pulled hamstring, twisted ankle, jammed knee, foot fracture, etc etc. Very few serious injuries occur during full-on, head-to-head competition because the players are prepared for it. Football is a brutal game. If you don’t practice tackling hard, blocking hard, and running hard, you will get beat on the field by teams who do. You have to know and apply the right techniques, and the only way to learn that is by constant practice. I always coached my players with the motto: practice does not make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect. Football is a collision sport. Everybody has to get used to it and accept the consequences…players, coaches, fans, and moms and dads.

  • Ghost of Amos Alonzo Stagg

    @Coach Thom,

    The only cliche you missed was that players could ensure going hard by giving 110%.

    Jesus, Maria and Jose, could we please steer clear of the obvious about tough practices.