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Tackling issues? Pitt defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable has a drill for you
As a defensive coordinator, one of the most frustrating things to see is missed tackles, especially after spending countless time on it throughout the week.
After losing a nail biter to UConn (24-17), Pitt defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable decided that enough was enough. Their missed tackles was something that needed to be addressed during their bye week if they were going to finish the season strong.
According to TribLive reporter Jerry DiPaola, Huxtable dug deep into his desk for a drill to fix the issue and came up with something interesting. In the drill Huxtable and his staff have since implemented, players lock their arms behind their backs and knock over ball carriers using nothing but their pads.
The drill may initially sound puzzling to some coaches, but Huxtable explains the rationale, noting how the drill addresses the most common mistakes in a missed tackle.
“In our last football game, we didn’t tackle very well. The whole drill is teaching them to take that extra step to contact. One of the biggest mistakes in tackling is defenders stop their feet. They leap off the launching pad and the first thing they do is reach with their arms."
"We are doing a drill to take the arms out of it and step on the toes of the ball carrier."
In theory, the drill definitely makes sense. However, we'll let the Panthers defensive performance in their last two games against Rutgers and South Florida be the real barometer of the drill's success.