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Creating a Prescriptive Tackling Plan with Grant Caserta of Illinois Wesleyan (D-III)

Every coach on the defensive side of the ball is constantly looking for ways to become a better tackling team. For that reason, we brought on Illinois Wesleyan (D-III) defensive coordinator Grant Caserta to talk about tackling.

Coach Caserta, a former FootballScoop Coordinator of the Year finalist at the Division III level during his time at Husson (D-III - ME), went in-depth on creating a prescriptive tackling plan, how to grade the Five Fights, and some drills they use to help improve where they were weak after grading the season's tackles.

A few notable takeaways from Caserta's talk:

  • The criteria they use to identify missed tackles and why it's important to have one coach on staff in charge of that
  • The Five Fights / tackling situations your players find themselves in during the course of a game
  • Reasons to scrap your tackling circuit
  • How to practice tackling while engaged with a blocker
  • Keys to practice tackling during "thud" periods
  • How players can assess their tackle based on simply how they hit the ground with the ball carrier
  • Why Tracking is likely the most important aspect of the tackle.

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Here is coach Caserta's full clinic presentation.