It wasn't all that long ago that tackling was taught by coaches everywhere by "putting your head / face on the football."
But as the emphasis on player safety and concussion prevention has evolved, so too has the tackle by finding ways to take the head out of the tackle altogether. The introduction of the targeting rule led to coaches adapting to the rugby tackle which was popularized with the "hawk tackling" method that Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks helped to evolve.
Urban also shared his thoughts on how the evolution of offensive schemes and playing in space contributed to the much needed change in how players tackle as well. The tradition tackling that had been taught for decades was based on "vertical entry points" of the ball carrier into running lanes, but as offenses evolved into putting players in space, the need for an updated tackling method also emerged.
During Fox Sports Urban's Playbook segment this past weekend, Urban Meyer gave fans and viewers a front row seat to how that evolution occurred, including his stubbornness to adapt to it, and exactly how it helped to save football.
Chris Ash, who Urban had hired as his defensive coordinator at Ohio State, came to him and tried to introduce Hawk tackling in January after Pete Carroll had won a Super Bowl using it. Urban politely declined.
So Ash came back to him with a 35-play cut-up of missed tackles from the year before to help drive home his point, and the defense improved tremendously from 2013 to 2014 with a unit that had the least amount of missed tackles in college football, according to Urban.
"I don't think Pete Carroll gets enough credit. In my opinion, my son played high school football, this changed the game. This saved the game of football by taking the head out...it's the safest college football has ever been."
"The rules are right - I know fans sometimes get upset, and coaches get upset - but the game is safer now that it has ever been, and ruby tackling is a big part of that."
See the full break down from Urban and the Fox Sports crew, including how the tackling change has affected offensive players via Reggie Bush, in the clip.