How many college coaches out there are spending valuable practice time teaching their offensive guys the art of tackling? No college staff I’ve ever been a part of, or seen practice, has ever done it, so my guess is not very many.
But that’s exactly what first-year head coach Justin Wilcox is doing at Cal, starting every practice with a tackling period that includes his offensive coaches teaching wide receivers, offensive lineman, and running backs, as well as the rest of his offensive guys.
“We do it every day and we meet on tackling every day as a team, and we don’t know if it’s paid off yet because we haven’t played yet, but it will as long as we keep working on the fundamentals and what it takes to be a good tackling team. That’s the idea.”
Asked where he got the idea, Wilcox explained, “Well everybody, for the most part, does tackle. Hopefully your quarterbacks don’t, and hopefully the kickers don’t but at some point an offensive lineman might be on the punt team, or receivers being involved in special teams so every one at some point needs to be able to make a tackle.”
Wilcox has a good point, and many college programs don’t spend a whole lot of time teaching their offensive guys who play special teams how to tackle. Plus, teaching your offensive guys how to safely bring someone down after a turnover is always a good thing as well.
I think coaches will also take to this idea because what you put on the field is a direct result of what you stress during practice, and tackling safely and efficiently is clearly a top priority for the entire team under Wilcox and his staff at Cal.
Hear about their unique tackling circuit, and more from Wilcox in the clip.