Last year at about this time, Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks were coming off an absolutely dominant Super Bowl performance against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
The star of that game, on the nation’s biggest stage was the efficiency in which the Seahawks tackled, which prompted head coach Pete Carroll to share his staff’s philosophy on tackling. The philosophy, which is rooted in rugby fundamentals, takes the head out of the tackle and is focused on making tackling safer.
Now, coming off their second straight Super Bowl appearance, the Seahawks recently put out an updated 2015 version of their tackling video complete with game cut-ups and drills (complete with explanations) that the defensive staff use on a daily basis. The video isn’t embeddable, but it is definitely worth heading to their site to view in its entirety.
“Our tackling system has been inspired by those who play rugby around the world. Rugby players have done a tremendous job at taking the head out of the tackle in their game, and they truly exemplify shoulder tackling.” Carroll explains in the clip.
“The basis of our passion in this video, is to maintain the physical integrity of the game, while developing safer tackling techniques. We desire to play the game as tough as it is meant to be played, while also making it safer.”
The detail that Carroll goes into makes for some great coaching content for your defensive staff and youth programs. Below is a cliff notes version (including where in the clip you can find each emphasis), but to really get a feel for the whole thing, head to their website and watch the instructional video.
TRACKING (1:44 mark)
“We are a shoulder tackling team based on leverage. so we must own and maintain our leverage. To do this, we track the near hip of the ball carrier. Our tackling system begins with tracking because we focus on shoulder tackling based on leverage.”
“We focus on a technique called ‘run and gather,’ where a player tracks the near hip of the ball carrier as he closes in on the tackle.”
“A new emphasis in this video is the near foot concept (2:57 mark). As we track the near hip, we like to get in a near foot swoop position.” Carroll explains as he cues up game cut ups of what the near foot concept entails. “Maintaining the near foot swoop position allows you to maintain your leverage and also puts the tackler in the best, and strongest position to deliver a forceful strike on the ball carrier.”
COMPRESSION TACKLES (3:51 mark)
“Compression tackles are all about ‘OWNING THE HIP’ as we like to call it. Owning your hip means dominating your leverage. We will hit with our leverage shoulder and keep the ball to our leverage side.”