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mcgriff

NFL Diminishing Fundamentals?

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If you ever played defense you'd know that your job is to put the hit on guys any chance you get. I've never heard a coach tell a defensive player to let the guy catch a ball. You either go for the ball or go to crush the guy, that's football. In your example, what happens to Harrison if he lets Massaquoi catch it, misses the tackle and they score? It's a rough sport people seem to forget that.

In a 2 minute defensive drill you give away all the 2 yard over the middle stuff. If there was a chance Massaquoi was going to get away, yes, break it up. But, he was headed to the turf with or without the ball. Tap on the shoulder and play is over. Tactically, it would have been the smart thing to do.

Dunno, we teach the kids to play smart as well as hard. I wouldn't expect one of our kids to pull that play off, but if he did he would be rewarded. Football is as much tactics as anything else. Well, it should be anyway.

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In a 2 minute defensive drill you give away all the 2 yard over the middle stuff.

This wasn't at the end of the game. It was at the end of the half. Different kinds of two-minute drills. Besides, Harrison couldn't know the guy was going to drop the ball. If he catches it, he lays a hit. If he drops it, he lays a hit. Either way, the guy goes down HARD.

I think it's really, really naive of you to think that James Harrison could have considered that the guy was going to drop the pass and then, what, NOT hit him? In a tenth of a second? What about if he hit the guy and the ball popped up and was picked off by the Steelers? Harrison causes a lot of fumbles with his hits. There's only a few good things the offense can do in situations like that and a LOT of situations that go the defense's way. And - all things considered - if James Harrison traded in some smarts for the speed and tenacity and power he shows, I'll take it. Duh.

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This wasn't at the end of the game. It was at the end of the half. Different kinds of two-minute drills. Besides, Harrison couldn't know the guy was going to drop the ball. If he catches it, he lays a hit. If he drops it, he lays a hit. Either way, the guy goes down HARD.

Drop the pass? You want him to CATCH the pass. Massaqoui was going to the ground with or without the ball. Harrison was sitting right on top of the play. In football terms he had an eternity to decide what to do. Let the guy get his 2 yards and let the clock run is my point. Not sure why you think end of half is trivial. If the Browns get in 7-6 or 7-10 the game takes a different shape. You see Ohio in my sig and think I am a Browns fanboy. I am a football fanboy and an Oilers fan without a team.

And yes, Harrison needs to lay the guy out...no question. But, you don't drop your helmet when you tackle. You just don't do it. It can lead to 15 yards to the O or a flat out miss on your part. Naivety? As in I a naive? Not sure personal classification has any bearing on the discussion. Show up at one of our youth practices and see how we coach the kids then call me unaware or soft or naive...whatever. We are 7-1 and play with schools 4 times our size because our kids know how to tackle and know how to block. BTW, this topic was to be about the NFL, not Harrison. He was the centerpiece of my topic, not the topic itself. Thus my original title NFL? The pro game is losing its fundamentals, just like the NBA, IMO. Um, duh? Sure you will delete this just like you altered my title.

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In a 2 minute defensive drill you give away all the 2 yard over the middle stuff. If there was a chance Massaquoi was going to get away, yes, break it up. But, he was headed to the turf with or without the ball. Tap on the shoulder and play is over. Tactically, it would have been the smart thing to do.

I have never, on any level of play from pewee to college participated in a defensive drill where you let the other player catch the ball. I can understand what your intent here is, but in my opinion it would not work. If you start to give up plays over the middle because they are shorter and you have the intent of bringing the player down in bounds you are setting yourself up to give up the big play. Say it is first and ten, short 2 yard pass over the middle. You would want your defense to allow the catch and try to bring the player down. Lets say you did get the tackle. Chances are the player gets another 2 yards before being brought down, and thats a conservative estimate. It is now, at best for you 2nd and six. Another short pass gets the Offense a first down, they also have the option of trying a run.

In my opinion it is better to try to break up the pass and leave the offense with 2nd and 10. Now you have put them in an almost gaurenteed passing play and you can adjust your defensive call accordingly. In my opinion coaching to allow short passes in the 2 minute drill is overthinking the situation. This would only be exacerbated at the lower levels of play. Expecting a pewee or HS level player to make that type of snap decision is too much. If you say yourself that you don't expect your players to pull it off then why coach it?

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Drop the pass? You want him to CATCH the pass.

How, pray tell, could James Harrison guess that the guy would drop the ball? From what he knew, the guy would catch the ball and he'd deliver a hard hit, possibly causing a fumble.

Massaqoui was going to the ground with or without the ball.

You don't know that, and James wouldn't have either. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions.

In football terms he had an eternity to decide what to do.

Have you ever actually played football at a high level? Or do you just coach kids, who are not very strong, fast, or large like players in the NFL?

Let the guy get his 2 yards and let the clock run is my point. Not sure why you think end of half is trivial. If the Browns get in 7-6 or 7-10 the game takes a different shape. You see Ohio in my sig and think I am a Browns fanboy. I am a football fanboy and an Oilers fan without a team.

As I look at it right now there's no "Ohio" in your signature and I've not even looked at where you were from or assumed you might be a fan of any particular team. Couldn't care less and have not made a single comment in this thread based on who I thought you might be a fan of... don't care what teams you like or dislike.

And yes, Harrison needs to lay the guy out...no question. But, you don't drop your helmet when you tackle. You just don't do it. It can lead to 15 yards to the O or a flat out miss on your part.

Okay... let's debate the tactics of an NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Not that titles like that mean a lot, but James Harrison tackles the way he does and does so quite effectively. Is it fundamentally sound? Probably not. Phil Mickelson's swing has flaws too - doesn't mean we need to change everything the guy does. It works for Phil just as it works for James Harrison.

Naivety? As in I a naive? Not sure personal classification has any bearing on the discussion. Show up at one of our youth practices and see how we coach the kids then call me unaware or soft or naive...whatever. We are 7-1 and play with schools 4 times our size because our kids know how to tackle and know how to block.

I called you naive because you don't seem to understand how quickly the game moves at the NFL level. Look at that hit and see if you can figure out exactly how long Harrison had to determine whether the guy was going to catch the ball (and he'd deliver a big hit, possibly jarring the ball loose) or drop the ball, in which case, what, James should suddenly back off, let the guy catch it, and then try to hit him hard? The alternative doesn't make any sense.

Here's a simple fundamental - you hit the body with the shoulder and put your helmet on the ball to jar it loose. James does that perhaps as well as anyone in the NFL. To ask that he NOT do that would be a bad move, IMO.
BTW, this topic was to be about the NFL, not Harrison. He was the centerpiece of my topic, not the topic itself. Thus my original title NFL? The pro game is losing its fundamentals, just like the NBA, IMO.

See, the problem with assumptions is that they bite you in the rear end quite often. Why would I delete your post? And your original thread title was lousy. "NFL?" says nothing about the topic. Perhaps if you don't want your titles changed you should choose titles that are somewhat descriptive. "NFL?" is not a good title.

If you wanted it changed, perhaps rather than assuming I changed it out of ill will or malice or something, you could have simply asked why I changed it to begin with or given me a new title that better encapsulated what you wanted to say. I've renamed the thread (again) now, and stand by the first renaming because the other topic title WAS miles better than "NFL?"
I have never, on any level of play from pewee to college participated in a defensive drill where you let the other player catch the ball. I can understand what your intent here is, but in my opinion it would not work. If you start to give up plays over the middle because they are shorter and you have the intent of bringing the player down in bounds you are setting yourself up to give up the big play.

Agreed, and additionally, when TV commentators say a team is "willing to give up the short dump over the middle" that simply means they're focusing all of their efforts on protecting against sideline passes and deep passes. It does not mean that they WANT the receiving team to catch the ball. The defense knows the offense likely won't throw short dumps over the middle because they're ineffective plays.

James Harrison knocking the ball out of the guy's hands and causing an incompletion (he didn't cause an incompletion, the guy dropped it, but let's say he had to make the extreme case the OP wants to try to make) is the same as causing an incompletion on the sidelines or on a deep pass. I've never heard of teaching a defensive player to literally let someone make a catch so that the clock can keep running. It's more about where a team focuses than about literally letting an opponent catch a ball. Oh, and mcgriff, my "duh" comment in full is from "And - all things considered - if James Harrison traded in some smarts for the speed and tenacity and power he shows, I'll take it. Duh." Strikes me as a no-brainer. The Steelers have a few really cerebral guys on the team. James Harrison isn't one of 'em, but I wouldn't trade some of his power and tenacity for a little more "smarts." No way in heck. Besides, he strikes me as pretty smart for a linebacker. Or did you miss his sneaky play and full-field TD return off an INT in their last Super Bowl? Also, coincidentally, near the end of the first half. P.S. A post by max power was removed from this thread, because all it really said was "I agree." Posts like that add no value to the discussion and are routinely removed by all mods and admins when we see 'em - regardless of who the post agrees or disagrees with. Contribute to the thread when you post - it's not a lot to ask.

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Drop the pass? You want him to CATCH the pass. Massaqoui was going to the ground with or without the ball.

I don't know of any defensive coach that tells his defensive player to let a guy catch the ball. Just because your team is 7-1 doesn't mean you're teaching them the right way to play defense or cover a receiver so I don't see how that plays into the discussion.

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I played in high school. I get that the defender's job is to try to punish the guy with the ball. But hits like the ones Harrison made should be pushed out of the game. Both those hits people are talking about were spear shots. Head down, no wrapping, just trying to hurt the opponent. I mean, a middle linebacker has to get low and lead with his head against a running back coming through the box also dropping down and trying to knock over the defender, but both players should still be leading with their eyes up, not down. And out in the rest of the field, just keep your face up and tackle the guy. No need in the game for crown of the head torpedo hits.

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1. There's no arm tackling in the nfl anymore players are too strong for it
2. I don't like cheap helmet to helmet hits but there is a fine line with a strong hit and a cheap hit.
3. If the nfl wants to make this a defense thing than they also need to include blindside blocking on offense and special teams which is usually worse.
4. It's just a matter of time until WR and RB start looking like soccer players to draw penalties

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4. It's just a matter of time until WR and RB start looking like soccer players to draw penalties

I think we're already there with the last ditch "throw it downfield to draw a pass interference penalty" tactic. It's a tough issue though, because a lot of it is legitimate, and at that speed it's very tough to call.

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1. There's no arm tackling in the nfl anymore players are too strong for it

Also they outlawed clothesline hits so trying to go in with the arms itself could end up getting a defensive player penalized

I think we're already there with the last ditch "throw it downfield to draw a pass interference penalty" tactic. It's a tough issue though, because a lot of it is legitimate, and at that speed it's very tough to call.

I think this is why they changed the rule so that if the defender is looking back at the ball on a play it isn't considered interference.

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Didn't read through the entire thread but wanted to have my say although it might have already been mentioned.

The defense isn't usually out to make a helmet to helmet hit. Your head is pretty much attached to your shoulders which you try and make a tackle with. You can't predict the movement of the offensive player all the time and helmet to helmet happens. The plays develop so quick that if you hesitate to make the hit because it might be a helmet to helmet may cause you to easily miss a tackle. Some of the undersized cornerbacks have enough trouble taking down some of the bigger WR's, TE's, and RB's. If they had to worry about being careful in making a tackle it's just going to get tougher. Of course this isn't to take away from the fact that the hits are dangerous but they knew the risks when they started playing. Should we start penalizing offensive players for bringing their head/helmet down and plowing through the defense? Many of the NFL players have already said that they prefer the hit up high rather than low. For now this is it...

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They are trying to make an unsafe sport safe, and it's not going to happen. Football is a violent game, always has always will. If you can't handle it, don't play

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What'd you guys think of the Steeler's treatment yesterday?

A couple of BS penalties, and it looked like the refs were flag happy all day. Seemed pretty clear to me that the stripes are going to be picking on the Steeler's for the rest of the season...for no good reason.

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What'd you guys think of the Steeler's treatment yesterday?

Reffing has always sucked. Sometimes the calls go for you, sometimes against you. The NFL should hire full-time refs.

That's not the topic of this thread, though.

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Note: This thread is 3219 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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