How to Tackle


Make the most of your size, strength and speed on the field with these tackling techniques from professional football player Lance Briggs and defensive players on the Occidental College football team.

And, when you’re done, see if you have what it takes to play hard and be safe on the field.

How to Tackle

Ready, break! See if you can tackle this quiz.


Name: Chris Washington, #5
Position: Cornerback

"There are several important things to remember when tackling. The first thing is to keep your head up. This is important because you can't tackle what you can't see, and tackling with your head down can cause severe neck injuries. The second is fairly simple, wrap up your opponent and keep your legs pumping.

"Getting stronger and faster usually comes in the off season. The great defensive players are always in the weight room improving their strength and on the field doing what needs to be done to get fast. Once the season comes around the good defenders study their opponent as much as possible, and put it all together on game day.

Remembering a Good Tackle:

"I was about 10 yards off of my opponent; as soon as the ball was thrown to the receiver I broke for the ball. As soon as he caught the ball I ran right through his waist, he got nowhere."


Name: Tommy Andre, #56
Position: Linebacker

"I would say to tackle you should get low to give yourself leverage over the ball carrier, bend at the knees not waist, keep your head and chest up because it's hard to tackle what you can't see and for safety reasons to protect your neck and spine."

"On collision, wrap up and grab some jersey, pop and roll your hips to provide an explosive hit, keep your feet pumping and imagine tackling through the ball carrier, not just tackling them at the spot where they have the ball."


Name: Alex Werthheimer, #80
Position: Defensive End

"You should always keep your head up so you don't hurt your neck and you don't miss the guy you are trying to tackle.

"Both strength and speed are equally important. You need both attributes to be a defender with no weaknesses."

On Learning How to Tackle:

"The best way to learn how to tackle is to listen to your coach."


Name: Jason Haller, #3
Position: Running Back

"Stay low, and always keep your feet moving."

"The most important thing I think is to have confidence in yourself, if you don't believe you can make the play, you probably won't. The only way to beat someone bigger than you is to want it more."

On Learning How to Tackle:

"The best way is to do it, learn from your mistakes, watch those who are good at it. Try out offense and get tackled, see what you can learn about what makes a tackler better or worse."


Want some pro advice to step up your football game? Lance Briggs shows our Justin ...

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