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Our Philosophy

-Breaking tackles has more to do with
will and effort than anything else.
-“I don’t care if the entire defense hits me, grabs me, jumps on me, trips me…I
will not go down.”

-As a staff, we believe that only a FEW kids are blessed with the
speed to outrun everybody, but we can teach ANY KID to break tackles.
-To Break Tackles, we will:
-Cut, Twist, Stiff Arm, Shuffle Laterally, Drive our Legs, AND WE
-It is never acceptable to be tackled by one man.
-Encourage kids to let them hear about getting tackled by one guy.
(Positive Peer Pressure)

-You will run-through arms and hands.
-Arm tackles are unacceptable.
-Being taken down by your jersey or any other hand tackle, is even more
-The moment you are grabbed, you must pull away quickly and physically.

Contact (How to Break Tackles)
-Keep shoulders square whenever possible (Especially through the hole).
-Balance is better: Getting hit from angles.
-Vision is better: See equally in each direction.
-Power is greater: “Synergy”

-Exaggerate legs on contact.
-The moment you feel or anticipate contact, exaggerate the legs
-Drive/Pump the knees. This is critical.
-(“Hard, High, and Violent”)

-Get your shoulders lower than the man trying to tackle you. (“Lower your
shoulders, not your head.”)
-Leverage will beat size and strength every time.
-Beat him to the punch: “Lower yours before he lowers his.”
-Send a message: Even if you go down, you are sending a message and setting up big
plays for later.
-Be your own blocker.
-Stiff-arm: Vicious palm to the helmet,
shoulder pad, or chest of the defender (the
most under-used running back

-Rip: Violent forearm and bicep across the
defenders body or outstretched arms
(great technique especially near the
-The Lift: Throw your shoulder and forearm
into the defender and lift him.

Who and When
-Pierce the defense
-Lower your shoulders, launch your body, and exaggerate the legs to the extreme
of actually going down.
-Broken Play
-Approaching a first down
-Approaching the end zone (Whatever it takes-“Inside the 5 YOU
-Reach through defenders
-Run over defenders
-Dive over defenders (use when defenders are near your legs)

-Run on 3 Legs
-If the impossible happens and you do get knocked down, bring in your 3rd leg
(free arm).
-Plant your hand on the ground and pop your head and shoulders up.
-At the very least get two more yards.

Hitting the Hole
-Know where the play is supposed to hit, and hit it!
-When you see the hole open up (“Daylight”/”Green Grass”) you must hit it
with everything you have.
-Your hole is a “trap door” that only opens for a split second then slams shut.

How and Why
-You need to “Get Vertical!”
-Only go East and West when it’s absolutely necessary, and after you do, “Get
Vertical” again as fast as possible (this includes running around blocks as well).
-The end zone is straight ahead, that’s where you need to take the ball; “the
sideline is the best tackler on the field.”

What to Expect When You Get There
-Expect the unexpected
-Expect contact and expect congestion when you get there, even if you don’t see
it coming.

-Expect things like blockers getting
pushed backwards, defenders diving,
legs tripping you, bad grass,
mud, sprinklers, etc.
-In other words don’t come to me with an

-Know the blocking scheme
-Know your alternative holes (cut back and
bounce cut).

-Know where your help is coming from (especially 2nd and 3rd level blocks).
-Confidence (understanding your surroundings)
-Helps you anticipate.

-Respect your blockers
-They work long and hard for you.
-Compliment them every chance you get.
-Don’t get down on them. Motivate them and let them know you believe in them
even when they are struggling.
-Get the “dirty yards” and things will open up as the game goes on.

How to Use Them
-Be patient, then burst! (This if for all plays but especially outside ones.)
-The blocker’s rear-end will tell you where to go:
-“See his butt, cut it up.”
-“His butt goes away, you go around.”
-“Scrape paint and get vertical.”
-“Set your blockers up.”

-Nothing contributes more to winning games than keeping possession of
the ball.
-Your number one concern is taking care of the football.
-You have to care more about winning the game than the big play.
-Team goals over individual stats.

How to Eliminate Them
-Basic Principal
-“High and Tight”

-Now we say, “High, Tight, and Inside”

-Four Points of Contact
-Forearms (bottom half)-Should be between
25 and 45 degrees.
-Ribs/Chest (top half)- Cover your number
on breakaways.
-Hand (far point)-Point should be between
index and middle finger.
-Bicep/Elbow (near point)-Elbow should be

-Three major “No’s”
-“No Fly Aways”
-“No Head Swipes”
-“No Sprinter Strides”
-“No Loafs of Bread”

-Keep the ball away from the defense
-Ball should always be in the arm nearest the
-Always reach the arm over to
switch side.
-Never switch the ball in traffic.

-Double-up on major contact
-Take off arm and cover the ball.
-Compact body
-Lower the shoulders and “Bring It”

-90% of a great fake is pride and effort.
-Go “snap to whistle” just as if you had the ball.
-Your goal is to take a minimum of two guys out of the play.
-Break tackles even while faking. A runner on the ground is not fooling anybody.

-Faking the give
-Technique has to be mastered like any other.
-As you pass the quarterback double-up and exaggerate (but don’t over
-Grab the jersey with each hand. (Carry out this part of the fake for 5 yards!!)
-“Rock the cradle”

-Faking the carry
-Key is looking down field and moving in a direction like you would if you had
the ball.

-Arms: Your choice, they both work
-Tuck in arm just like carrying the football “high and tight.” (Outside fist
should be up by the chin.)
-Continue to carry out the fake till the whistle blows.
-Bottom line is effort.