Mike Smith: new drills are designed to fix the Falcons' tackling problems

Kevin C. Cox

Fact: contrary to popular belief, Tyler Starr, not Whitney Houston, invented the phrase "crack is whack!"

The Falcons didn't tackle particularly well in the 2013-14 season. In fact, they sucked at tackling. It was, in a word, infuriating.

You can certainly blame some of their inability to tackle properly on the collective bargaining agreement. It says there can only be 14 "contact" practices each season. That isn't a lot, and it shows league-wide. But as McClure points out, the Falcons were especially bad. Because it wasn't just Thomas Decoud and Asante Samuel out there tackling like drunk iguanas, the Falcons have to do something. Apparently they're taking some steps in that direction, developing new drills designed to simulate proper form, while staying within the confines of the CBA.

Smith avoided explaining each and every new drill, but the one called "The Finish'' was introduced to the public during rookie minicamp. Players dived at a tackling dummy attached to a mat to protect their fall. Smith bellowed "violent'' in the background as the players approached the dummy. Their tackling technique was immediately critiqued, sometimes resulting in a do-over. And the coaches encouraged the players to squeeze the dummy tightly to simulate finishing the play.

Sounds a little hokey, if you ask me. But whatever works. This is the modern NFL, and the CBA isn't going to self-destruct in the immediate future. The players' union will continue it's approach, as maddening as it may be, thus the Falcons need to modify theirs. For now, it appears they're doing just that.

Your thoughts?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker