Blocking and tackling. That’s what football is all about. That’s why the Kansas City Chiefs have live tackling sessions in training camp under Andy Reid. Not all teams do this. In fact, it seems that most don’t. How do you teach tackling if there is no live contact during the summer and no tackling at camp? So, Andy Reid has the Chiefs tackle.
“Somewhere, I still thinking blocking and tackling is important,” Reid said Friday when someone pointed out not every team goes full contact. “So we do it. We try to use our fundamentals that we teach. There is so much emphasis, everybody thinks about the negative like hitting with the head. There are ways of doing this where you can kind of relay that, but you have to practice that. You have to do that, so we do it. It has worked out ok.”
I think more and more fans are hip to the fact that the NFL offseason has changed dramatically since even when Reid first started as a coach in the late 1990s. Some say it’s changed so much that the game has gone too far the other way and they need to bring back more contact in the offseason to practice stuff like this to improve the fundamentals across the league.
“I still think, when it comes down to if you are going to maximize yourself as a team, you have to be able to do those two things,” Reid said. “You have to be able to block and you have to be able to tackle. And then you have to practice it. Whatever the leagues rules present you, you still come back to that. It’s a big part.”
If you’re watching practice, you appreciate the contact. The competition level is so much higher. The 6’3 receiver isn’t making flashy catches down the field when he knows a safety is looming down on him. It turns practice into something closer to a game.