Teaching tackle technique

Interesting comments from Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze here following Tuesday’s practice. …

Given the climate of spinal injuries and focus on player protection, the question becomes does proper form change?

What becomes the accepted technique – the taught technique – to defensive backs such as Ole Miss freshman Trae Elston, who was suspended by the SEC Tuesday for his hit on a UTEP receiver.

Freeze says defensive backs are going to have to change their sight level to keep their facemasks up and avoid “targeting,” which is considered to be any area of the neck up on the offensive player.

How do coaches begin to teach this?

“That’s very difficult. You say their mid-section I guess, keep your face up and try to play the ball as much as possible. Again, I don’t have the answer. I don’t know. That’s a tough thing to teach,” Freeze said.

It’s a tough thing for players to understand how their coach can call them near-perfect in form, but now they’re suspended.

“(Trae) was real close to being perfect in my opinion. I think even they (SEC) would say that. There were elements of it, and obviously, they thought the crown of the helmet was involved too much,” Freeze said.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Football
  • Rebelcuz

    That is a bad call by the SEC.If it had been Alabama or Lsu you would not heard one thing about hit.

  • May I suggest doing away with contact in all sports across the board? We are getting to that point. Isn’t football a contact sport? This is a knee jerk reaction to an issue that the NFL can flaunt in College Football’s face and say, “We suspend professional players for doing things “of this nature”.” But that’s just it, they get paid to play a game the correct way, and have little to no regulation on practice and preparation. We are asking STUDENT-ATHLETES to perfect their form in the middle of a football game, in which the kid did EXACTLY what he is instructed to do….prevent the reciever from catching the football, without an infraction being cited. It’s almost like the SEC is embarrassed that their sorry crew they sent over to Oxford on Saturday night, which is par for the course on crew selection by the way, so with a 20/15 viewpoint of the situation, in extra slow motion, with guilt and anguish, penalize the STUDENT-ATHLETE. Wow. Let’s just play flag football from now on.

  • Parrish Alford

    Kory Keys and I discussed this on radio this morning. At some point you have to remember that football is a violent game. That doesn’t mean you stop trying to improve safety. At some point, intent should come into play. There was no taunting, no over-aggression on Elston’s hit. If he was trying to go for the head he missed his mark. It also looks bad on the SEC for nothing to come from the Vanderbilt hit on the South Carolina defender.


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