How could a former USA Today high school defensive player of the year not know how to tackle? Apparently it happened to the 2005 winner, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, according to an article on Pro Football Talk by Michael David Smith. Its only now with new head coach Greg Schiano that McCoy is starting to learn proper tackling technique.
"We do a tackling circuit before every practice, and I've never done anything like that before," McCoy said. "I realize now that, before, I was just playing football. Now, I'm really learning how to tackle and I think it's going to help me a lot."
Even though the drill right now are still non-contact, Schiano is stressing the proper form for tackling in his practices. Safety Ronde Barber says that Schiano really hammers home the emphasis on details.
"Everybody talks about fundamentals, but he hammers it," Barber said. "We get fundamentals every day. He's definitely a teacher and that's a good thing."
If the proper technique helps the Buccaneers defense this season, things could rapidly turn around for Tampa Bay.