Jonathan Gannon explains why the Eagles don’t tackle

Jonathan Gannon explains why the Eagles don’t tackle

Gannon explains why Eagles aren’t tackling practice Originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Since the summer of 1933, when the Eagles’ inaugural team spent the summer training at Bader Field in Atlantic City, tackles have played an important role in training camp.

Linemen attack ball carriers. Linebackers tackle tight ends. Defensive backs prey on wide receivers.

Keep doing it until you succeed. What if guys get hurt? It’s the cost of doing business.

For 88 years, under every Eagles coach, from Lud Wray to Doug Pederson, the Eagles have tackled training camp. Because conventional NFL wisdom says that’s what you do.

Then Nick Sirianni came over and said stop.

“You hear all the time, ‘Well, we’ve always done it like this,'” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said. “But that’s probably not the right path in 2022.”

The Eagles don’t believe tackling is necessary to become proficient at tackling, and on Thursday morning Gannon explained why.

Gannon, appearing on the WIP Morning Show, explained the philosophy he and head coach Nick Sirianni share on teaching the tackle in training camp and why you don’t see defensive players completing tackles in training camp. coaching.

“You don’t tackle, that’s right,” Gannon said. “But here’s how you train to tackle in a safe way to keep us healthy. Tackle is nothing more than a desire – and I know all of our guys want to tackle – and positioning and technique.

“You can work that into practice without knocking Boston Scott to the ground, which will keep us healthier.”

The Eagles went against NFL tradition last year in Sirianni’s first season as head coach by eliminating all live drills. It’s not that the practice isn’t physical. He is. The Eagles train hard and the guys are hitting. They just don’t knock the offensive player to the ground.

“We have a circuit of tackles every day, so people don’t see it because we don’t tackle live, but they work on the aspects of space, technique, level of pads, what you do when you hit a guy,” Gannon said. . “They work that in practice. I have no questions or issues (if) we will be ready in week 1.”

Last year’s training camp was the same. The workouts are quick, they’re intense, they’re quick, they’re even physical at times.

But players don’t usually end up on the ground.

And what happened during the season? The Eagles were one of the healthiest teams in the NFL, they went 6-1 in the stretch to reach the playoffs, and their tackling was good.

The Eagles have been criticized not only for the lack of tackles on the ground, but also for the length of their practices.

But it’s the wave of the future in the NFL. And the Eagles are at the forefront of using sports science and analytical data to help make informed decisions.

Even if they lead to unorthodox methods.

“When you look at training camp as a whole and not day to day, when you look at the wide range, the overall load they get and everything they get live and the walkthroughs and the meetings, that’s a really good setup for our guys because No. 1, it sets them up for week 1 and 2, it keeps them healthy,” Gannon said.

“(Sirianni) relies on science and people who really know how the body reacts and what stresses players have. … If you’re trying to say, ‘Hey, what’s our #1 goal at camp? coaching ?’ Assess, get our team ready for Week 1, and stay healthy, so you have to balance a lot of different factors that come into play.

“From my point of view as a defensive coordinator, are we able to assess our guys, improve them and be ready for week 1. And with this configuration, I know that we will be ready for week 1 .”

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