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A Ludicrous Idea: Not Tackling in Training Camp

Your Kentucky Football Wildcats just began their first Saturday scrimmage of the season.  These scrimmages are often described as a “moving day” by the coaches.  How players react in live situations will determine movement on the depth chart more than any other practice of the preseason.

But what if you never had a live scrimmage?  That’s exactly what UCLA is doing before the 2016 season.  Not only are they not scrimmaging, they aren’t tackling.  Here’s what head coach Jim Mora had to say earlier this week via

“We’ll do a move-the-ball period. We’re not going to tackle,” Mora said of the upcoming weekend. “We’re not going to go to the ground. I’ll be surprised if we tackle at all during this camp. We don’t need to. It’s dangerous, we’re mature enough to get our work done in individuals, and we’re having enough collisions. I don’t think we’ll have an all-out scrimmage.

“I don’t think many teams are doing that anymore. We’re moving away from that with player safety, the concussion issue. These guys do so much work in the offseason, they’re in such great shape, I just don’t know if you need to do that anymore.”

There are four essential fundamentals in the game of football: running, passing, catching and tackling.  To eliminate one of them from preseason practice is mind-boggling.

I like that Mora is thinking about player safety.  His head’s in the right place, but as someone who has watched Kentucky football teams miss tackles for more than a decade, this can’t be productive.

It’s smart to stop tackling once the season begins.  There’s no reason to risk injury at that point. But to say “I don’t think many teams are doing that anymore,” is silly.  They play five preseason games in the NFL.  Even the best players in the world need to work on the most basic defensive function in football.

There’s many things you can do to make football safer, but to ignore tackling in the preseason seems counterproductive.  Am I the only that thinks this is crazy?

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

17 Comments for A Ludicrous Idea: Not Tackling in Training Camp

  1. BluKudzu
    11:11 am August 13, 2016 Permalink

    Just one more thing to add to your list: Blocking. You don’t do that it won’t matter about catching, running or passing.

    • Billy Hill
      12:26 pm August 13, 2016 Permalink

      Can someone get this guy 👆🏼 a contract coaching at a major football program? Dude is a genius, folks!!!

    • Can someone ever get this guy 👆 to just once say something nice in the comments?

    • Billy Hill
      4:48 pm August 13, 2016 Permalink

      Says the guy who links to websites bashing gays, Muslims and science. 😂😂😂😂

    • No bashing. Just looking at the issues from a Biblical standpoint, and proving the Bible with science, hence the name Apologetics Press.

    • Billy Hill
      7:47 pm August 13, 2016 Permalink

      LMFAO. “Proving the Bible”

    • Billy, I challenge you to open up your mind and read the Bible with an open and honest heart. It harmonizes perfectly with science. For example, did you know that when a baby is 8 days old, their vitamin K prothrombin (a blood clotter) shoots through the roof? We didn’t know that until the 20th century. Guess what day God commanded Abraham to circumcize his son? That’s right, day 8. Guess where I learned all this? That’s right, the Bible primarily, but also Apologetics Press. Peruse their site. Here’s a good place to start (articles on scientific foreknowledge):


    • Billy Hill
      12:54 am August 14, 2016 Permalink

      Ha. No. I’ve perused the site. I’m good, thanks. I’ll stick to shit that makes sense.

    • Billy Hill
      1:02 am August 14, 2016 Permalink

      I like this. This made me laugh. I’m sure I’m the crazy one, though.

      “Kid’s meal bags, children’s PBS shows, toy banks, games, and a children’s animated movie all have one thing in common: they target children. Kids are fascinated with dinosaurs, and the various companies and agencies that want to turn a quick dollar are smart enough to seize upon that fascination. Unfortunately, however, dinosaurs are not used just to make money. These marvelous creatures also have been laden with a backbreaking load of evolutionary baggage. For decades, dinosaurs have been exploited by evolutionists, and have been used to force-feed children false evolutionary propaganda. As evidence of this fact, consider that on that same Wendy’sâ„¢ kids’ meal bag discussed earlier, an unsuspecting child can see, via the timeline on the side panel of the bag, that dinosaurs first appeared “245 million years ago.” The child also can read how dinosaurs became extinct “64 million years ago.” And, the same movie reviewer who mentioned that Dinosaur was aimed at the “under-10 crowd,” also noted that the movie was set “65 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period.”

      “The topic of dinosaurs is something that children are going to learn–from someone! Whether it is from us, or from the evolutionists, children will learn about these creatures. The time has come for us to “take back” the use of dinosaurs as an educational tool. Let us arm children with the correct information about dinosaurs, so that when the time comes that they find themselves bombarded with evolutionary propaganda, they will be able to defend themselves with the truth.”

      Good night, people.

  2. GRIMbeard
    12:02 pm August 13, 2016 Permalink

    Worked for Coach Hal’s offense. Defense not so much!

    • pithuahua
      1:45 pm August 13, 2016 Permalink

      If Mumme could have practiced with virtual reality he would have. Sometimes coaches are forced to limit contact during camp because of depth but not getting after it is why Mumme’s defensives were like hot knife through butter. That west coast brand of ball is not that physically demanding compared to the SEC.

    • Grim, you beat me to it! I should have read the comments before posting mine.

    • pit, the last part of your 2nd sentence is spot on. I think Mumme/Major’s defenses just did not know how to tackle. Schemes may have been bad as well, I don’t know, but I don’t see how you can know how to tackle without tackling in practice.

  3. Walter White
    2:36 pm August 13, 2016 Permalink

    I think you’d be surprised that many others arent doing this as well and its really not that crazy because of the head trauma/injuries involved. A lot of pro MMA guys that I know (UFC, Bellator) actually do either light to no sparring in training camps for the same reason and they are doing pretty well.

  4. Ask Mike Major and Hal Mumme how that no tackling thing worked out.

  5. kyfangirl4
    6:10 pm August 13, 2016 Permalink

    No tackling really means not tackling your own players to reduce injury to them. Bleacher report recently posted a fascinating article on teams perfecting this approach and winning.