THE world’s best gameplan is for sh**, if defenders treat ballcarriers like Fabergé eggs. There is no substitute for what it takes to sharpen this skill. It isn’t practice, it’s a willingness to throw your WHOLE body around.
And don’t hand me the “lack of training camp” line. It’s applicable in a lot of areas, but not here. A defensive player, who can’t tackle, is like a chef who can’t cook. If they have no other skill in LIFE, a defensive player should be able to make tackles. You don’t go to the NFL to learn tackling; tackling is what helped GET you there.
If a defender loses the will to run through ballcarriers, I think their spot on the active roster should see more questions than the DC who stands on the sideline, and isn’t the one PAID to make tackles (if not big plays).
Competition, GENUINE competition for roster spots should be communicated clearly during the off-season workout period. You know, give veterans a chance to get their minds right, so when the rookies show up, they sense the vets urgency and hunger right from the jump. Then cut a guy Day 2 of camp (Juqua Parker/Thomas/Brown/whatever) and give his spot to young guy (Phillip Hunt) to show EVERYBODY that you’re serious about what you said.
Turn the fire up under the whole Defense, and let that fire, intensity, and hunger loose on teams who USED TO BE right when they called us soft.