Cincinnati Bengals' Head Coach Marvin Lewis spoke at Oho State's football clinic last Thursday night. An "Oh, my" for me. He came to inform and to help every coach in the football business college thorough youth league to get better. No "BS," no philosophies, no war stories, and no "all about me," as some college and NFL coaches tend to do. Subject - Proper techniques of playing with the eyes and head up.
Coach Lewis first introduced us to the program "Heads Up Football." I checked the program on the internet and it is very informative. Actually coaches and parents can join the program and receive all kinds of information about making football safer. Google "Heads Up Football."
He spoke briefly on the evolution of the game. Football helmets were introduced in 1893 to protect your ears. In 1940, NFL players were required to wear helmets. In 1955, single bar face masks were introduced. My first helmet was the Riddell suspension helmet in 1963. Some people believe that I actually wore the old leather helmet.
Coach Lewis listed the fundamentals of tackling.
Great football position ( 45 degree power angle)
"Squeeze the green" ( Continue to shorten the distance between you and the ball carrier)
Explode the hips
Explode the eyes.
Slide the head to the side
Step on the toes (Follow thru- lift)
Remember - "You are either coaching it or allowing it to happen"
Marvin Lewis also said, "As coaches we are now charged with revising our teaching methods to once again put emphasis on teaching the proper techniques of playing with head and eyes up. Lowering targets. Wrapping and tackling with our arms. Grabbing cloth.
Much is being done to emphasize the proper technique of playing with the head and eyes up in the NFL. Colleges are getting better. High school rules need to be more specific. Coach Lewis - " We are seeing these modifications currently in our players in the NFL. You can see the same progress from your own players at your level."
Reminder to check out "Heads Up Football."