Obsession with big hits leads to bad tackling

Obsession with big hits leads to bad tackling
October 18, 2012, 5:45 pm
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Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, center, rushes the ball between Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard, left, and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams in the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

A basic question has yet to be answered as the rubble gets sorted out from the defense's performance against the run for the Ravens.

When assessing what went wrong, to a player, they said it was lack of focus with tackling. That's how DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones sparked the Dallas Cowboys to rush for a record 227 yards against the Ravens.

But how does a team that's usually good at tackling forget how? Murray and Jones bounced off tackles repeatedly to extend drives and runs.

"A lot of people love to hit. People love to go for the knockout blow," Ravens linebacker Albert McClellan said. "Like in boxing, somebody might go for the kill shot the first punch and might let their guard down. That's when you get hit.

"Just sticking to the basics, making sure tackles for a three-yard gain, maybe a tackle for a loss, just wrap up. Play through the tackle and bring them to the ground. That's true tackling."

Defensive end Pernell McPhee believes even if the tackle is missed that reinforcements should be nearby.

"We just all got to believe in each other. (Expletive), if one guy missed a tackle, before he even missed a tackle it should be another guy hitting him so there should be no missed tackles," he said.

Safety Bernard Pollard was guilty as charged, but he injured his ribs in a collision in a  Week 2 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and his ability to wrap up remains in question.

Fellow safety Ed Reed told 105.7 FM in Baltimore on Wednesday that he has a cartilage tear in his shoulder though he insisted it doesn't affect his ability to tackle Thursday.

"It's just a mentality," linebacker Paul Kruger said. "As soon as we get things back on track, re-motivated, you get the ball rolling. … Having a tough couple of games put us in this mind-set that we've got to snap out of."

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