Skip to main content

Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information


Presented by

Cardinals Show That Tackling Work Without Tackling Still Works

Rallis has ways to practice pieces of the most fundamental of football plays

Tackling is an art, but to do it well it has to be a science too, especially long into a day and age when the only time a team really tackles is in a game.

The Cardinals did a lot of things clean in their preseason opener, and tackling was one of them. Defensive coordinator Nick Rallis said he thought the tackling was good against the Broncos, and yes, while you can't actually tackle in practice, you can work on things that will make you better at it.

"You have to work on the skills that lead up to the point of attack -- the track, as we call it here," Rallis said. "You probably refer to it as angles. When you talk about poor angles, that can lead to the ball cutting back on you, it can lead to hidden yardage, and that's when explosives happen. I thought our angles were really good. That's something you can work on all the time in both individual and 7-on-7 (drills). I thought we did a good job on that in the game."

Rallis also made sure the defense as worked on actual technique to bring down an opponent, but in a safe manner (even, as you can see, you are a coach in training camp playing the part of ballcarrier.)

"We do work on getting our bodies in the correct position within the approach, and that's getting into the right posture depending on the type of tackle," Rallis said. "Then we will work through the point of attack, starting in a fit position during these periods. So they get used to, 'Once I've made contact how do I wrap and drive, or wrap and roll, or sweep through the ankle or whatever the type of tackle is?' We will work that."

It sounds so basic. Again, at the heart of the game often is who is blocking and tackling the best. The Cardinals will be tested a little more Saturday against the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, but thus far, Rallis is satisfied with what he has seen from the tackling part of the equation.

"You have to work it during camp in a broken down fashion, and obviously in a game, it's the first time we are putting it all together," he said. "That's where you have to keep working the real thing. I thought they did a good job with it."

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Cameron Thomas (97) during the 2023 preseason game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos on Friday, Aug 11, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.