Matt Eberflus

How hip drop tackle ban will affect Bears defense, Matt Eberflus' coaching points

The new rule has drawn widespread criticism from players

NBC Universal, Inc.

NFL owners got together and unanimously decided to ban a specific hip-drop tackle technique earlier this week. The move was controversial and has received negative feedback from plenty of players.

The Bears however, don’t believe they’ll be affected by the decision. That’s because head coach Matt Eberflus has taught a different technique for decades.

“In 1995, we did a study when I was at the University of Toledo of what makes a good tackle?” Eberflus told reporters at the NFL owners meetings. “Coach (Gary) Pinkel talked to us, ‘Hey, how do we take guys and knock them sideways or backwards so they don’t fall forward?’ We did a study. We pulled all the tape we could in the NFL, college game, high school tape, all that. What we found out, we came up with these parameters and we came up with this thing called the hamstring tackle. I’ve been using that since ‘95.”

Eberflus said he will not have to change or adjust what the Bears teach with the new rule, however he did have to tweak his technique when the league made it illegal for defenders to lead with their helmet. Now the Bears hit with the top of their pads.

All in all, Eberflus supports the elimination of the specific hip-drop tackle technique because it promotes player safety.

“I don’t want to lose offensive players because of that technique and I think it’s really a good way to put it on the books to make sure they take that tackle out of the game.”

Detractors of the rule believe one of the biggest drawbacks is that the rule will be hard to judge. They believe refs will have a tough time determining what tackles are illegal and which are not. Eberflus does not see it that way.

"I think when you see it, you know it. It’s like, OK, that was it. Because it’s the grab and swivel and then the weight release of the legs to drop on the lower extremities. I think you can clearly see it and I think the league is going to do a good job of officiating it and making sure they’re not going overboard with it too.”

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.

Contact Us