Tackling was a sore subject for Nebraska football during the Huskers’ 4-8 season in 2017. A porous defense allowed rushing totals of 353, 279, 199, 232, 409, 263 and 313 yards in its final seven games.
It got so bad that then-defensive coordinator Bob Diaco was throwing out conspiracy theories about the team’s tackling. Now that Scott Frost is leading the Huskers, he’s in charge of installing a new tackling system.
“We had a tackling technique deal last night that I showed them,” Frost told reporters Tuesday. “I’m passionate about that. I was a bad NFL tackler for five years of my NFL career until I got to Tampa and they taught us the right way.
“That’s how we teach guys to tackle on the move, through and to the ball carrier, all the time with the right technique. We’re going to work on it every single day until these guys master it.”
Frost was a quarterback at Nebraska before transitioning to safety in the NFL. He even coached defense early in his career before turning his focus to offense.
“One of the keys we talk about is the desire to excel and no fear of failure,” Frost added. “If you’re going to run through a tackle and be aggressive, you’re going to miss some until you get good at it. And I want guys to continue to make the big hit, the splash play, the big impact play, instead of being afraid to go make that play and coming to balance, coming to a stop and giving up yards.
“We’re going to run through tackles and technique is going to come along as we keep working.”
When asked about the possibility of hiring a tackling consultant, Frost expressed surprise.
“They pay us good money to coach,” he said. “If we don’t know what we’re doing, they probably need a different coach.”
The onus to improve tackling is spread evenly across the unit, and that includes the secondary.
“I think we have a few guys in the DB room that like to hit and hopefully they bring everyone along with them,” Frost said. “You know, Deontai [Williams] likes to hit. Marquel Dismuke is another guy we have to hold him back a little bit. We’re going to teach those guys to tackle the right way and we’re going to bring everyone else along with them.”