Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast Ep. 27: USA Football’s Andy Ryland on the Craft of Tackling

Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast Ep. 27: USA Football’s Andy Ryland on the Craft of Tackling

Matt Waldman hosts USA Football tackling expert Andy Ryland on the RSP Cast for a clinic on the key processes of tackling. 

Andy Ryland is the son of a Rugby coach, an alum of Linebacker U (Penn State), and a Rugby All-American. Now at USA Football, Ryland works with coaches at all levels of football on the craft of tackling ball carriers. Ryland and I sit down for a conversation about his 33 key process indicators (KPI) for effective tackling.

  • Gaining the proper perspective on the details of having a KPI system for effective coaching.
    • Separating technique from skill.
    • Don’t coach in millimeters and learn that technique is different than what’s prescribed.
    • Asking the question: What makes it difficult on game day?
  • Ryland’s five broad phases of tackling.
    • Tracking
    • Preparation
    • Connection
    • Acceleration
    • Finish
  • Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the opponent and why it’s disrespectful to the game not to think opponents will challenge you and test the limits of your abilities.

In addition to breaking down these phases and many of the significant KPIs within, Ryland and I discuss NFL examples of some of these tackling phases, including Todd Gurley versus Patrick Peterson, Jamaal Charles’ running style, and Sony Michel’s Sunday trucking.

Ryland also expresses a healthy technical admiration for Giants special teams wiz Mike Thomas, Legion of Doom defenders, and Sean Lee. You can follow Andy on Twitter @USAFootballMT.

For the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), get the 2019  Rookie Scouting Portfolio. If you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2018 RSPs at no additional charge.

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