How to Open Field Tackle

Open-field tackles are the hardest tackles to make in football, yet the most important tackle in football. If you miss an open field tackle, the opposing player could score. Open-field tackles are mainly for defensive backs. One move on you can give them a score.


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    Make sure you don't stay too low or too high. You're legs should be at about a 130 degree angle. Be ready to sprint in any direction at any time to tackle the ball carrier.
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    As the ball carrier moves closer, do not cheat to one side. Stay even with the ball carrier. Cheating to one side gives the carrier a bigger space for an easy escape to the endzone.
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    Run but don't go into a full sprint to the carrier. Going into a full sprint will give him an advantage because he could easily juke you while you are sprinting and catch you off guard.
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    As you approach him, get into a full squat and wrap up near the stomach or waist-down. Trying to make a big hit will make it easier for the ball carrier to juke you while you put you're jumping to him.
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    Be ready to jump on him once he makes a juke near you, and wrap up. If you can't wrap up, hold onto anything you can off him, and do not let go.
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    If he comes at you at full speed, do not be afraid to get low and wrap up. He will hit you hard and it will hurt but you have to do whatever you can to take him down. If he is going full speed at you, do not hit him any harder than any other open-field tackle, because he could juke you easily.
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    Take him down and make sure he is down.


  • An open-field tackle is not a tackle to get him down past the line of scrimmage or to make the player fumble, or to make a big hit. It is to assure that the player goes down.
  • Be aware where the carrier is going, don't just look at his head, pay attention to his hips.
  • Do not go too fast at the ball-carrier; any move can throw you off.
  • If you have to fall or or think you will hurt yourself to make a tackle, don't be afraid! Just do it!
  • Stay on your toes to make a quick, unexpected diving tackle.


  • Try to juke a blocker (if necessary) to get to the ball carrier. Better still - don't avoid a block, it takes too much time - go through the block,
  • Do not let go! Help will arrive.
  • Be aggressive. Get angry.

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Categories: Football