How Texans Practice Tackling During a Pandemic

Damien Williams #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes for a touchdown over Justin Reid #20 of the Houston Texans in the third quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo credit Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images
By SportsRadio 610
HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- With a shorter training camp and no organized team activities, proper tackling is not something that can be coached hands-on in 2020. 

To minimize injuries, the Texans don't do a lot of live tackling in practice anyway, but even less so now. 

Head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien was asked about how the pandemic is affecting the amount of tackling drills at Texans practices. 

“I think early in the season, I think the team that does the best job with tackling, with penalties, with ball security is going to be the team that has the advantage," O'Brien said. "We have a plan in place, really starting with Phase 2 even without pads, to really start honing in on angle tackling and proper tackling and things like that – as much as we can do. We can’t actually do it, obviously. Leading up to when we have pads on, continuing to work the same drills although they won’t be live, so to speak.

"I think the other thing that we’ve been working hard on right from the start is line-of-scrimmage penalties – penalties that we feel like we can control. So, we’ve worked a lot on operation in all three phases and we’ve got to do a better job than we did last year on that in that phase. Once we get to Phase 2, we’ll begin to work more ball security drills, takeaway drills and things like that. That’s going to be a big part of the early part of the season.”

What about avoiding injuries in a time when players haven't been able to make much contact with each other? 

J.J. Watt spoke over the weekend about how the NFLPA is concerned about injuries since a lot of players have not been able to work out and train as much as they normally would.

O'Brien said it will be up to the strenth and conditioning and training staff to get the players ready to play football. 

"All these guys, the veterans, they’ve worked hard," O'Brien said. "You can tell they’ve worked hard. Some of them weren’t able to do the football drills that we do or some of them didn’t have the resources that we have here. We’re definitely being patient and we’ve put a lot of work and resources into different ways to monitor where they’re at.

"We’ve worked hard with our sports performance staff to come up with plans relative to how many minutes of high intense practice, medium intense practice and low intense practice. We’ve worked hard on that and we have a good plan for it and hopefully that will help us in the health department.”

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