AU Security Coach Chuck Cecil Tries To Figure Out How To Solve Problems By Targeting Calls | national


It’s personal for Chuck Cecil.

Some of the most explosive games opponents have made against Arizona have been the result of missed tackles by safeties, the position of Cecil’s coaches. It hurts Cecil – a former All-American security man – to see this happen. He and his group continue to work to eliminate these mistakes and improve their technique, a task easier said than done in an age when the possibilities to tackle are limited in practice.

“Having been in the NFL for so long, the tackle is generally accepted: you are going to tackle,” Cecil said Tuesday. “It’s not that guys don’t want to tackle. Sometimes that’s how to go about it. It’s really something that is practiced, just the practice of tackling techniques and approach angles. It’s all about geometry.

“It’s just something that you have to work on and be aware of. Hope it improves in the future. This is the plan. “

The latest example came in the third scrum game against the Oregon No.3 last Saturday. Quarterback Anthony Brown hooked up with wide receiver Jaylon Redd on a post ground on the AU 47-yard line. Gunner Maldonado hit Redd in the middle but couldn’t knock him down. Redd came out of the tackle, forcing other security Jaydin Young to miss him as well. Redd ran into the end zone for a 63-yard touchdown.

“The most important thing is to go wrap the legs,” Cecil said. “It’s a very simple technique, and it’s pretty much undefeated.

“There are times to get the hang of it. And then there are times when you just have to attack them and knock them down. This part of attack decision making is only a big part of the process. When are you going for the big hit, and when are you going for the safe tackle?

“JY and Gunner are both explosive guys who want to hit the jackpot. They come hard; they play hard. Sometimes the best thing you can do is slow down, actually, and make a safe tackle.”

Part of the challenge in teaching these techniques is that NCAA rules limit the number of fully padded workouts teams are allowed to perform. AU coach Jedd Fisch said the team will don full pads for some of their workouts during this week’s goodbye, but it’s not like the good old days – nor even in fairly recent days.

“That’s where the catch lies,” Cecil said. “You could have five minutes here or 10 minutes there practically individual time to actually work on something like the tackle. There are clearly other things you need to work on as well. So trying to manage your time and making sure you get things that are important like tackling are obviously still very important. We did it.

Improvement is possible. Safety Jaxen Turner missed five tackles in the first two games, including four against San Diego State, according to Pro Football Focus. He hasn’t had any since.

Talk about targeting

The game has changed in other ways. No one understands better than Cecil.

Cecil played in Arizona in the 1980s and in the NFL until 1995. The types of hits he delivered were praised at the time. They are illegal now.

“I got to play in the NFL because I was good at targeting,” Cecil said. “I understand. I know what targeting is.

Cecil estimated that he suffered “50 to 60” concussions during his playing days, an alarming revelation. At all levels of sport, efforts have been made in recent years to minimize direct contact. Any questionable play is considered in college football. Two Wildcats, Turner and defensive end Mo Diallo, were disqualified for targeting.

“The bottom line is that you are trying to protect the kids from themselves as much as anything else,” Cecil said. “What they’re trying to eliminate is aiming where the defender is making a conscious effort to hit the offensive player in the head.”

Cecil said targeting violations are easy to recognize about 90% of the time. It’s the remaining 10% that plague coaches, players and fans.

Diallo’s expulsion from the NAU falls into the latter category. He hasn’t made an overt move to initiate direct contact with Lumberjacks quarterback RJ Martinez. But just enough contact was made for Diallo to be signaled and booted from the game.

“You have guys doing their best, giving their best,” said AU defensive line coach Ricky Hunley. “It could have gone both ways, easily. It’s just a matter of how someone felt that day or for this moment.

“I’m telling guys… if you’re less than a step away, go ahead and do the tackle.” Two steps, try to hold him back, so that at least you make the effort to try not to hurt him.

Bonus points

Coaches will be on the road to recruit later this week. Cecil, who is traveling to Katy, Texas, has very strong feelings for the AU, his alma mater. He also trusts Fisch. “Coach Fisch knows what it is and knows how to do it. He’s going to do it, ”Cecil said. “He’s not here to win a few games. He’s here to win a few championships, a lot of championships, mega-championships. It will be done. That’s why I came back. This is the reason why I am here. The University of Arizona never won the Pac-10, now the Pac-12. I’m not leaving until this happens.

Hunley on the defensive coordinator Don brown, who was sidelined in the Oregon game: “He’s the toughest individual you’ve ever met in your life. You can’t hold it back. Stronger than Hunley? “Yes he is,” Hunley said. “I didn’t take any pictures. I delivered the blows.

The UA football program will hold testing on foot at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 12. Participants must be full-time students; have a vaccination record or proof of a negative COVID-19 test; and have had a physical examination within the past six months.


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