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Fall Camp Practice Day Six: Sirmon Talks Tackling

October 15, 2020
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The Bears went through their sixth training camp practice session Thursday afternoon on a hot Berkeley day.

Thursday morning defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon discussed how his unit is progressing and senior running back Marcel Dancy raved about the Bears’ new offense in Zoom calls with the local media.

Sirmon said the Bears’ primary emphasis has been and will continue to be tackling. He decried how one of football’s basics has become something of a lost art. 

“Every position group worked extensively on tackling,” Sirmon said. “We work more on tackling and technique than we have on any of the defensive calls we’ve had since we have been in shoulder pads and full pads.

“I don’t watch a ton of football in terms of trying to find a theme. But the themes that I have seen when I watch defenses is that teams are not getting the ball on the ground efficiently. That can happen to any team in the conference but that will not be something that is not addressed early on at Cal.

“We are going to talk about tackling, we are going to talk about leverage tackling. We are going to talk about gang-tackling. And getting to the ball. That is going to be something that right up until kickoff is stressed and re-stressed, emphasized, instructed and practiced.”

And Sirmon feels the Bears have some work to do. “Need some improvement,” he said. “It was not for a lack of effort. It’s for a lack of understanding, What we talk about at linebacker is you are always trying to find your buddy to support the tackling. Sometimes the buddy represents the sidelines, sometimes it is the D-line in a chase opportunity. Sometimes your buddy winds up being the linebacker beside you. Sometimes your buddy is the pylon support. I think that is one of those things we need to continue to illustrate.”

And speaking of inside linebackers, the group is interesting. There is senior honors candidate Kuony Deng, redshirt sophomore Evan Tattersall, and a whole lot of inexperience.

“Kuony has continued to develop,” Sirmon said. “Physically, I think he is almost 249-250 pounds right now. He has taken a significant physical jump since we last saw him in the RedBox Bowl.

“His leadership is continuing to show, his work ethic is continuing to show and I’m very excited to have him with another year of experience. Last year, to his credit, the way he played at inside linebacker, a position that was not familiar to him. He practiced hard and studied hard, and the amount of productions and development that I was able to see from Week One to the end of the season was nothing short of remarkable.”

Tattersall has been primarily used on special teams. Now he is the likely starter beside Deng.

“I am very pleased with Evan Tattersall,” Sirmon said. “He was one of the first kids we signed when I got here. He has the tools to be a very productive player. He runs well. He’s strong, Now he is getting more opportunities. He has a couple of years of experience on the practice field. He is showing a very good understanding of what we are asking him to do. He has been very active running around.”

Sirmon said he isn’t ready to put together the rest of the depth chart yet.

“The other guys are still sorting themselves out,” he said.

Dancy, the senior in his second year at Cal after transferring from Laney Collge, said he welcomes Bill Musgrave’s offense.

“I love it,” he said. “The whole offense will tell you the same thing. The whole offense is excited about what Coach Musgrave has shown us. It is a very versatile offense.”

He was asked the biggest change as far as he was concerned. “Having the fullback in front of us (running backs), the power I. I think that is the biggest thing. We can do so many things out of so many different sets.”

Dancy said he has added five pounds to his 2019 playing weight of 195. “Aside from being stronger and faster, I am way more explosive,” he said. 

Discussion from...

Fall Camp Practice Day Six: Sirmon Talks Tackling

3,436 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 11 days ago by TomBear
BearForce2
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Quote:

Dancy, the senior in his second year at Cal after transferring from Laney JC, said he welcomes Bill Musgrave's offense.

"I love it," he said. "The whole offense will tell you the same thing. The whole offense is excited about what Coach Musgrave has shown us. It is a very versatile offense."
I love it!

BearForce2
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Quote:

He was asked the biggest change as far as he was concerned. "Having the fullback in front of us (running backs), the power I. I think that is the biggest thing. We can do so many things out of so many different sets."
Hello? Yes, of course they're excited!
Where's Malik McMorris when you need him!
BearlyClad
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Love this guy. Hopefully he will get more carries this year. AT knows his stuff so the running backs should be great; I bet Marcel will shine this year, even more than before.
TomBear
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One of the things you see in the SEC this year, especially in the secondaries, is they do not tackle. I can not tell you how many times I have seen touchdowns, or first downs achieved by runners simply because the DBs wanted to hit instead of contact, wrap and control. Runners just bounce off that crap and make the extra yardage. It doesn't matter if it's LSU, 'Bama, or Ole Miss, they're all awful! When it comes to tackling, DBs just play fearfully in general. It's time for that to change. The Cal Rugby team just doesn't miss tackles, and they don't have the luxury of protection (pads). All you have to do is watch film of Cal Rugby and you'll see how well Coach Clark, Billups et al. condition their players to make tackling second nature. It's done correctly, and effectively. I am so glad to see this emphasized by Sirmon, as this is one of the areas I have seen the overall game of football decline in execution.
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