Back To Basics

It has become quite apparent that the UND coaching staff is going to treat Spring Ball 2014 as a “back to the basics” type of session.  While they are obviously installing the offense and defense, they are also taking a good chunk of every practice to work on such things as tackling, blocking, pursuit, stance, alignment and so on.  We have seen the following drills being implemented thus far (these are very common drills but noteworthy):

  • Form Tackling:  one player tackles another onto a big padded mat that the track team uses.
  • One-on-One Tackling:  RB vs. LB’s and DB’s vs. WR’s.  Lined up across from each other the offensive player breaks one way and the defensive player needs to react up and tackle offensive player in space.  The defense has had trouble with this in spring drills but seems to be improving.  This type of open field tackle was a major problem the last two seasons.  Also benefits the offensive player in that they work on their moves/shakes in open space.  Reading weight of defensive player and so forth.
  • Pursuit:  an offensive player runs down the hash and the defense, from their respective positions, has to hustle over and take the right angle to catch up to the offensive player.  This type of drill teaches the defensive player to instinctively hustle after the ball no matter where they are.  Becomes second nature.
  • Stance work:  Coach Schweigert and Coach Rodgers have been working with the DB’s on their stance and read steps to get them to play the way they want.  Nothing like starting from scratch.

These are just a few of the drills we have seen that will greatly benefit this team as they head into 2014.  We will have some thoughts on the offensive side of the ball coming up in the next day or so.  However, it is has been very hard to sort out who is playing well and who is making an impact, etc. because of the emphasis on the basics.  Hopefully, by the spring game some players will be begin to step up and take over some #1 spots.

8 Responses

  1. NDSPortsFan

    Welcome to UND…where they need to teach the recruits and current players how to tackle. It’s completely unfortunate. Hopefully they can start recruiting more talented players with the new coaching staff.

    1. Every school does these drills, some just do them more. UND had gotten away from them in the past couple years and it showed on the field as players continually missed tackles, blocks and so on.

      High school recruits do not show up on campus knowing how to tackle or block at the FCS level. It takes individual work and constants drilling to get it ingrained. What they are doing is more common than uncommon.

    2. Siouxguy


      Welcome to… I am more concerned about the team 70 miles North even though we aren’t in the same conference. Haven’t played each other in God knows how long guy.

      Grow up. This is a brand new coaching staff and they are seeing what they current players do well and what they don’t. You find me one college including the school down south that’d doesn’t work on defensive pursuit drills, tackling drills, blocking drills, stance, footwork, and alignment. This is why they call it practice. Watching the pre-game at and college and professional level. They work on footwork, tackling, and assignment before a game. If you knew anything about football you would know these things. It is easy to sit behind a computer and talk. Go to a practice at NDSU and watch what they do.

  2. soon to be alum

    UND didn’t get away from teaching & practicing these type of drills. We did them all the time, every practice. I am tired of seeing the previous staff crucified and the new group hailed as some kind of revoluntionary heroes. We were part of the process of building up the program and unfortunately, Faison took some heat and blew things up in CYA mode. We weren’t happy about the speed of progression either, but it was building year after year. The young guys I played with were stronger and faster than I was by a long shot, when I was at their stage.

    Fans better be ready for a couple seasons worse than they’ve ever seen. New unfamiliar staff, and the exodus of a lot of quality will set us back. The cupboard isn’t bare, but it’s thin. Some very good young guys are left. For me and some of my old teammates though, for the first time we will be in the stands cheering for the good guys in green. Rah, Rah is fine. But, it is very limited if you don’t have the horses. Watch any FBS or Pro FB game. You see dozens of missed tackles every game. I bet they do “drills” also. Good players make plays, at every level. Sometimes one athlete is superior to another. And sometimes one team is superior to another. Sioux fans, thanks to a lack of patience on both the AD and fans parts, will be seeing lots of examples of this come fall, and next fall.

    1. siouxguy

      Soon to be,

      The previous staff was terrible. As a player they lowered you self esteem and made you feel as if you were useless. They weren’t willing to make changes with the players they had, and they ultimately failed to be successful for more then just these reasons. I know as a player I did not want to play for those coaches and thats an issue.
      It is very frustrating for you to say fans better brace themselves for a couple worse seasons than we have ever experienced. Don’t bother coming to a game if that is how you feel. The guys are working hard, these coaches know what they are doing. The coaches are bringing guys in to fill holes, and the guys are buying into the system. We will be very well off this upcoming season, and we believe it. So keep your negative attitude about the UND football program at home.

  3. Tim

    If that is indeed a player off last years team writing in, the only thing I can say is it didn’t look like it was progressing in a positive way last year. I do agree that I would assume you were practicing all the fundamentals last year but it just didn’t seem to show up during the game.

  4. realist

    siouxguy….. I was taught as small child no one could “make you feel” how they wanted to make you feel unless you let them. If you felt you were useless thats really on you. Sad maybe, but totally on you. I know players and other who are close to the program who said each of the last 3 classes were an improvement in athleticism and talent over the preceding year. I know kids that worked hard year round and bled green and weren’t happy with the outcome of many of the games, but I never once heard a negative from them on staff.

    I agree with soon to be alum. I’m sorry, but it was ignorant for a fan to think we would tear up the BSC in our second year. I agree we needed a year or 2 more patience and financial support for staff, but that didn’t happen. Everyone knows the litany of what many of you experts call excuses, but we went through a tough spell in the transition. Simply a fact, not an excuse. Then added to that, as an institution they tried to make the football move on the cheap. FB is probably the toughest sport to move up in, due to the sheer numbers and cost. I know Bubba and want the best for the team and him. But, don’t make him out to be something he’s not. He wasn’t born to a virgin 2000 years ago, he’s just a good football coach. It looks like we’ve about tripled the FB staff overall salary and that’s good………..just 6 or 7 years late. I went to my first Sioux FB game in 1963, and support the program financially and with my pocketbook, and will continue to do so. I want to see another national title before I’m done, and I truly hope Bubba and Co. can eventually get us there. Just don’t expect it this year.

    1. Geaux_sioux

      From what I’ve heard by current players the new staff is by far more organized and make it clear what the vision is for the football program. They’re also apparently just plain better at teacher the player the system. They’re more professional and demanding of the players as well which should lead to more consistency. I don’t think we’re gonna blow the doors off of the big sky next year but I don’t think we’ll be getting blown out anymore.

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