Another way in which defenders are missing tackles is by overrunning ball carriers in the open field, providing them with cutback lanes that can gash the defense.
While coaches have different perspectives on the correct techniques in open field tackling, we found one constant goal: do what you have to do to get the ball carrier on the ground. Usually, this comes in the form of closing space between the defender and the ball carrier, coming to balance before contact and understanding your leverage on the field as it pertains to other defenders and the sideline. We found the following common errors as it pertains to open field tackling:
Coming to balance to early on ball carrier: It seems that more coaches are using the term “come to balance” rather than the archaic “break down.” So many tackles are missed because defenders are not coming in with their eyes at ball level.