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Colts hope hamstring tackles can help them avoid penalty flags

The Colts saw safety Shamarko Thomas ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit in their first preseason game and they saw two defensive players flagged for violating the league’s new rules governing the use of the helmet in their second game, so they find themselves squarely in the group of teams trying to find ways to avoid flags while making tackles in the coming season.
It’s derived from the 1920s when players did not have facemasks and is called a hamstring tackle.
“So, the helmet is clearly on the outside, we are hitting with the top of our shoulder pads, our aiming point is between the waist and the knees – so it’s a lower aiming point – and we are going to grab for the hamstrings, or behind the knees and we are going to wrap,” Eberflus said.
“Nowhere in there it says to strike with the helmet.
Our helmet is in the middle of the body.
… So, those are the things we are teaching.
Now, in the course of a game, you will see some (different) impacts because of the way the guy got hit by another player and the other player was coming on a certain angle.
You might see some things that they might call and it’s not intentional.
Tackle physical, but in a safe way.” As the flags attest, it’s still a work in progress but cornerback Kenny Moore did earn some praise for exhibiting the technique to take down Seahawks fullback Tre Madden in the preseason opener.
Other Colts have said they’re open to the idea, but still find the new rules daunting because, as safety Clayton Geathers said, “textbook hits” are drawing flags.

AP

The Colts saw safety Shamarko Thomas ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit in their first preseason game and they saw two defensive players flagged for violating the league’s new rules governing the use of the helmet in their second game, so they find themselves squarely in the group of teams trying to find ways to avoid flags while making tackles in the coming season.

Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is teaching a technique he hopes will help on that front. It’s derived from the 1920s when players did not have facemasks and is called a hamstring tackle. Per Stephen Holder of The Athletic, it calls for players to “turn his face away from the ball carrier” while targeting the thighs and hamstrings of a ball carrier.

The hope is that the position of the head shows officials that players are not leading with the helmet when they make tackles.

“So, the helmet is clearly on the outside, we are hitting with the top of our shoulder pads, our aiming point is between the waist and the knees – so it’s a lower aiming point – and we…

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