Open Field Tackle Drill


Position a defender and a ball carrier ten yards apart from each other. A coach will stand behind the defender so that the defender can not see him.

In between each player, set up two sets of cones, one on each side of the drill. Each set of cones should have two cones that are five yards apart. These sets will act as the gaps that players run through.


Making a tackle in the open field is one of the toughest tackles that a football player has to make. This drill provides defensive players a practice scenario to improve their open field tackling ability.

Drill Description

To start the drill, the coach standing behind the defender will say “Ready!” to indicate that the drill is about to begin. The coach will then signal to the offensive player by clearly pointing to the right or to the left.

The offensive player must start running in that direction as soon as he gets the signal, and he is not allowed to initially do any jukes on his first step that will throw the defender off. After the drill has started, the ball carrier must run through the set of cones on the side he was assigned. He is allowed to juke once he gets close to the defender to avoid the tackle, but he must still run in between the cones.

The defensive player reacts to the ball carrier’s first movement. As soon as he breaks to one direction, the defender runs and tackles the player in the open field as he tries to make it through the cones.

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