The Washington Redskins on Saturday put on shoulder pads for the first time, and won’t practice all-out tackling in the next two practices leading up to Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But Mike Shanahan said he’s not concerned that a lack of tackling drills will result in poor execution against the Steelers.
Shanahan as a rule never puts his players in full pads in training camp. The players get licks in during 11-on-11 drills and one-on-one battles, but defenders generally chip the ball carriers or receivers, or wrap them up and quickly let go rather than take them to the ground.
Shanahan said he limits tackling in practices out of fear of injuries. He wasn’t always that way, however.
“I’ve done it and I had goal line [situations],” the coach said. “I think three years in a row, a five-minute period. I lost one guy each time we had live tackling in goal line, three years in a row. Lost for the season. So it took me four years to figure this out. So in the fourth year, I didn’t do it and we didn’t get anybody hurt. The chances of you getting somebody hurt aren’t very high, but you go with your past experiences and do what you think is best for your football team, trying to get them ready for the first game, but also trying to evaluate them.”