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The art of the forced fumble

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The art of the forced fumble
Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:09 am
  • The art of the forced fumble, explained by the NFL Draft class of 2020

    Or, the six types of fumbles you meet in heaven.

    By Christian D'Andrea@TrainIsland Apr 29, 2020, 9:00am EDT

    Illustrations by Tyson Whiting

    Fumbles, for the most part, don’t just happen. They are crafted.

    Each player on the defensive side of the ball has his own assignment when it comes to prying a possession loose from its holder. Several pieces have to fall into place just right to get a 240-pound tailback, arms wrapped tightly around the ball as though he were protecting his offspring, to abandon his primary directive.

    That doesn’t mean they aren’t ball focused as well. Being the first man at the point of contact also means getting the first crack at a potentially fumble-prone back. There’s a way to loosen his grip while retaining solid tackling form. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting your arms in the right spot and driving forward.

    Carlos Davis, Nebraska (Steelers, seventh round): We practice [forcing fumbles] a lot. It’s really just getting your head on one side of the ball and just punching through right in between the elbow — at that weak spot [where the upper arm and forearm meet].

    McTelvin Agim, Arkansas (Broncos, third round): Try to wrap up around the waist. Most of the time, somebody will have the ball up around his waist. If you’re hitting a guy and your arm just happens to hit the ball, most of the time you’ll knock it loose. [If you’re a runner in the backfield] your focus is on not getting hit first, not keeping your arms tight. ... class-2020
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