Interim Dolphins coach busts out Oklahoma drill

AP

Wednesday marked the first day on the practice field for Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell, and those watching have reported that Campbell started practice by dividing the offense and defense and holding Oklahoma drills.

So, Campbell probably has his team’s attention. And maybe the NFL Players Association’s attention, too.

The Oklahoma drill — named for longtime Oklahoma University coach Bud Wilkinson — is a full-contact, full-speed drill that includes players either blocking or tackling (or both) in a confined area.

With the emphasis on concussion prevention and player safety, most NFL teams no longer do the Oklahoma drill in training camp — and it’s hard to imagine any team doing it during an in-season practice, even during a bye week like the Dolphins have this week. The Bengals used to open training camp with it, but Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has canceled it the last two seasons.

Campbell, who played 10 NFL seasons as a tight end, obviously thinks his 1-3 team needed a wakeup call and a firm sign that things will be different going forward. It will be interesting to hear what his players think about his methods.

115 responses to “Interim Dolphins coach busts out Oklahoma drill

  1. Absolutely love it. If the players have problems with each other, they will soon know which players have the problems and give them a chance to settle their differences.

    Even as one of the smaller guys on the football team growing up, I loved this drill so I put some of the overconfident players in their place…..Although I did give the best RB on our team a concussion that kept him out for 2 weeks.

    Interestingly enough even back in 1999, our school had a mandatory policy to keep people out 2 weeks after a concussion.

    If we knew the impact of a concussion, how did everyone else ignore it?

  2. God forbid these entitled millionaires have to bust their hump and prove they’re worth the money they’re being paid in practice. No more candy a** cream puff stuff for the fins.

    The beatings must continue until moral improves around that place

  3. Either they’ll respond to this sort of tactic or he’ll lose them in his first week as head coach and they’ll play even worse.

  4. It wasn’t about Tannehill throwing a hissy fit because he was getting hit, it was about using practice to get better. Rather than keep that team goal in mind, one player decided he’d rather use the time to make a name for himself, despite his coaches instructions.
    The players didn’t respect Philbin, and this is a good move by the new coach imo. If the players don’t buy in, they won’t get better, and they won’t buy in if you can’t command their respect.

  5. BRUTAL…only the crazies used to love this drill in practice…but it’ll expose the prima donna’s quickly

  6. Make Tannehill go one on one with some practice squad players. If anyone needs to be put in their place its him. It’s great you’ve got a fat contract and a smoking wife, but you’re quickly turning into Cutler. Although at least Cutler is productive on the field.

  7. >>It wasn’t about Tannehill throwing a hissy fit because he was getting hit, it was about using practice to get better. Rather than keep that team goal in mind, one player decided he’d rather use the time to make a name for himself, despite his coaches instructions.

    BS. “Go easy” in practice means don’t injure someone. It doesn’t mean “don’t try hard”.
    “Give the offense time” = worthless practice.
    Do you think NFL defense won’t smell blood?

    Practice in game like condition s = quickly learn to avoid bad habits.

    “Don’t intercept the QB” = end up with a poorly performing QB

  8. I became a starter freshman year of HS at the end of camp based on my performance in Oklahoma drills. Needless to say I love that they did it. You can tell a lot about a player based on who they jump out there against.

  9. Hey smart guys! The incident you’re all calling Tannehill out for was a “walk-thru” which isn’t the same as an actual practice.

    So when you have practice squad guys playing full speed, returning INTs for TDs, against offensive guys who know playing in the game playing at half speed, you end up wasting practice time.

    That’s more on Philbin than Tannehill.

  10. ‘Interim’ head coach is the operative word. He’s doing this to get the players attention – but it will also bring all the wrong kind of attention too.

  11. And instantly my respect level for the new head coach and his new Dolphins just went from 0 to 3.

  12. They owner should dump the pansy team name and uniforms. Hard to convey tough with the status quo. Csonka may disagree, but maybe him and three others.

  13. That’s nice. Belichick is teaching his players how to think about the game better and smarter while this clown is busting up their bodies in practice.

  14. thereisfootballwestofjersey says:
    Oct 7, 2015 11:39 AM
    God forbid these entitled millionaires have to bust their hump and prove they’re worth the money they’re being paid in practice. No more candy a** cream puff stuff for the fins.

    The beatings must continue until moral improves around that place
    ********************
    Let me guess you meant, “morale” and not “moral”. As for being millionaires, not every player is and each guy is paid by the owner, who thinks it’s worth it to pay them. Tell me you wouldn’t take the money.

    It’s quite odd that you think “beatings” will improve morale. That is just crazy. Kinda like the more you crack the whip on a slave, the happier, he’ll be. You have obviously never been in a leadership position.

    The true test for Campbell will be revealed when Suh challenges him. Who do you think wins that battle? I predict this Oklahoma drill lasts exactly one day, sooner if someone gets hurt within the first practice.

  15. You folks who keep smartly bringing up the “scout team” incident obviously only skimmed over the story, or have only read one of the badly spun versions out there. It had very little to do with Tannehill and everything to do with low-level players on the team having no respect for the team or head coach. Truth is, those scout team players should have been cut on the spot.

  16. Good! How do u get better at tackling blocking or breaking tackles wifout practicing them live?
    YOU DON’T!!! It is a part of the damn game just like injuries.

  17. Oklahoma drill is not that “hardcore” of a drill as you’re making it out to be.

    It’s just 2-on-2, one blocker and one ballcarrier against 2 defenders. It’s a very simple drill and doesn’t carry any kind of big injury risk.

  18. Reggie Wayne won’t be signing there anytime soon — sounds like that practice “isn’t fun enough.”

  19. right idea – I’d add two small things to it though –

    Suh has to do his in his slippers

    and Tannehill has to go up against the practice squad.

  20. Those with the scout team comments have obviously never played football or you’d understand what a walk through is used for. Probably were members of a debate team or college home decorating club.

  21. Show those entitled pampered players who the boss is!

    The players have failed to execute yet they still act as if they are elite. This is NOT the coaches fault, the blame falls squarely on the players themselves, De Smith, and the NFLPA that enables them to get away with murder, drugs, DUIs, domestic abuse, etc.

  22. “Ask the 49ers under Mike Singletary how this turned out for the club.

    Spolier alert: Patrick Willis suffered a broken wrist.”

    How did it turn out?

    Willis became the best inside linebacker in the NFL

  23. Guarantee you NFL office is on the phone with Ross & Tannebaum saying :

    “are you freaking kidding us?! We have 50+ years of concussion lawsuits ahead of us and we are doing everything possible PR wise to say player safety is top priority & this moron temp-coach, who is a glorified grad-asst coach, is pulling this crap? knock it off!”

  24. “BS. ‘Go easy’ in practice means don’t injure someone. It doesn’t mean ‘don’t try hard’.”

    The scout players were told to go easy so the offense could work on route timing, and to not hit Tannehill, both of which are common instructions in practice.
    Instead, some guy decided to try to use the drill to benefit himself rather than the team. Then when Tannehill called him out on it, he cried like a baby because he got his feelings hurt.
    Seriously that scout-team player should get over himself and, like someone else said, he really should have been kicked off the field and cut on the spot.
    You defending the guy just shows you are clueless.

  25. My son had travel baseball coach who denied the boys water because he didn’t think they were taking practice seriously.

    We parents fired him

    Did you parents also buy trophies at the end of the practice so the kids didn’t feel bad?

    Your kids team probably wasn’t taking the practice seriously, but I forgot that no kids do anything wrong

  26. You folks who keep smartly bringing up the “scout team” incident obviously only skimmed over the story, or have only read one of the badly spun versions out there. It had very little to do with Tannehill and everything to do with low-level players on the team having no respect for the team or head coach. Truth is, those scout team players should have been cut on the spot.

    Yes – clear to see who knows football and who doesn’t. Talk to a real coach or player and ask them to explain to you what the purpose of a walkthrough is. A lot of teams will do them in a hotel conference room. Imagine some toolbag disrupting the flow of your walkthrough. In HS he’d probably get decked after practice.

    RTs comments about the pay may have been lame, but its SO much more about the team not respecting Philbin.

  27. clealry this dumb temp-coach doesn’t realize that your top players, who make a whole lot more money then him, will not take kindly to beaten up the greatest asset they have (their bodies)….I know the guy up in New England doesn’t do this nonsense, because he knows these are men & professinal…check the rah-rah high school crap at the door, it doesn’t work in the NFL….smart coaches who teach and put players in the right position to make plays is what gets palyers to perform. Love all you clowns with “I did this in pop warner and it’s exactly what this NFL team needs!” LOL

  28. I wouldn’t say that they lacked toughness, I think they are uninspired and unmotivated… Call me crazy but to me it seems like the Dolphins lack personality on the field, I wonder if it had anything with their emotional leader going down again and lost for the year ( L.Delmas)… I know Delmas personally and he has an infectious high personality , thats one of the things i feel is hurting us other than our below average play from our Oline and choppy play from our LB’s… I f we can get some consistency from those two groups we can salvage the season… Indeed…

  29. xnihilofan says:
    Oct 7, 2015 11:54 AM
    Ask the 49ers under Mike Singletary how this turned out for the club.

    Spolier alert: Patrick Willis suffered a broken wrist.

    It also gave then-Center Eric Heitmann a neck injury that eventually ended his carer.

  30. This team has many problems that need to be fixed including being soft, poor blocking, bad tackling, lack of aggressiveness, lackadaisical attitudes, acceptance of mediocrity, poor effort and the inability to compete on a team and individual basis. This drill goes a long way towards starting to address those issues. They need to restore pride and teamwork. This helps.

    For far too long the Dolphins have focused on schemes instead of ability. Force the fundamentals and improve those skills, evaluate each player’s ability and self-drive, pick the best players to play as a team and THEN mold effective schemes around those players.

    I liked Philbin’s calm demeanor but he could not get some players to perform so he got rid of decent talent in favor of managerial efficiency. Unfortunately, that does not make for a good football team and loses the respect of many who remain. With Campbell, he will instill competitiveness. Some guys may not conform or they may whine about things being too hard. THOSE are the guys you get rid of because their attitude is not conducive to winning regardless of their talent. It is early but I like the new coach’s attitude.

  31. Anyone with a problem with this needs to get over themselves and be thankful that their positions on soft practices have led to hundreds of soft tissue injuries that wouldn’t have happened. The softies in the media and fans should keep their lids shut.

  32. Love this – gets the blood pumpin!
    Any animosity towards other players can be relased on the field. 2 men enter one man leaves victorious after a tackle or a run thru. Breeds toughness, cammaraderie and boosts the ego.

    Definitely an attention grabber for all players involved and definitely helps Coach Campbell evaluate the troops.

    Its only one step, but I hope it sets a new tone.

  33. Teams are allowed a few full contact practices during the season. I doubt the players union will say anything unless it is a repetitive thing. Nothing wrong with a new coach coming an and making a statement. He’d need some cooperation from his GM but maybe they need to bite the bullet and cut a couple of the spoiled prima donnas who won’t buy in. Like Pete Carroll and John Schneider did when the took over the Seahawks with TJ Houshmandzadeh and Lendale White. It definitely lets the team know that there’s a new sheriff in town and we are not doing things the same old way around here anymore.

  34. The quality of football is awful in the NFL the past few years for the first six weeks. We can thank the new CBA for that. Fundamentals are lacking. Intensity is lacking.

  35. Nothing says “team unity” like putting half your squad on IR while trying to prove a point with a drill that’s been banned by half the league.

  36. More teams should do this because the missed tackles I see on Sundays are becoming unbearable. The new off season practice schedule has essentially extended the pre-season in the first few weeks of the regular season.

  37. More teams should do this because the missed tackles I see on Sundays are becoming unbearable.
    —————–
    Could not agree with this more. Anymore, the caliber of tackling between a good D1 college defense and your typical NFL team can’t be ignored.

  38. I wonder how this fits in w/ the NFLPA’s fully-padded practice limits. I think they only get like 12 during the season. Part of the reason that offensive lines are leaky and defenders struggle to tackle is the strict limitation on how often they can go live in training camp and practice.

    I like it though. One on one tackling drills really fire up the competitive spirit and produce full effort. Nobody wants to get embarrassed with the rest of the team watching.

  39. The bye week is a great time for something like this. Probably some rule that says they can’t practice through the weekend but I think they should be practicing everyday they can. Kind like starting over with a mini training camp.

  40. For those calling this stupid, players will end up on IR, etc. you must not be familiar with the Oklahoma drill. It is not 2 players running full speed at each other. It involves 2 lineman, a tackler, and a ball carrier. It would be a head on collision if the offensive blocker holds his position and the defensive players uses the wrong tackling technique.

    It simply helps players learn to hold/shed blocks, and tackle/wrap-up. It is the basics of football.

    Some of you may be misinterpreting this is the old “bull in the ring” drill which is dangerous.

  41. “full-contact, full-speed drill that includes players either blocking or tackling (or both) in a confined area.”

    They haven’t been doing this in real games, so they have some catching up to do.

  42. You misunderstand Campbell’s version of the drill.
    He has each player wearing an eye patch, running around in circles, banging a wooden spoon on a pot and screaming “Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Oklahoma!”

  43. He’s sending a message. Clear and simple. The same thing happens every day in different forms when someone takes over a dysfunctional group of people and quickly needs to establish who is in charge. Nicely done.

  44. All the rah-rah message-bored machismo aside, Campbell should be smarter than that. The league should take Ross to task with the same verve they show James Harrison when called upon. The league has focused on safety, for good reason I think if they’re mindful of their future.

    Litigation trumps toughness every time, that’s why lawyers are chosen to run the league instead of ex-players.

    George Halas is dead, gents.

  45. I thought this was a contact sport ? That is why people pay big money to see it and players are so over payed !You watch the games on Sunday and you see many players who don’t know how to tackle ! They need more contact in practice ! If you make this a non contact game of flag football, no one will pay to watch !

  46. All you NE fans trying to compare what NE does to what MIA is doing need to relax. I’m a NE fan, but your team is differently built than MIA and the new coach needs to imprint his ideas into their heads. Butt heads for a few days during off week, then give a few days off for them to think about it.

    The move will expose the dead weight which then can be cut our or traded to the Jets LOL. They guys who buy in can be built around.
    No mistake thou–Tannehill is no BRADY

  47. Seriously? People have a problem with this? Asking paid professional football players to practice blocking and tackling is wrong? Injury concerns? The 60 plus plays where they go live on game day is fine, but the half dozen or so times each player might participate in the Oklahoma drill is crossing the line. Sure, OK.

  48. when you lack enough firepower to run a Patriots-style offense like Bill Lazer wants to….you have to adjust.

    Run the ball…if they had a running back that would be helpful…otherwise, give to Jarvis Landry as much as possible – screen, deep, jet screen, wildcat – and get him into space and moving. Go vertical to open things up so the run game can breath.

    Seems like these new-wave “offensive geniuses” can’t be flexible enough to realize when things aren’t working, you have to do something else that will.

  49. jchemengr says:
    Oct 7, 2015 11:49 AM
    My son had travel baseball coach who denied the boys water because he didn’t think they were taking practice seriously.

    We parents fired him.
    —–
    Baseball? you don’t need water, just wait until after the 90 minute light practice is over and have some.

  50. realityonetwo says:
    Oct 7, 2015 4:47 PM

    He looks dumber than a box of rocks. This proves it.

    ——-

    Yeah, well we apparently had the smartest ‘football guy’ that helped structure the superbowl winning packers and didn’t cut it as an NFL coach. So whats your point? So then if Meat Heads like Ditka, Parcells, Lombardi & Gruden can win… I’m fine with that.

  51. NFLPA has a problem with this? But the new coach said at his intro presser he would not break rules.

  52. When guys start getting hurt in these “manly” full contact drills between games, then we’ll see how long Campbell continues them. These guys are trying to recover from games and then they have to go all out for intense drills? It’s not “manning up” as so many meat heads are cheering for, its being smart as a coach to keep players healthy and fresh for games.

  53. Litigation trumps toughness every time, that’s why lawyers are chosen to run the league instead of ex-players

    And the Nation.

    That’s worked out so well.

  54. I can hear a lot of whining from the over paid, under working buttercups.
    and the NFLPA’s are just like any other Labor Union,
    while once needed, are just a guarantee someone doesn’t have to give 100% for their pay!

  55. I always like the Oklahoma drill! I loved shedding that block and tackling the guy with the ball! When you get knocked on your butt, well that just motivates you to bang a little harder. This bunch of undisciplined sub par performers need a reality check on a routine basis. This was check #1!

    Let’s put all of this garbage about who said what behind us. As a season ticket holder since 1973, I think I can say that we, as fans are tired of being ripped off by bad coaches and worse players, who only care about getting paid. Think of your performance. If the Dolphins were a band they would sound like the Melrose Park Elementary School marching band. So bad that the parents won’t come to their performances!

    We need to solve the line problems on both sides of the ball. Tannehill needs to scramble and run for yardage. The front is going to have find a pass rush so that our bad secondary isn’t torched on every other play! Let’s solve these problems, all become close friends and beat the damned TITANS!!!!! GO DOLPHINS!!!!!

  56. I loved the bull in the ring even more than the Oklahoma drill. When you were in the middle of the ring you had to be quick on your feet and have good peripheral vision. Too bad the pu$$ies outlawed that one.

    I also like the one on one Oklahoma drill too, no blocker just RB on LB, man up or get your a$$ handed to you.

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