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  • Writer's pictureTerry O'Neil

Model Program Never Tackles Live in Practice

Practice Like Pros has named Drew Gibbs of Ramapo High School, Franklin Lakes, NJ, Coach of the Year for 2019.  Three weeks ago, Gibbs' Raiders completed a second consecutive perfect 13-0 season, giving them a 26-game winning streak to enter 2020.

Just as important, for the second consecutive year, the Ramapo program, totaling 90 players from freshmen through varsity, reported only two concussions.

Gibbs has banned live tackling/full contact in practice at all times of the football calendar, including pre-season.  Other than games, the only full contact for Ramapo is four pre-season scrimmages.  And even these are restricted -- each player is limited to an average of 45-to-50 plays per scrimmage.

How do the Raiders learn to tackle?  Gibbs has developed a series of drills and tackling circuits against bags and dummies.  Player-to-player tackling is done in close quarters, never full speed, onto crash pads.

"Drew Gibbs is showing us the future, and winning with it," said PLP founder Terry O'Neil.  "At Practice Like Pros, our dream and our mission is that, some day, every high school team will practice like Ramapo."


Reaction to Illinois IHSFCA Presentation

Here is reaction to PLP's December 15 presentation in Champaign, IL, to the Board of Directors of the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA):

"This year I finished my 50th year as a head football coach in Illinois.  I have served our IHSFCA since 1979 and therefore have attended meetings like yesterday for 40 years.  I must say your presentation was one of the most impressive I have attended.  I wish it had gone longer."-- Michael W. Rude, Head Football Coach, Sesser-Valier High School "Thanks for your time and information.  Those have been our policies for about 10 years now.  We use tackle rings and dummies to help with our tackling skills.  We are thud all season and most of pre-season.  Our scrimmage is really our only live action and it is fast whistle with QBs not live.  Loved what you have put together!"--Darrell Crouch, Head Football and Track Coach, Washington Community High School

Holiday Message from Our Most Loyal

We, the undersigned, consider ourselves among the most ardent supporters of Practice Like Pros.

Permit us to begin with "thank you."  With your assistance, PLP has had a fabulous year, collaborating with coaches and governing bodies of high school athletics in three states      -- New Jersey, Connecticut and Michigan -- to enact the tightest practice contact limits in the history of the game at any level of the game....less contact than allowed by the NFL, less than the Ivy League, less than any football jurisdiction ever.  National media reaction has been spectacular.  Health and safety benefits are immeasurable for the 70,000 boys and girls who play in these three states.

In the upcoming 2020 off-season, PLP is targeting another dozen states.  But as always, we need your help.  PLP does not charge state coaches' associations and governing bodies for its services.  PLP pays no salaries and no appearances fees to anyone, not even to NFL and college coaches who make clinic presentations on its behalf.  But there are expenses -- travel/living, video editing, presentation materials, Website, newsletter, part-time personnel.  These are covered by sponsors and donors like you.

This is PLP's annual "Giving Tuesday" appeal.  Each of us is making a donation.  We ask you to do the same....and to solicit friends, family members, employer matching programs.  Now here's the good news:  PLP is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3), EN #46-2994162, so your gift is 100% tax deductible.  Acknowledgement will be mailed to you on PLP letterhead. Please send checks to:

Practice Like Pros P.O. Box 1066 Weston, CT  06883

Thanks again for your ongoing support.  We're winning this battle to improve the game for one million American high school football players.


Chris Ash Atavus Joe Azzaro Fred Biletnikoff Rocky Bleier Dr. Josh Bloom Hank Brown Lynn Buoniconti Cocoziello Foundation Tom Condon Diana Coyne Frank & Kelli Cutinella Nicole Klarides-Ditria Nick Eddy George Goeddeke John Girardi Ed & Diane Gulyas Steve Hatchell Nancy Ruth Kail Karen Kinzle/   Doug Zegel Daryle Lamonica Rachel Latto John D. Lium Nick Lowery Oliver Luck Jim Lynch

Archie Manning Ed Marinaro Lou Marinelli Leonard Marshall Joe Martin Barry Merrill Warren Moon Len Moretti Jr. Jenny Tate Morgan Anthony Munoz Dr. Anil Nanda Coley O'Brien Tom O'Leary Tom Olivieri Katie Parseghian Walt Patulski Jim Plunkett Tim Ryan Peter Schivarelli Matthew Sign Leigh Steinberg Buddy Teevens Joe Theismann Dick Vermeil Bobby Vernon Phil Villapiano Jason Winik Sam Wyche

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