Bobby Okereke expects "acclimation period" to hip-drop tackle ban

Defensive players in the NFL have a new rule to contend with for the 2024 season.

NFL teams voted to ban the hip-drop tackle this offseason and players found guilty of performing them during games will be subject to in-game penalties and/or post-game fines as a result. Adjusting to the new rules will be part of offseason programs and training camps around the league.

Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke is one of the players who will have to make that adjustment. He said this week that the change is tough on defenders because "our livelihood" is making stops and doing so correctly will take some focus.

"Yeah, it's definitely another thing for us to be aware of as defenders," Okereke said, via a transcript from the team. "You know, it's tough. They tell you, run your feet on tackles so you can run through this guy. At the end of the day, our job is to get the guy down. You know, it'll be an emphasis for us in training camp going forward, focusing on that. I assume it will be an acclimation period for all of us."

Given the difficulty in assessing whether all the elements of a hip-drop tackle are in place on the fly, there's an expectation that fines will be more frequent than penalty flags this fall and the focus on penalizing players rather than teams will make for some difficult decisions in the moment for defensive players.