published Friday, May 24th, 2013

Buddy Curry clinic has safety in mind

Former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry has one goal above all others for when he arrives at McCallie School for the Heads Up football clinic on June 1.

"We want to teach kids and coaches the right way to play," USA Football's head master trainer said Thursday evening as he discussed tackling techniques.

"There's sometimes a reluctance on the part of coaches because they've taught it the other way for so long. But this way's much safer and it's going to make the game much safer."

Curry was in Chattanooga with several of his old Falcons buddies for a "Locker Room Conversation" gatherinig for dinner and recollections.

The clinic will run from noon to 3 p.m. that Saturday at Spears Stadium and is free to children and adults alike. McCallie's coaching staff will assist in the clinic, which is expected to include former Falcons Bobby Butler, Chuck Smith and William Andrews.

Six weeks later -- July 15-18 -- Curry and several former NFL players will return to the Scenic City to conduct a weeklong football camp at Finley Stadium through his Kids & Pros organization.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coaching staff will assist with that camp, which will award scholarships for up to 150 campers, dependent on financial need. Anyone interested in the Kids & Pros camp in July should contact Joe Smith at 423-400-8472.

As for the Heads Up Clinic at McCallie, Curry says it will have three primary goals:

• Equipment fitting. The proper way to size and wear equipment, especially helmets.

• Concussion awareness.

• "Heads Up" tackling. Teaching the safest, soundest way to tackle.

"We're trying to change the culture of football," Curry said. "Kids & Pros has always been about more than winning and losing. As the ultimate team game, football should teach life lessons, and that's what we hope to accomplish."

Contact Mark Wiedmer at mwiedmer@timesfreepress.com

about Mark Wiedmer...

Mark Wiedmer started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press on Valentine’s Day of 1983. At the time, he had to get an advance from his boss to buy a Valentine gift for his wife. Mark was hired as a graphic artist but quickly moved to sports, where he oversaw prep football for a time, won the “Pick’ em” box in 1985 and took over the UTC basketball beat the following year. By 1990, he was ...

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