Fickell explains ‘playing clean’ mantra

Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell reacts during the second half of an NCAA college football...
Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell reacts during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Buffalo Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)(Morry Gash | AP)
Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 7:48 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - One thing football coaches love are coaching clichés and mottos.

There are the generic ones, like “we have to execute” or “we have to take care of the football.”

Some coaches have iconic mottos, like Minnesota rowing PJ Fleck’s boat, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says “the standard is the standard” when referring to the attitude he expects, and we know all of Vince Lombardi’s.

Luke Fickell has one of his own: “playing clean.”

He has mentioned this mantra in almost every press conference.

On Monday, he defines this phrase and what “playing clean” looks like for his football team.

“When we talk about playing clean, it’s kind of the pre and post-snap penalties at that were we were good on Saturday,” Fickell said. “No pre-snap penalties, no post-snap penalties. But also, it’s taking care of the football, it’s just playing clean. Leveraging the football defensively and tackling well. those are the three areas that, when you talk about being clean, that we were not very good at on Saturday. Good on the pre and post-snap, but the other two, three areas about leveraging the football defensively, playing with great leverage in the passing game, and tackling well-- those are going to be things that if we don’t get corrected will be an Achilles heel for us all year.”

The Badgers head to Pullman, WA take on Washington State on Saturday at 6:30.

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