I found the phrase in the 2008 Swanton Bulldogs Defensive Line Manual:

Relentless Pursuit of the Football. Swarm and Stick.

And also at bobcatnation.com:

EWU has stockpiled speed and young talent on defense and the departure of stalwarts like Ronnie Hamlin and Evan Day will give way to much more athletic playmakers who can swarm and stick.

Swarm suggests many players moving in a body or converging onto some place or someone, but I can’t tell which of these, if any, it means here. And what about stick?

1 Answer 1


"swarm" in this case suggests the convergent movement of the defense to the ball or ball-carrier. This is to emphasize the role of all teammates in the play, not just the one nearest the ball.

To "stick" suggests a well-executed tackle, where the defender reaches and stays with the ball carrier. This is in contrast to a poor tackle where contact is made but the player bounces off or scrambles free.

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