Linebackers – Soul of the “D” Five “Musts” of the Linebackers Must Attack the Line of Scrimmage & Stop the Run Must Be Great TacklersMust Play Mean, Clean, & Nasty Must Be Relentless in Pursuing the Ball Must Provide Toughness & Leadership
Splitter Linebacker Technique Pre-Snap Alignment & Two Point Stance Feet Shoulder width apart. Inside foot slightly forward – Heel/Toe Relationship. Weight on the inside half of the foot. Depth “Base” alignment – Toes at 4 ½ yards. “Up” alignment – Toes at the Heels of the DL. Eyes Identify receiving threats Pre-Snap. Eyes on run keys at the snap. Body LB’s should have deep knee bend, flat back, Position relaxed shoulders, & arms hanging. (Grab Grass)Gaps D C B A A B C D Force Linebacker Scrape Linebacker The Mike Linebacker technique is called The Sam Linebacker technique is called “Force”, which is also known as “Fast “Scrape”, which is also known as “Slow Flow”. Flow”. The Force LB must attack the line The Scrape LB must “Step & Stack” on run of scrimmage on run action to him, and take action to him, reading the open window of the on all blocks with his outside arm free – defensive line in front of him. The Scrape LB forcing the ball back to the SLB. The Mike must take on all blocks with his inside arm free is the more physical of the two linebackers. – forcing the ball deeper and wider.
Two Gap Techniques A Stack Technique Mike Linebacker Two Gap Responsibility (Force LB – Fast Flow) Alignment: I/S Foot in the A Gap Visual Key: Guard Run Action To: B Gap Run Action Away: A Gap Away C Stack Technique Sam Linebacker Two Gap Responsibility (Scrape LB – Slow Flow) Alignment: Tracks of the OT Visual Key: Guard Run Action To: D Gap Run Action Away: A GapOne Gap Techniques A Flow Technique Mike Linebacker One Gap Responsibility (Force LB – Fast Flow)Alignment: I/S Foot in the CenterVisual Key: GuardRun Action To: A GapRun Action Away: Flow I/S Out to Ball C Flow Technique Sam Linebacker One Gap Responsibility (Scrape LB – Fast Flow) Alignment: I/S Foot in the Center Visual Key: Guard
Outside Linebacker Techniques On Technique (WLB – 9 Technique) Alignment: Outside Eye of TE Visual Key: Tight End Pressure Key: Near Back/Guard Run Action To: D Gap Run Action Away: Fold Technique Off Technique (Will LB – Defensive Back) Alignment: Split #1 & Ball (Always I/S #2) Key: Near Back/Ball Run Action To: D Gap/Easy (Play Coverage Called) Run Action Away: Fold Technique
Window Closed ConceptAny time a linebacker is attacking his assigned gap, he must be able to “See Windows”. This means that when hisassigned gap is filled or cluttered, he must scrape over the top to the next gap. This technique will allow ourlinebackers to account for the necessary gap when defensive linemen have closed and spilled the ball on any downblocks.Ex. Veer Block to “A Stack” LB Block Protection Technique When… Description Forearm …the ball is directly behind the blocker. Take on square (OL Base Block/RB Isolation Block) Deliver from good football Shiver position – Helmet under helmet Stay slightly O/S blocker Step with same foot as strike arm Keep feet moving Don’t get turned – Stay square Hand …the ball is not directly behind the blocker. Shoulder square to blocker …the blocker attempts to block low. Keep O/S leg free Shiver Straight arm – drive helmet & shoulder pads to the ground Give ground if needed Keep feet moving Rip …the defender is pursuing to the ball. Lower I/S shoulder …the defender is at a physical disadvantage. Rip I/S arm across face of Technique blocker – Stay low! Keep feet moving
Zone Defense – Linebacker Principles Know the alignment of any receivers that can affect the zone Attack and cover any routes that sit in the zone Work to a depth of 8-12 yards Hammer & knock down any routes running through the zone Break on the ball when it’s thrown – Cover ground while the ball is in the air Intercept any ball in the air at its highest point Linebacker Zone Pass Drops Drop Position Coverages Description Hook/Curl Mike/Sam All Three Deep Identify all threats pre-snap Coverages Eyes to Hook threat Solid/Ram Leverage hook route I/S – Knock down all Hawk/Cobra crossers & communicate “DRAG!” Expand to Curl route vs. no Hook threat “Flow” call – Immediate to Curl Curl/Flat Ram/Will All Three Deep Identify all threats pre-snap Coverages Eyes to #1 on snap Solid/Ram Hang under #1 route until route threatens Hawk/Cobra the flat – “Hang Curl-Break Flat” Drive on O/S shoulder of flat route “Flow” call – Immediate to Flat Flat/Wheel Ram/Will Robber Open with eyes to #1 “Buzz the Flat” Hammer Drive on angle of release of his route Carry any flat route to the wheel Apex Drop Mike Cloud Deep hole drop to help protect the middle (High Hole) Rain of two deep zone Drop in direction of nearest threat/QB drop Get 15 – 18 yards depth Hook to Hook Mike Sky Shallow drop in four deep zone (D.D.D.) Work Dinks/Draws/Delays Knock down any crossers Robber Mike/Sam Robber Linebackers rob #3 strong/#2 weak Principle Sam takes most dangerous – “Flip It” call “Stress” call vs. any quick receiver Rob in direction of receiver’s release Carry any route going vertical at 10 yards