Teaching Exterior Linebackers

Probably the most troublesome place on the sector for many defenses is the Exterior Linebacker. In a typical 8-man entrance, such because the 3-5-3 or 4-2-5 protection, these gamers have twin obligations.


The Exterior Linebacker is primarily accountable for containing the run, forcing the ball provider to return inside on edge runs. He can even pressure the ball provider to bubble and work laterally to the touchline, permitting the chase to get there to help.

The second duty of the OLB is to cowl the mudflats on the go. Sometimes, 8 man fronts will use Cowl 3 as base cowl.

Most defensive coordinators use a mixture of Zone and Man protection. The OLB is often locked to receiver #2 on its facet in Cowl 1 or Cowl 0, a lock or Tight Finish. When a participant is locked in man marking, he can’t be thought-about a part of the working protection.


The lineup of the Exterior Linebacker will depend on your protection and its talents. Normally he’s anyplace from 10 to 16 toes exterior the Finish Man on the Line of Scrimmage (EMOLS) and eight to fifteen yards exterior the Line of Scrimmage (LOS).

If there’s a #2 receiver, the OLB often makes use of an apex alignment, 5 yards from the ball and midway between the EMOLS and the slot. Relying on the workforce and the lock’s capacity, you possibly can select to maneuver it nearer to the lock to discourage the go or tighter to the EMOLS to assist with the sport in progress.

Keys and response

The first key of the OLB is the EMOLS, a Sort out or Tight Finish, for a Excessive-Hat, Low Hat learn. Excessive Hat, which means the OT’s helmet pops up as in a go set, tells him the sport is go and he should confide in the flats (however that is dictated by cowl name). On a low hat learn, when the OT fires with a flat again, he assumes he is working. The OLB ought to suppose until he will get a transparent excessive hat go learn.

You possibly can assist the OLB learn by learning the movie of the EMOLS he will likely be studying. Totally different groups use completely different methods for blocking passes and runs.

After getting a low hat learn, the OLB checks its secondary key – the working again. He should correctly assault the run by studying the run block and backfield motion:

EMOLS arduous down block inside, RB to you: Assault the road of scrimmage to switch the place the EMOLS left. Anticipate a kickout block from a RB or a pulling guard. Decide it up along with your internal arm, maintaining the outer arm and leg free and shoulders perpendicular to the road. Restrict the profession inside and be able to bounce the Ball Service’s sort out exterior.

EMOLS drive blocks the Defensive Finish, RB for you: Shuffle up and in, however do not shut all the best way to the road of scrimmage. Preserve outward leverage till the RB declares in, then fold to make the sort out. If he bounces out, field the piece.

EMOLS reaches for you, RB quick present out to you: assault on the road of scrimmage however preserve your width. If in case you have a #2 receiver, resolve in case you can beat him to the purpose of assault or if it’s important to beat his block. If you have to beat his block, undergo him, drive him again and work your means out to comprise the sport.

EMOLS Zone or attain away from you, backfield move away: preserve your depth, fold in to stack the defensive finish. Verify for Counter, Reverse, Bootleg motion and be able to work backwards. Do not go the defensive finish till the ball declares away from you.

The Play Motion Move could cause quite a lot of stress in your lenders. If the OLB reads run, he should assault as a result of he’s a run-first participant. However as soon as he realizes he is handed, often by the secondary key motion, he has to interrupt it to get again to his go protection space. By no means surrender on a play!

Teaching the Exterior Linebackers

The person methods required for the OLBs are much like any defensive participant. They have to be capable to learn their key and reply, beat a block, make a sort out, drop a go and trigger turnovers. If time permits, all these expertise must be labored out in a group of 5 each day workout routines. Add different workout routines to work in your weaknesses.

Group work is essential for the Exterior Linebacker to grasp their position. He’ll work with the Safeties, Corners, Defensive Ends and Inside Linebackers. Arrange group drills every week that may present him his position on protection with every of those teams. Make certain the group workout routines are related to the opponent you’ll be dealing with that week.

Perceive that Offensive Coordinators will bully your Exterior Linebacker. They’re the participant most simply conflicted. Offensive plans will attempt to frustrate him and get him guessing.
Your Exterior Linebackers will make errors! Prepare them to belief their keys, play bodily and run to the soccer always to have one of the best OLB recreation attainable.

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