Positional Breakdown: Linebacker (LB)

Like Lincoln smack dab in the middle of 11 sisters, linebackers take on the action between the defensive line and the defensive secondary.


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Linebackers (LBs) are the middle-ground of the defense, lined up between the DL and the cornerbacks/safeties. Most teams will use 3 LBs on any given play: a middle linebacker (MLB) and two outside linebackers (OLBs).

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The middle linebacker is often considered the quarterback of the defense, as they are normally right in the center of the formation and often have a good vantage point to determine which play the offense might run.

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LBs have a lot of jobs to do: they try to tackle RBs on running plays, they can drop into pass coverage (usually covering a Tight End or Running Back), and they can rush the QB to try and get a sack before the ball is thrown.

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As such, LBs usually have to be big, strong, and quick. They have to be sure tacklers and, like QBs, make lots of quick decisions on each play.

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