Sunday, November 20, 2016

blog 7 linebacker position

Bradley Moss
Kinesiology 5301
An In Depth Look at the Linebacker Position in Football.

The Linebacker position
The linebacker position in football has brought us some amazing athletes  in the NFL. Players such as the Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis and the Chicago Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher. They are  both extremely  talented players that have made some of the most amazing tackles you will ever see on a football field. That being said, I am pleased to talk about one of my favorite positions in football, the linebacker. Beginning with the number of linebacker positions and what they are called.  As stated  in the previous blog on defensive lineman, this all depends if the defense is a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. In a 4-3 defense there are 3 linebackers on the field, positioned from left to right: left outside linebacker, middle linebacker, and  right outside linebacker. In a 3-4 defense there is 4 linebackers. These linebackers are positioned on the field from left to right:, Left outside linebacker, left inside linebacker, right inside linebacker and  right outside linebacker.
4-3 vs 3-4
Next to discuss the differences in linebackers in a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense. In a traditional 4-3 defense the linebacker position will rarely blitz the quarterback. The main responsibility of the linebackers are to stop the run. The other main responsibility  is to cover the pass , especially if  a zone defense is being played. If the defense is in man the  linebacker will generally cover the running back or a tight end position. In a 3-4 defense the linebacker responsibility differs from a 4-3 defense.. The outside linebackers in the 3-4 defense are mainly designed to create pressure on the quarterback. The more sacks they get the better.The inside linebacker won't blitz as much but they generally have the same responsibilities as the middle linebacker in the 4-3 defense.
Relevant Stats for linebackers
The following is the most relevant stats for the linebacker position.
Sack- This is when the linebacker tackles the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage.
Tackle- This stat is achieved when the linebacker tackles the ball carrier anywhere on the field.
Force Fumble- This is when a linebacker strips the ball from the ball carrier before the ball carrier gets tackled to the ground.
Fumble Recovery - This stat can be achieved when the linebacker recovers a live ball from a forced fumble.
Interception -  This is when the linebacker catches a pass from the quarterback before it hits the ground.



  1. I think it is relatively sad that today's generation of football fans did not get to witness Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher play in their prime. I feel like Ray Lewis was both a great linebacker and an entertainer. Such an exciting guy to watch because of the energy he brings and spreads to the rest of the team. I agree with you on the differences in responsibilities for linebackers that play in a 4-3 defense versus a 3-4 defense. In my opinion, linebackers in a 3-4 defense have a variety of responsibilities and more freedom than linebackers that play in a 4-3 defense. I'd also like to add you did a good job at breaking down the definition of the statistics for those who may not know anything about football.

  2. Nice job Bradley. Most college football defenses identify their outside linebackers as either the strong-side outside linebacker (OLB), often referred to as the Sam, or the weak-side OLB, often referred to as the Will. Teams that do this establish rules to determine which side of the formation the Sam lines up against, and the Will lines-up on the opposite side. Ray Lewis and Urlacher were great NFL LB. When I was growing up the New York Giants had many great LB, Lawrence Taylor was incredible in his prime.