The NFL Offensive Lineman - Blocking Strategies
Linebackers are responsible for helping stop both running plays and pass plays. They have to be versatile enough to cover pass receivers, and tough enough to stop ball carriers.
The linebacker should always keep an eye on what the quarterback is doing. If you look really closely during a game at the two players, you may see the linebacker moves with the quarterback, sometimes without the quarterback even knowing it. And then BAM – a sack!
You already know that the quarterback is a fast guy on the field. So it’s up to the linebacker to be just as fast, but a lot more sneaky. Most of the time, the linebacker will try to mirror, or follow the same actions of the quarterback to see if he can sneak in after the snap for a quick surprise sack.
Aside from being sneaky and fast, the linebacker must be very strong. It’s up to him to stop the offense on a running play. But the main duty of the linebacker is to play off a block, and then make a play. If he can get just one hand free of a block, using his forearm or shoulders, and keep focus on the ball, it can mean the difference between making or missing a play. You can see that it takes a lot of strength, focus and speed to be a linebacker.
Next time you see a game, keep a close eye on where the linebackers are in relation to the line of scrimmage before the snap. If they are close to the line of scrimmage, they’re usually anticipating a run. But if they’re backed away from the line of scrimmage, they’re usually anticipating a pass.