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Position Perfection Linebacker Manual

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  • Position Perfection: The LinebackerManual

    Getting the Best Out of Your Linebackers

    byJoe Daniel

    Please do not copy or distribute this eBook without the written consent of the author. This eBook is available exclusively from Football-Defense.com and approved associates.

    Disclaimer: The author makes no claims to being an expert on the material contained within this eBook. There is no guarantee on the quality or validity of the information contained within. This information is the

    opinion of one coach, based on research and experience only.

  • Position Perfection: The LinebackerManual

    Of ideasContents

    Introduction.....................................5

    Chapter 1: Characteristics of Linebackers.....................................7

    Aggressiveness....................................................................7Quickness............................................................................7Speed..................................................................................8Explosiveness......................................................................8Using Hands.........................................................................9Change of Direction.............................................................9Coachable..........................................................................10Intangibles.........................................................................11

    Chapter 2: Coaching Linebacker Stance...........................................13

    Coaching the Stance..........................................................13Get Comfortable................................................................14The Unbreakable Rule of Linebacker Stance......................15

    Chapter 3: Teaching Linebackers to Read the Triangle...........................17

    What Can We Read?...........................................................17The Triangle Read .............................................................18What to Teach....................................................................19

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  • Position Perfection: The LinebackerManual

    Of ideasChapter 4: Coaching Linebackers to Read the Offensive Line..................20

    Why to Consider a Change.................................................20Who to Key on the Offensive Line......................................21What to Look For ...............................................................21Stimulus-Response Learning..............................................22

    Chapter 5: Teaching Block Destruction Using the Rip Technique..................25

    The Old Way......................................................................25Rip Through.......................................................................26On the Wrong Side.............................................................27The End Result ..................................................................27

    Chapter 6: How to Teach Tackling to Your Linebackers (...or anyone else!).....................................................29

    Shimmy Point.....................................................................29The Art of the Approach ....................................................31Approach Angle.................................................................31Teaching the Finish............................................................32Do Not Rush Tackling!........................................................33

    Chapter 7: Linebacker Drill Descriptions...................................34

    Stance & Footwork Drills....................................................34Block Destruct...................................................................36Tackling..............................................................................37Turnovers...........................................................................38Pass Coverage...................................................................39Pass Rush...........................................................................40

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  • Position Perfection: The LinebackerManual

    Of ideasChapter 8: Film Study Worksheet....42Tape Study Objectives........................................................42Preparation........................................................................43

    Chapter 9: Creatures of Habit..........46Why are Habits so Important?............................................46How to Create Good Habits................................................47Breaking Bad Habits..........................................................47Habits off the Field.............................................................48

    Chapter 10: Building a Complete Linebacker ....................................49

    Resources..........................................................................49

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  • Position Perfection: The LinebackerManual

    Of ideasIntroduction

    his manual has been built over several years of working with Linebackers. I have put a lot of trial and error into finding out

    what it takes to make successful Linebackers. Our job as coaches is to take players at whatever level of ability they have, and make them better. Take pride in making your Linebackers, at any level, the best player they can possibly be.

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    In this manual we will explore all aspects of Linebacker play including:

    Characteristics of a good Linebacker. Not every player fits your prototypical mold. We need to know what we are looking for in a Linebacker and give priority to certain traits.

    Get your players in the best possible stance to play a game of football. The stance is crucial. It is the level and body position that we want our players most comfortable in. It must match the best possible physical position for them to be in to make good football plays.

    Teaching Linebackers to read and react fast. No player on the field is in more conflict than Linebackers. They are, in many defenses, the only players responsible for both defending the run, and covering the pass. They are the man in the middle, who may be going forward or backward on any given snap. Therefore, their keys must give them a quick summary of what will be happening on the play, so they can get going fast.

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  • Position Perfection: The LinebackerManual

    Of ideas Teaching your Linebackers to defeat blocks. Your players have

    to understand that if they want to make tackles against good football teams, they will have to beat a block to make it happen. Good football teams do not leave players unblocked to make plays!

    Teaching Tackling. This lesson on teaching tackling can apply to any defensive football player on your team. But your Linebackers are going to be making the vast majority of your tackles on defense. They should be good, sound tacklers who do not shy away from contact. But they must do everything with safety first in mind.

    Drills for building a well rounded Linebacker. There are some drills that your players need to do every day, and others that they only need to do occasionally. But if you want a technique executed right, you must teach it and teach it right.

    There are hundreds of articles at Football-Defense.com which cover a huge variety of topics. What you read here is focused on one particular position, and is just one part of creating a great football defense. But Linebackers are certainly a good place to start!

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  • Position Perfection: The LinebackerManual

    Of ideasChapter 1: Characteristics of

    Linebackersuring the Off-Season, you should be putting plenty of time into player evaluation. It is important to know exactly what

    qualities and characteristics you value at each position on your team. For our Linebackers, this is a list of characteristics that we look for in our players.

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    AggressivenessFor Linebackers, it all starts here. If the kid does not want to get into the mix, he cannot offer us much help at the position. Does he seek contact, or shy away from it? Is he running around blocks, rather than taking them on and defeating them? Bonus points if he has a nasty streak.

    At lower levels of football, a player may have just not had the light come on yet. If he possesses a lot of other tools, keep working with him. The switch does get flipped!

    If you are at the Varsity level or College, and this switch has not been flipped yet, you probably need to look elsewhere. If a player is not aggressive, he cannot play this position.

    QuicknessLinebackers need quickness more than straight line speed. Can his feet react quickly to what his eyes are seeing? Linebackers are all about eyes and footwork.

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  • Position Perfection: The LinebackerManual

    Of ideasWhen the player recognizes the play, can he fill his gap in a hurry? Quickness is a big key in being able to cover downhill running plays from tackle to tackle, which is the primary purpose of your Inside Linebackers. Sideline to Sideline guys are a bonus

    SpeedSpeed factors into the ability of a player to pursue to the football. If he can run fast, he can be a sideline to sideline player. While it is more important to be a solid Tackle to Tackle player, we don't mind these guys either.

    It is not necessary to run a 4.5 second 40-Yard Dash to be a good linebacker. It does not hurt, either.

    ExplosivenessThe explosion needs to come from the player's legs, his hips and his hands. In terms of tackling, your linebackers have to be able to square a guy up, explode their hips into him, shoot their hands, and drive him back.

    Linebackers have to be able to play under control to use their explosiveness. A few lucky, out of control kill-shots does not indicate

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