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A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line". Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped).

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  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line". Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped).
  • A linebacker (LB is a playing position in gridiron football. The rough tough and hard hitting game. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line". Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped).
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3-4 packages who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage on each end of the down defensive linemen and are primarily used as pass rushers or edge setters in run plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage). Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-p
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3-4 defensive packages/formations who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage in a 2 point stance on each end of the down defensive ends and are primarily used as pass rushers in passing plays and edge setters in running plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage. In contrast 4-3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3-
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3–4 defensive packages/formations who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage in a 2 point stance on each end of the down defensive ends and are primarily used as pass rushers in passing plays and edge setters in running plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage. In contrast, 4–3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. In contrast, 4–3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3–4 and 4–3 defenses usually lead to very different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams as to best fit their particular defenses. 3–4 OLBs are generally, or primarily required to play North to South, are lankier/taller, bulkier and stronger/more powerful as to effectively aid the ends in setting the edge on running plays and provide pressure to the quarterback on passing plays, and w
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. In contrast, 4–3 outside linebackers are used more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments. The responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3–4 and 4–3 defenses usually lead to different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams to best fit their particular defenses. Linebackers align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a two-point stance, as opposed to defensive linemen who put one or two hands on the ground for a three-point stance or four-point stance before the ball is snapped.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. The represent the "middle ground" of defenders, playing closer to the line of scrimmage than do the defensive backs (or secondary), but further back than do the defensive linemen. As such, linebackers play a hybrid role and are often the most versatile players on the defensive side of the ball; they can be asked to play roles similar to either a defensive lineman (such as stopping the runner on a running play) or a defensive back (such as dropping back into pass coverage). How a linebacker plays their position depends greatly on the defensive alignment, the ph
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football or baseball. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. The represent the "middle ground" of defenders, playing closer to the line of scrimmage than do the defensive backs (or secondary), but further back than do the defensive linemen. As such, linebackers play a hybrid role and are often the most versatile players on the defensive side of the ball; they can be asked to play roles similar to either a defensive lineman (such as stopping the runner on a running play) or a defensive back (such as dropping back into pass coverage). How a linebacker plays their position depends greatly on the defensive align
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. NOT BASEBALL Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. The represent the "middle ground" of defenders, playing closer to the line of scrimmage than do the defensive backs (or secondary), but further back than do the defensive linemen. As such, linebackers play a hybrid role and are often the most versatile players on the defensive side of the ball; they can be asked to play roles similar to either a defensive lineman (such as stopping the runner on a running play) or a defensive back (such as dropping back into pass coverage). How a linebacker plays their position depends greatly on the defensive alig
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  • Linebacker
has abstract
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line". Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB is a playing position in gridiron football. The rough tough and hard hitting game. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line". Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3-4 packages who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage on each end of the down defensive linemen and are primarily used as pass rushers or edge setters in run plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage). Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3-4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4-3. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3-4 packages who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage on each end of the down defensive linemen and are primarily used as pass rushers or edge setters in run plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage). Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3-4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4-3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or mike linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4-3, 3-4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes colloquially referred to as "thumpers" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3-4 defensive packages/formations who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage in a 2 point stance on each end of the down defensive ends and are primarily used as pass rushers in passing plays and edge setters in running plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage. In contrast 4-3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3-4 and 4-3 defenses usually lead to very different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams as to best fit their particular defenses, 3-4 OLB's are generally, or primarily required too play North to South, are lankier/taller, bulkier and stronger/more powerful as to effectively aid the ends in setting the edge on running plays and provide pressure to the Quarterback on passing plays, and will usually have an arsenal of pass rush moves used primarily against the blockers the offense has on the edge of their line. 4-3 OLB's generally are expected to more proficiently move East to West (sideline to sideline) more often and therefore are usually rangier players more adapt in covering potential receiving targets as well as having outside contain beyond the tackle box on run plays. Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3-4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4-3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or mike linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4-3, 3-4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes colloquially referred to as "thumpers" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3-4 defensive packages/formations who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage in a 2 point stance on each end of the down defensive ends and are primarily used as pass rushers in passing plays and edge setters in running plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage. In contrast 4-3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3-4 and 4-3 defenses usually lead to very different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams as to best fit their particular defenses, 3-4 OLB's are generally, or primarily required too play North to South, are lankier/taller, bulkier and stronger/more powerful as to effectively aid the ends in setting the edge on running plays and provide pressure to the Quarterback on passing plays, and will usually have an arsenal of pass rush moves used primarily against the blockers the offense has on the edge of their line. 4-3 OLB's generally are expected to more proficiently move East to West (sideline to sideline) more often and therefore are usually rangier players more adapt in covering potential receiving targets and having (, as well as having outside contain beyond the tackle box on run plays. Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to 8the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3-4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4-3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or mike linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4-3, 3-4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes colloquially referred to as "thumpers" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3-4 defensive packages/formations who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage in a 2 point stance on each end of the down defensive ends and are primarily used as pass rushers in passing plays and edge setters in running plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage. In contrast 4-3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3-4 and 4-3 defenses usually lead to very different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams as to best fit their particular defenses, 3-4 OLB's are generally, or primarily required to play North to South, are lankier/taller, bulkier and stronger/more powerful as to effectively aid the ends in setting the edge on running plays and provide pressure to the Quarterback on passing plays, and will usually have an arsenal of pass rush moves used primarily against the blockers the offense has on the edge of their line. 4-3 OLB's generally are expected to more proficiently move East to West (sideline to sideline) more often and therefore are usually rangier players more adapt in covering potential receiving targets off the line or from the backfield, as well as having outside contain beyond the tackle box on run plays. Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to 8the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3-4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4-3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or mike linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4-3, 3-4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes colloquially referred to as "thumpers" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3–4 defensive packages/formations who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage in a 2 point stance on each end of the down defensive ends and are primarily used as pass rushers in passing plays and edge setters in running plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage. In contrast, 4–3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3–4 and 4–3 defenses usually lead to very different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams as to best fit their particular defenses. 3–4 OLBs are generally, or primarily required to play North to South, are lankier/taller, bulkier and stronger/more powerful as to effectively aid the ends in setting the edge on running plays and provide pressure to the quarterback on passing plays, and will usually have an arsenal of pass rush moves used primarily against the blockers the offense has on the edge of their line. 4–3 OLBs generally are expected to more proficiently move East to West (sideline to sideline) more often and therefore are usually rangier players more adapt in covering potential receiving targets off the line or from the backfield, as well as having outside contain beyond the tackle box on run plays. Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3–4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4–3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or "mike" linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4–3, 3–4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes colloquially referred to as "thumpers" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3–4 defensive packages/formations who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage in a 2 point stance on each end of the down defensive ends and are primarily used as pass rushers in passing plays and edge setters in running plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage. In contrast, 4–3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3–4 and 4–3 defenses usually lead to very different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams as to best fit their particular defenses. 3–4 OLBs are generally, or primarily required to play North to South, are lankier/taller, bulkier and stronger/more powerful as to effectively aid the ends in setting the edge on running plays and provide pressure to the quarterback on passing plays, and will usually have an arsenal of pass rush moves used primarily against the blockers the offense has on the edge of their line. 4–3 OLBs generally are expected to more proficiently move East to West (sideline to sideline) more often and therefore are usually rangier players more adapt in covering potential receiving targets off the line or from the backfield, as well as having outside contain beyond the tackle box on run plays. Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3–4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4–3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or "mike" linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4–3, 3–4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes colloquially referred to as "boners" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3–4 defensive packages/formations who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage in a 2 point stance on each end of the down defensive ends and are primarily used as pass rushers in passing plays and edge setters in running plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage. In contrast, 4–3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3–4 and 4–3 defenses usually lead to very different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams as to best fit their particular defenses. 3–4 OLBs are generally, or primarily required to play North to South, are lankier/taller, bulkier and stronger/more powerful as to effectively aid the ends in setting the edge on running plays and provide pressure to the quarterback on passing plays, and will usually have an arsenal of pass rush moves used primarily against the blockers the offense has on the edge of their line. 4–3 OLBs generally are expected to more proficiently move East to West (sideline to sideline) more often and therefore are usually rangier players more adapt in covering potential receiving targets off the line or from the backfield, as well as having outside contain beyond the tackle box on run plays. Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3–4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4–3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or "mike" linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4–3, 3–4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes commonly referred to as "boners" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line" (an exception to this rule are outside linebackers in 3–4 defensive packages/formations who usually play within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage in a 2 point stance on each end of the down defensive ends and are primarily used as pass rushers in passing plays and edge setters in running plays to make up for the fewer defensive linemen directly on the line of scrimmage. In contrast, 4–3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3–4 and 4–3 defenses usually lead to very different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams as to best fit their particular defenses. 3–4 OLBs are generally, or primarily required to play North to South, are lankier/taller, bulkier and stronger/more powerful as to effectively aid the ends in setting the edge on running plays and provide pressure to the quarterback on passing plays, and will usually have an arsenal of pass rush moves used primarily against the blockers the offense has on the edge of their line. 4–3 OLBs generally are expected to more proficiently move East to West (sideline to sideline) more often and therefore are usually rangier players more adept in covering potential receiving targets off the line or from the backfield, as well as having outside contain beyond the tackle box on run plays. Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3–4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4–3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or "mike" linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4–3, 3–4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes colloquially referred to as "thumpers" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. In contrast, 4–3 outside linebackers are used much more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments). The different responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3–4 and 4–3 defenses usually lead to very different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams as to best fit their particular defenses. 3–4 OLBs are generally, or primarily required to play North to South, are lankier/taller, bulkier and stronger/more powerful as to effectively aid the ends in setting the edge on running plays and provide pressure to the quarterback on passing plays, and will usually have an arsenal of pass rush moves used primarily against the blockers the offense has on the edge of their line. 4–3 OLBs generally are expected to more proficiently move East to West (sideline to sideline) more often and therefore are usually rangier players more adept in covering potential receiving targets off the line or from the backfield, as well as having outside contain beyond the tackle box on run plays. Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance" (as opposed to the defensive linemen, who put one or two hands on the ground for a "three-point stance" or "four-point stance" before the ball is snapped). The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3–4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4–3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or "mike" linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4–3, 3–4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes colloquially referred to as "thumpers" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. In contrast, 4–3 outside linebackers are used more frequently in pass coverage/zone assignments. The responsibilities of outside linebackers in the 3–4 and 4–3 defenses usually lead to different skill sets and body types being sought out by teams to best fit their particular defenses. Linebackers align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a two-point stance, as opposed to defensive linemen who put one or two hands on the ground for a three-point stance or four-point stance before the ball is snapped. The goal of the linebacker is to provide either extra run defense or extra pass defense based on the particular defensive play being executed. Another key play of the linebacker position is blitzing. A blitz occurs when a linebacker acts as an extra pass rusher running into any exposed gap. When a blitz is called by the defense, it is mainly to sack or hurry the opposing offense's quarterback. Outside linebackers who play in 3–4 defenses are consistently among the sack leaders in the league due to their vastly different responsibilities (primarily pass rush) than outside linebackers who play in a 4–3. Middle linebackers, sometimes referred to as inside, interior or "mike" linebackers, regardless of whether in a 4–3, 3–4, nickel, dime or other package, primarily are responsible for stopping runs up the middle and short passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Because of the nature of this position these linebackers are sometimes colloquially referred to as "thumpers" or "downhill backers" due to the frequency in which they are required to attack the line of scrimmage in defense of run plays. Linebackers are often regarded as the most important position in defense, due to their versatility in providing hard hits on running plays or an additional layer of pass defense, when required. Similar to the free safety position, linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap, to determine their role during that particular play.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. The represent the "middle ground" of defenders, playing closer to the line of scrimmage than do the defensive backs (or secondary), but further back than do the defensive linemen. As such, linebackers play a hybrid role and are often the most versatile players on the defensive side of the ball; they can be asked to play roles similar to either a defensive lineman (such as stopping the runner on a running play) or a defensive back (such as dropping back into pass coverage). How a linebacker plays their position depends greatly on the defensive alignment, the philosophy of the coaching staff, and the particular play the offense may call. Within the linebacking corps, they are often divided into middle linebackers, sometimes called inside linebackers, and outside linebackers. The middle linebacker, often called the "Mike", is frequently the "quarterback of the defense". His central role on the field means he is in the best position to call defensive plays and direct shifts and changes based on what the offense is doing. Outside linebackers are often in a unique position to blitz, a type of defensive maneuver where the player rushes unexpectedly into the offensive backfield in an attempt to disrupt a running play or sack the quarterback on passing plays. Historically, some of the most impactful defensive players, such as Pro Football Hall of Fame members Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, and Ray Lewis, were linebackers.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. The represent the "middle ground" of defenders, playing closer to the line of scrimmage than do the defensive backs (or secondary), but further back than do the defensive linemen. As such, linebackers play a hybrid role and are often the most versatile players on the defensive side of the ball; they can be asked to play roles similar to either a defensive lineman (such as stopping the runner on a running play) or a defensive back (such as dropping back into pass coverage). How a linebacker plays their position depends greatly on the defensive alignment, the philosophy of the coaching staff, and the particular play the offense may call. Within the linebacking corps, they are often divided into middle linebackers, sometimes called inside linebackers, and outside linebackers. The middle linebacker, often called the "Mike", is frequently the "quarterback of the defense". His central role on the field means he is in the best position to call defensive plays and direct shifts and changes based on what the offense is doing. Outside linebackers are often in a unique position to blitz, a type of defensive maneuver where the player rushes unexpectedly into the offensive backfield in an attempt to disrupt a running play or sack the quarterback on passing plays. Besides "Mike", other male names such as "Sam", "Will", or "Jack", among others, are commonly used to refer to various linebacking roles, to ease communication in play-calling. Historically, some of the most impactful defensive players, such as Pro Football Hall of Fame members Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, and Ray Lewis, were linebackers.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football or baseball. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. The represent the "middle ground" of defenders, playing closer to the line of scrimmage than do the defensive backs (or secondary), but further back than do the defensive linemen. As such, linebackers play a hybrid role and are often the most versatile players on the defensive side of the ball; they can be asked to play roles similar to either a defensive lineman (such as stopping the runner on a running play) or a defensive back (such as dropping back into pass coverage). How a linebacker plays their position depends greatly on the defensive alignment, the philosophy of the coaching staff, and the particular play the offense may call. Within the linebacking corps, they are often divided into middle linebackers, sometimes called inside linebackers, and outside linebackers. The middle linebacker, often called the "Mike", is frequently the "quarterback of the defense". His central role on the field means he is in the best position to call defensive plays and direct shifts and changes based on what the offense is doing. Outside linebackers are often in a unique position to blitz, a type of defensive maneuver where the player rushes unexpectedly into the offensive backfield in an attempt to disrupt a running play or sack the quarterback on passing plays. Besides "Mike", other male names such as "Sam", "Will", or "Jack", among others, are commonly used to refer to various linebacking roles, to ease communication in play-calling. Historically, some of the most impactful defensive players, such as Pro Football Hall of Fame members Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, and Ray Lewis, were linebackers.
  • A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. NOT BASEBALL Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. The represent the "middle ground" of defenders, playing closer to the line of scrimmage than do the defensive backs (or secondary), but further back than do the defensive linemen. As such, linebackers play a hybrid role and are often the most versatile players on the defensive side of the ball; they can be asked to play roles similar to either a defensive lineman (such as stopping the runner on a running play) or a defensive back (such as dropping back into pass coverage). How a linebacker plays their position depends greatly on the defensive alignment, the philosophy of the coaching staff, and the particular play the offense may call. Within the linebacking corps, they are often divided into middle linebackers, sometimes called inside linebackers, and outside linebackers. The middle linebacker, often called the "Mike", is frequently the "quarterback of the defense". His central role on the field means he is in the best position to call defensive plays and direct shifts and changes based on what the offense is doing. Outside linebackers are often in a unique position to blitz, a type of defensive maneuver where the player rushes unexpectedly into the offensive backfield in an attempt to disrupt a running play or sack the quarterback on passing plays. Besides "Mike", other male names such as "Sam", "Will", or "Jack", among others, are commonly used to refer to various linebacking roles, to ease communication in play-calling. Historically, some of the most impactful defensive players, such as Pro Football Hall of Fame members Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, and Ray Lewis, were linebackers.
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