Coaching Linebacker Transition

boonetransitionOne of the great things about coaching clinics is being reminded of all of the things you should have been doing. It’s not new stuff, it’s old stuff that you just somehow forgot.

For me, that big “You idiot!” moment came this year at a clinic in Ocean City, MD when Joe Dishun (W.T. Woodson, VA) talked about Linebacker Transition. After talking for a while, I realized we both read the same books and watched the same videos. I just had left out some of the important stuff in the last year or so.

When we talk transition, we’re referring to players being able to change their footwork in the course of a play, without losing control or having to slow down excessively. Think of a Linebacker on the back side of an Inside Zone play. He’s shuffling in the direction of the play.

Then the back sticks a foot in the ground to hit the cutback lane. How fast can that linebacker transition from a shuffle to a downhill sprint to fill? Does he take false steps? Does his hip level rise up?

Just like a receiver has to work his route breaks, and Corners have to work to mirror those breaks, our Linebackers and Safeties have to work transitions on the field. Everyone on your team has to transition in some ways, truthfully.

I grabbed the iPhone with the Hudl app, handed it to one of our kids recovering from knee surgery (it’s a good sign that he still comes to workouts every day!), and filmed our first run through Linebacker transition drills. Here, I’m going to go through the film and talk about what we were looking for, and what we saw.


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