Coaching Outside Linebackers to Contain the Run

The hardest position on the field for most defenses is the Outside Linebacker. In a typical 8-man Front, such as the 3-5-3 or 4-2-5 defenses, these players have dual responsibilities.

Responsibility

The Outside Linebacker is primarily responsible for containing the run, forcing the ball carrier to turn back inside on edge runs. He can also force the ball carrier to bubble and work laterally to the sideline, allowing pursuit to get there to help.The second responsibility for the OLB is to cover the flats on the pass. Typically, 8-man fronts are going to be running Cover 3 as the base coverage.Most defensive coordinators use a mixture of Zone and Man coverages. The OLB will normally be locked on the #2 Receiver to his side in Cover 1 or Cover 0, a slot or Tight End. When a player is locked up in man coverage, he cannot be considered a part of the run defense.Alignment


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