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Building a Team: Linebackers

By Adam Wells
By awells@wbbjtv.com

They are sometimes referred to as the quarterbacks of the defense. Linebackers are a key part in the success of a team's defense. But what makes a great Linebacker? Is it strength or speed?

"We look for of course physical ability but the other is leadership ability," Huntingdon linebackers Coach Rob Miller said. "Line backers are in charge of setting fronts and making sure the D-line is right and making sure to key on formations. We look for leadership and communication."

Reading offenses can be a tough job, but it is on the players themselves to spend time studying their opponents tendencies.

"Coach Miller prepares a scouting report," Huntingdon linebacker Logan Diebold said. "We go over film. We know what percentages they do of everything. Were well prepared before each play."

"When we look at film, we expect to see the linebackers in every play," Coach Miller said. "If not, then they're trying as hard as they can to get there."

But being a linebacker is also about instinct. Being able to react at a moment's notice.

Whenever an offense comes up, if they call an audible, I'm the one who checks the defense out of the formation were in to change it to what fits," linebacker K.C. Miller said.

"Whatever he tells you to, you'll make your read and if your supposed to roll out , if the quarterback does, then you do that," linebacker Josh Fields said. "But if he drops back, then you drop back. When you make a read you just have to do it."

Different situations call for different plays. Either blitz or drop into coverage.

Sometimes you show a blitz purposely to intimidate them and other times you drop back," Miller said. "I'd rather blitz. I'm all about hitting somebody."

It is contact that they crave. And you do not want to be hit by a hungry linebacker.

"Rocking a tailback's head," Diebold said. "I like laying contact on somebody. Making a sack for a loss. Something big."
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