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Football Explained: Strongside Linebacker

Most of the essential principles that apply to a weakside linebacker apply to a strongside linebacker. The typical difference between the two is that a strongside linebacker is stronger, specifically: able to fight off blocking tight ends and fullbacks, and more frequently deployed as a blitzer. Otherwise, it’s tough to apply too formal constraints of what delineates the strongside linebacker from the weakside linebacker. On different teams, with different schemes and different personnel, the two positions will be assigned different duties with different tool and skill requirements. It’s not unheard of for a team to use its strongside linebacker in man cover on the opposing tight end. But run stuffing, blitzing, pressing the tight end and short zone coverage are the common duties.

And that concludes our look at the front 7 in a 4-3. Later today, I’ll diagram an actual play from the Seahawks 2007 season. We’ve covered the basics, but how does Seattle’s defense actually work?

Prototypical Strongside Linebacker: Jack Ham