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Written by: Connor Morris | 10/3/2018 - Co-Founder, CMO, Apex Sports


To learn more Linebacker drills, techniques and tips from NFL LB Joshua Perry and others, click here

Linebackers and all defenders must know how to read an offense pre snap in order to anticipate what play is coming. Any defender who can correctly predict a play before it happens, will have a huge advantage once the ball is snapped

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The first thing a defender reads to recognize is what personnel is in the game. If there are several big players such as multiple tight ends or a fullback, you can anticipate either a run or a play action pass. If there are 3 or more wide receivers and/or a small, quick running back, you can anticipate the offense to pass.

The next read you need to make is what formation the offense is in. If they are in a heavy run formation (such as I-Form) they are probably running, versus a shotgun or spread formation usually means they are going to pass. Also with formations, defenders need to recognize when the offense is heavy on one side such as an extra tight end or two on one side of the line. This usually means the run will be going to that side and you can shade your technique to that side. When the formation has a fullback in the game, you can expect a running play to follow the fullback so wherever he goes expect the running back to follow.

Finally, all defenders need to know the down and distance and what plays offenses like to call in different situations. 1st and 10 most teams like to start off with a run in order to gain at least a few yards. With 2nd and short yardage, defenders need to be prepared for running plays just trying to get first down, but many teams will take chances with passes downfield because even if they miss they still have an manageable 3rd down. On 3rd and long yardage, the offense will almost always have to pass if they want to get a first down. So linebackers can just focus in on either blitzing or dropping into pass coverage.

To learn more linebacker tips to improve your hands, footwork, tackling, pass rushing, and more from NFL linebacker Joshua Perry, click the link below


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