Often the difference between a great man to man defensive team and a good one, is the ability not of the corners, but of the linebackers. Here we will deal with drills to develop man-to-man techniques where our focus is on the receiver.

Covering the Inside

linebacker drills
Press Coverage

First we’ll just do a simple hold-up drill.   The most important thing to remember, is what we’re going to try to prevent, which is the offensive man’s inside release.   We do not want to over-react to anything outside.

We’ll say that inside is to the linebacker’s left.   So he’s going to get down in a three-point stance.   And now the defensive man will align slightly inside, not too far, because we want to make it difficult.   Now when the offensive man tries to inside release, we will slide and jam him, preventing him from doing that.

Defensive Line Drills
Press Coverage – Outside Release

Covering the Outside

Now next the receiver will release to the outside.   It’s very important now to remember, that protecting the inside is your first priority – you need to be able to take a head fake inside.

Okay, now if he goes outside, you’re going to open up once he gets to this outside shoulder, and then go ahead, let him get behind and then just start to trail him up the field.   So you can release to the outside and now you get into your trail position.

It’s about containment. Force the receiver outside, and trail. You don’t need to force an interception – just make it a tough pass. When it comes to turnovers, we want our linebackers to try and force fumbles – that should be their bread and butter.

There are also some more advanced defensive back techniques you might want to teach your linebackers that are often in coverage situations, click the link to check them out! And if you’ve got any questions or comments, go ahead and jot them down below!