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The top 7 things you'll hear linebacker coaches yell at practice

Late last month I compiled a look at the top 15 phrases that offensive line coaches can be heard saying / yelling at practice, and it turned out to be a very, very popular piece that generated a lot of conversation on social media.

Today, I switched sides of the ball to tackle the top 9 things that linebackers coaches say, or yell at practice.

1 - "Use your hands"
For linebackers, the ability to use their hands effectively is vital in taking on blockers, being able to shed them, and to make tackles.

2 - "FILL!"
Linebackers have to be downhill players not afraid of contact, so "fill" is said when linebackers aren't playing downhill and in their gap.

3- "Be physical!"
Linebackers should be some of the most physical players on the field, so if you have to yell this as a reminder to your guys more than once or twice at a practice, it could be trouble.

4 - "You've got to be kidding me!"
Sometimes guys - especially on the defensive side of the ball - opt for some more colorful language with this one and is often said after a run fit goes horribly awry, or some sort of mental bust happens.

5 - "Which gap was your responsibility?"
The key to being a sound defense is understanding gap responsibility and controlling that gap, and linebackers are a key cog to understanding how the entire front seven fit together. The best linebackers understand this and combine it with their instincts.

6 - "What (or who) was your read key?"
Normally yelled or asked after a play, this is to check and see if a player understands his assignment that coaches have game planned for on a certain call, or formation.

7 - "Take your read steps!"
Usually said during skelly periods and 7-on-7 stuff, linebackers coaches everywhere can be heard reminding their guys daily of the importance of taking their read steps first in obvious passing situations.

Got one that got overlooked? Let me know @CoachSamz or email me at