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.