DallasCowboysTimes.com Mailbag: 3/23/10 (Taylor Mays, Marion Barber)

March 23, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Q:  Why does everybody look for college defensive ends to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense?  Why not move a fast 6′3”, 260 lb. guy to inside linebacker? - John Coleman, Bassett, VA
A: The reason 3-4 outside linebackers are generally college defensive ends has to do with the similarities between the positions.  Both 3-4 OLB’s and 4-3 DE’s are almost always rushing the passer.  They develop similar pass-rush moves and, although a 3-4 OLB rushes from a standing position, the general mindset of the two positions is equivalent.
An inside linebacker does not rush the quarterback.  He may come on blitzes from time to time, but the primary goal of an ILB is not to sack the quarterback—it is to read a play and react by either stuffing a run or dropping into coverage.
Thus, the positional designation of a player is not solely determined by size and speed, but more so by skill set.  College defensive en...

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