The acronym olb in football stands for outside linebacker position. outside linebackers typically line up about five yards from the line of scrimmage just outside the offensive tackles.
Olbs make up two of the four linebackers in a three-four defense. a three-four defense involves three defensive linemen and four linebackers.
Reading: What does olb mean in football
In a three-four defense there are two inside linebackers on the field on top of two olbs. in most cases, these two outside linebackers will be referred to as the left outside linebacker or the right outside linebacker.
This position is often shortened by using the term rolb or lolb to designate which side the linebacker lines up on.
Teams will also use the mlb designation to represent middle linebackers.
In a four-three defense there will be four defensive linemen and three linebackers.
The other two linebackers in a four-three formation are outside linebackers, although they are often referred to as volunteer linebacker and sam linebacker.
what does an olb do in football?
Now that you know what olb means in football, you may be wondering what exactly this position does on the football field. outside linebackers have their fair share of responsibilities when it comes to stopping the opponent’s offense.
Below we’ll cover some of the main roles an olb performs for your team.
accelerating the passer
One of the primary purposes of outside linebackers in football is to pressure the quarterback. depending on the defensive formation, olbs can rush the passer on every play or only when assigned a blitz.
In a three-four defense, outside linebackers will often line up near the line of scrimmage and rush the passer on every play. this is because this formation only has three defensive linemen running to the passer.
In a four-three defense, outside linebackers are less likely to rush the quarterback. This is because there are already four defensive linemen running to the passer in this formation.
For this reason, olbs in a three-four defense are much more likely to rack up a lot of sacks throughout the season.
Other positions that push the passer similar to an olb include des and occasionally dts as well.
Another responsibility of outside linebackers in football is to contain the run. the defensive line seeks to block the openings that are created for the running back and will attempt to tackle the ball carrier in the backfield.
the middle linebacker will attempt to tackle the ball carrier if he finds a gap between the tackle. outside linebackers are often responsible for keeping the ball carrier from getting to the sideline they lined up closest to.
The olb should seek to contain the ball carrier inside the offensive tackle so they cannot break to the outside.
Often, olbs will have to fight through the screens of tight ends or fullbacks to get to the ball carrier.
cover tight ends and running backs
In addition to making tackles, outside linebackers can also play a role in pass coverage. olbs can be asked to play man and zone coverage.
zone coverage involves covering a specific area of the field, while man coverage refers to covering a specific player.
In zone coverage, olbs will generally cover the area close to where they line up near the line of scrimmage.
In men’s coverage, these linebackers will typically be matched up against tight ends and running backs. For this reason, linebackers need to be athletic, as running backs and tight ends in today’s NFL are incredibly athletic.
that’s all about olb’s position in football. Check out other articles on this topic, including our guide to the acronym hb or the acronym cb.