In the outside linebacker tips series (click here for part 2 ) we discussed what NFL scouts look for outside linebacker’s, but now what?

Knowing what they look for is cool, but I think we need to take it a step further and take some action on this info!


Houston Texans’ outside linebacker Brian Cushing (ICON Sports)

If you’re like most guys that have dreams of playing pro football, you might have to train yourself.  To help you out, I’ve compiled a bunch of drills that you can do.

But not just any drills.  These are drills that will help you get better at most of the specific things NFL scouts look for when analyzing outside linebackers.

>> Related: Middle Linebacker Tips – What NFL Scouts Look For in Middle Linebackers, Part 1.

A lot of drills out there require equipment of some kind.  But to help those on a budget, the drills listed below require little-to-no equipment to be purchased.

Disclaimer: If you’re injured, or have health issues, please consult with a doctor before doing any of this stuff.  I, nor is responsible if you hurt yourself, or tear-up your mom’s house trying to do these drills.


Quick hands and blocker anticipation

Former NFL players Chris Gizzi and LeCharles Bentley go over the basics of hand placement, and break-down the dynamics of the hand battle between linebackers and offensive linemen.


As the gentleman points out, strong hands are ok, but you need to be fast with your hands, to get an advantage in the hands battle.

You should be able to do all three of the drills in the video from home.  For the last one, I’m sure you can find something around the house to use instead of the big bag that he’s swinging at the kid in the video.


The below video uses the ladder to go through some more drills to help you develop speed in your hand usage.  Again, you don’t really need to buy a ladder, you can just use tape, or chalk, to mark your spots on the floor.


Playing with leverage

Former NFL strong safety Donovin Darius explains the fundamentals of tackling with leverage.

Outside linebacker’s often have to attack the ball carrier from the outside-in, so this is important stuff.


Shedding blocks

Unfortunately, this video/drill doesn’t have any sound.  Fortunately, it doesn’t need any.

It shows you the shrug technique for shedding blocks.


Ditto what I said above.  Only difference, this one shows the rip technique instead.




Like Coach Walsh said, it’s vital for an outside linebacker to be able to move and tackle in space.

This drill can be done without having on pads, but be careful not to get too aggressive, because again, you’re not wearing pads.


It’s tough to work on tackling without having equipment on, but the drill below is something you can do without pads, too.

It teaches you to explode with your hips through a tackle.

Not the most exciting drill, but if you wanna “bring the boom”, you gotta be explosive in your hips.

I did a post a while back here at Get2TheLeague that gives you examples of stuff you can do to hit harder when you’re tackling.

I can’t lie to you though, being a sure tackler is more important than being a hard hitter, but who are we kidding?

There’s not a football coach or personnel person in the nation that doesn’t get excited about having somebody on their squad that can hit!

>>Related: How to Tackle Hard in Football – 3 Exercises that’ll Help You PUNISH the Enemy.

You can do these drills at home with a friend, with basically no equipment needed.

It would be useful to buy one of the bags they use in a few of the drills, but it’s not necessary.

These drills will help you get more explosive, and help you with your form when you’re tackling.



The exercises in the Tackle Hard post referenced above will all help you get more explosive, and to get the burst that impresses scouts.

You should be able to do the first and last drills on the video below without equipment.  The second drill requires a sled, but you might be able to put something together around the house or in the backyard that you can use instead if you don’t have access to one.


Hip flexibility plays a huge part in developing explosion in your hips.

Increasing the range of motion in your hips is crucial.  These drills can help you with that.



Check back soon for part 2, aight?

Catch me on Twitter.  @alvingrier

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