Solve Linebacker Conflict Of Assignment

By FirstDown PlayBook on Apr 4, 2022

Linebacker conflict of assignment is a common thing in football. Seasoned offensive coordinators spend hour looking for it and expose it quickly. Conflict of assignment is exactly what it says it is. It is when a defensive player has two responsibilities that work against each other.

The linebackers are normally who suffer the consequences of having a conflict of assignment. It can often show up when defending a play action pass or a run pass option.Fundamentally, it can occur when a linebacker simply plays the run game too aggressively and voids a part of their pass coverage.

The example we want to talk about today though comes when a player is asked to do too much. In the video below, we show how the weak side linebacker is being asked to play the A gap on run away. There is no big deal about that, but he is also asked to buzz the curl flat vs pass.

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When a good offensive coordinator sees this they are going to be quick to expose the A gap with run away. When the ball cuts back, that Will linebacker will never get there. Once the linebacker starts cheating, now the offense will fake the run away and throw to the weak side curl area. The poor Will linebacker will never be right because of his conflict of assignment.

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There are several ways to remedy this. There could be a “Pirate” call made that would stunt the tackle into the A gap. This allows the Will linebacker to play the closer B gap on run away. The other solution is what we look at in this video. Once again, we see how the subtle differences in pure quarters coverage and quarter quarter half coverage can make a big difference. Let’s take a look.