Linebacker Mirror Drill


The purpose of this Linebacker Mirror Drill is to teach linebackers how keep inside leverage on a running back on any outside Run (toss, pitch, outside zone, option, etc.)

It emphasizes not over playing a running back in case of a cut back.

It also teaches linebackers to shuffle without crossing there feet and staying square to the line of scrimmage.

Another important aspect of this drill is the crossover run, which is used when the ball carrier picks up speed.

Both the shuffle and the cross over run will be utilized in game situation.


Linebacker Mirror Drill

Linebacker Mirror Drill

Set up 5 cones 10 yards apart.

There are two lines of players on either side of the cone.  One line being the ball carrier and the other being the linebacker.

The running back starts out in a slow jog, the linebacker (5 yards away) will shuffle ‘mirroring’ the ball carrier.

The LB must keep inside leverage on the running back, by always keeping  his outside shoulder on the backside hip of the RB.

The objective is to not overplay the RB.

When the ball carrier hits the second cone he will begin a 3/4 sprint, which will force the linebacker begin a cross over run, enabling him to keep inside leverage.

When the ball carrier reaches the third cone he will then gear down to a slow jog, which forces the linebacker to get back into a slow shuffle, continuing to keep inside leverage on the ball carrier.

Finally at the fourth cone the ball carrier returns to a 3/4 sprint and the LB mirrors him with a crossover run.

The drill ends with both the RB and LB meeting on a 45 degree angle with a form tackle.

Coaching points

The CPs for the shuffle is to keep shoulders square to the ball carrier or line of scrimmage and to not your cross feet.

It is very important for the linebacker to NOT hop while shuffling.

For the crossover run, the player needs to stay square to line of scrimmage and  kick his heel out towards the direction he is moving.  This will force the LB’s hips and shoulders to stay square.

To maintain inside leverage the LB must keep the ball carrier on his outside shoulder at all times.


  • 5 cones
  • Football

This Linebacker Mirror Drill is contributed by ©2007 Keith F. Migliorino, at the time Linebacker Coach and Specials Teams Coordinator at Kean University – The Kean Cougars are playing in the NCAA III – New Jersey Athletic Conference.