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4-3 teams emphasize speed, not size, at linebacker

A greater emphasis on speed has made the big, bruising linebacker a dying breed in 4-3 schemes, writes Mike Sando.

Originally Published: September 3, 2007
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com

Finding the big guys on defense is getting tougher.

Jim Haslett found out how much tougher during his first days as the St. Louis Rams' defensive coordinator. Haslett was introducing himself to players and scanning the room for powerful linebackers when he eventually ran across a keeper. The coach moved in to make acquaintances.

"I'm Jim Haslett," the coach said, extending a hand.

"I'm Steven Jackson," the Rams' running back replied.

Good talk, coach.

Jackson ...

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