What is the Mike Linebacker in Football?
The term "mike linebacker" in football is used to describe the middle linebacker in the standard 4-3 defense. The mike linebacker is considered the team's anchor and is positioned about 5 yards back and directly across from the offense's center, making him the middle of the entire defense. Mike linebackers are normally large, strong, physical and communicative players.
The position is mainly responsible for stopping runs, but is also involved in coverage as well as calling out formations or adjustments for the defense. The mike linebacker is the leader of the defensive team and needs to be vocal, knowledgeable, and focused in order to direct his teammates. Generally, the mike linebacker is credited with the most tackles on the team and is regarded as one of the most important roles on defense. Similar defensive team terms include the "sam linebacker" or "will linebacker" which represent the strong side and weak side linebackers.