There have been many talks about Tanner Muse being listed as a starting linebacker for the Las Vegas Raiders. During preseason week one, when the Raiders came out in base defense, Tanner Muse came in and played with the first-string defense.
Muse was asked about his role on Tuesday. “My role is going to be the Otto linebacker… And then being able to go with the inside linebackers being able to rotate whenever I’m needed.”
What is the “Otto” linebacker?
The Otto linebacker is very similar to a strong-side linebacker with a few key differences; you can think of it as a hybrid between a 4-3 defensive end and a 3-4 outside linebacker.
First, the Otto linebacker doesn’t only play the strong side. This position will be responsible for both the strong side and, at times, the weak side.
The Otto linebacker will also be asked to rush the passer on certain third-down situations but from a two-point stance (standing straight up), similar to a 3-4 outside linebacker.
One of the key differences between the Otto and SAM linebacker is the Otto linebacker will line up on the line of scrimmage much more often. The SAM linebacker is going to play in a stacked position (3-4 yards off the line of scrimmage) most of the time.
The reason you would want someone to play the Otto role instead of the traditional SAM linebacker role is that it’ll allow you to have one guy on the field that can do multiple things. For example, in a situation where an offense is running a two-minute drill, you might be able to have a guy like Tanner Muse go from covering a tightened to rushing the passer.
To wrap it up, the Otto linebacker is a versatile football player who can do many different things for a defense.
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