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A weakside linebacker lines up on the "weak" side of the offensive line, meaning the side with less wide receivers and tight ends. The weak side linebacker's primary responsibility is to rush the passer, and reak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
The weak side linebacker is usually lighter and faster than the other linebackers, and primarily is required to cover the flats, while dealing with fewer blockers.The strong side linebacker is a difficult position to fill, as the player must be big and strong enough to stop the run, but agile enough to cover tight ends and slot receivers in passing situations.
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Danny Batten out of San Diego State never got to see the field in his rookie year, as he suffered a season ending injury in training camp. Batten will most likely compete on special teams, before the 6'4" 250 pounder moves outside, where he looks to be a developmental prospect for strong-side linebacker.
After leading the SEC in sacks, Antonio Coleman went undrafted, and the Bills quickly snagged the former Auburn pass rusher to a deal. Like Batten, Coleman will need to prove himself on special teams before he gets a chance to make plays.
Keith Ellison was one of the few linebackers that made it through Coach Chan Gailey's final cuts last year, and is a solid special teams player, despite his limited reps.
Chris Kelsay was moved to outside linebacker early in the 2010 season, where he was torched early and often, especially by opposing tight ends. To thank him, the Bills front office decided to retain him, signing him to a deal upwards of $20 million.
Aaron Maybin was believed to be one player who would definitely benefit from the transition to the 3-4 front, as he was an undersized defensive end and could finally use his speed to attack the passer. However, he didn't get to see the field even on special teams, and recorded just six tackles.
The Bills signed Shawne Merriman quickly after he was placed on waivers by the San Diego Chargers. Just 26 years old, the Bills are hoping that "Lights Out" still has enough left in the tank to refurbish a career went south due to nagging injuries.
Torbor was another free agent veteran acquisition, but he knows the scheme and gives a presence of leadership in the locker room.