Belichick longs for model OLBs

ESPNBoston.com reporter Mike Reiss had an educational item on his blog Monday that I wanted to share here.

In a video snippet from the recent draft party ESPNBoston.com sponsored for New England Patriots season-ticket holders, former linebacker Tedy Bruschi explains why Bill Belichick adheres to a prototype size for his outside linebackers.

Belichick prefers them tall and rangy like former Patriots star Mike Vrabel or Sergio Kindle from the University of Texas. Vrabel is listed at 6-foot-4 and 261 pounds. Kindle is about 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds.

"When I came into this program, I'm 6-1, and they tried me first at outside linebacker, and that lasted about four days. So then they said 'Tedy, you're at inside linebacker,' and from that point on, I was inside linebacker.

"Think of Mike Vrabel, the long arms, the long legs, the shorter torso, where he can extend. You always hear Bill talk about setting the edge in the running game. That's how you do that. You extend your arms. There's a tight end on you, you extend your arms, you set that edge where that running back can't get outside. But if he can, then you've got that other arm to get free and make that play. You force it back to those inside linebackers. You've got to have a body type that really fits that -- that Vrabel-, that Kindle-type body."