Football: Defense

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What Makes a Good Defensive Lineman in Football

Great defensive linemen in American football need a combination of size, speed, strength, and durability, which isn’t found in many players. A good defensive lineman has the majority of these qualities [more…]

Football Defense Terms

Every American football team has its own vocabulary for referring to different defensive positions. Here are some of the most common terms that teams use to refer to defensive linemen and their alignments [more…]

Football Defense Keys

In American football terminology, a key is what a defensive player looks at prior to the snap of the ball. For example, if it’s first-and-5, odds are that the offense will attempt to run the ball. The [more…]

Football's Defense Team: The Linebackers

By the design of the American football defense, linebackers are the leaders of that 11-man squad. The rest of a team’s defense looks to the linebackers in a number of ways: [more…]

The Types of Football Linebackers

Although an American football linebacker’s main intention as part of a team’s defense is to tackle the offensive player with the ball, a variety of different types of linebackers can be out on the field [more…]

Football Defensive Alignment Terms

To better understand the inner workings of the defense in American football, you need to know how a defense lines up. Most defenses line up according to where the tight end on offense lines up. A defensive [more…]

The Positions in a Football Secondary

The secondary is the name given to the group of players on an American football team who make up the defensive backfield. All the players who make up the secondary are called [more…]

Tricks and Techniques of a Football Secondary

When defensive backs line up as part of an American football team’s secondary, they rarely know whether the play will be a pass or a run. In a split second, after the ball is snapped, the secondary must [more…]

Football Defensive Back Plays

American football’s defensive backs have a number of plays they can make. Their goal with these plays is to prevent the opponent’s receivers from catching the ball and prevent a possible touchdown. [more…]

Types of Defensive Coverage in Football

American football teams’ defenses employ two types of pass coverage: man-to-man and zone coverage. Both coverages have many variations and combinations, but the core of every defense’s coverage begins [more…]

Types of Football Defenses

An American football team has a variety of defensive strategies. The defense lines up differently, for example, when it’s making a goal-line stand or when it’s defending against a long pass. To help you [more…]

Difficult Situations a Football Defense May Face

Defenses in American football are under constant pressure in every game: One mistake in a defensive play (a missed tackle in the open field or a blown assignment, for example), and the opponent has points [more…]

The Greatest Defensive Football Players of All Time

Everyone has a top ten list of all-time defensive football players, so here’s a couple extra players for good measure. Some of these selections are predictable; others may raise an eyebrow or two. [more…]

The Problem of Pass Interference and Illegal Contact

When a receiver is running in a pass pattern and is more than five yards away from the line of scrimmage, a defensive player can’t push, shove, hold, or otherwise impede the progress of the receiver. If [more…]

How to Choose a Base Defense in American Football

NFL coaches love to copy one another, primarily when a coach is successful with a particular offense or defense. For example, a lot of winning teams in the 1970s began to use the 3-4 defense [more…]

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