The NFL For Rookies – Player Positions – Defence

Athletes are key to any sport so, let’s take a look at all player positions in an NFL roster. Squads are split into three sections: offence, defence and special teams.

Our focus will be on the main positions to familiarise you with the most important aspects of enjoying the game. As you watch games, you will immediately understand more of what you are watching. The rest will come with experience and perseverance.

The defence’s main priority is to stop the offence from moving the ball forward and try to gain possession of the ball. Here we look at the defence and players from a number of different franchises as our positional examples.

Green Bay Packers defence
Work hard and celebrate success together – Green Bay Packers defence celebrate an interception return

Positions at the Line of Scrimmage

A maximum of six defensive players are allowed at the line of scrimmage. These usually consist of the Defensive Tackle x2, Defensive Ends x2 and Corenerbacks x2. The rest of the players have to be behind the line of scrimmage.

The diagram below shows a four-three defensive formation, one of the most popular choices for defence coaches. It allows the coach to bring pressure to the QB while still maintaining coverage against the throw. Now let’s look at each of these positions and understand what they do.

Defensive Tackle (DT)Defensive End (DE)
Middle Linebacker (MLB)Outside Linebacker (OLB)
Strong Safety (SS)Cornerback (CB)
Free Safety (FS)

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