Defensive back

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In American football and Canadian football, defensive backs (DBs) are the players on the defensive team who take positions somewhat back from the line of scrimmage; they are distinguished from the defensive line players and linebackers, who take positions directly behind or close to the line of scrimmage.[1] The defensive backs, in turn, generally are classified into several different specialized positions:

  • Safety:
    • Free safety – most often the deepest safety
    • Strong safety – the bigger more physical safety, much like a small, quicker linebacker
  • Defensive halfback (Canadian football only)
  • Cornerback – which include:
    • Nickelback – the fifth defensive back in some sets, such as the nickel formation
    • Dimeback – the sixth defensive back in some sets, such as the Dime formation
    • The seventh defensive back, in the exceedingly rare 'quarter' set, but often strong
      • known as a dollar back or a quarter back (not to be confused with the offensive player who throws the ball)

The group of defensive backs is known collectively as the secondary.[2] They most often defend the wide receiver corps; however, at times they may also line up against a tight end or a split out running back.

References[edit]

See also[edit]

Positions in American football and Canadian football
Offense (Skill position) Defense Special teams
Linemen Guard, Tackle, Center Linemen Tackle, End Kicking players Placekicker, Punter, Kickoff specialist
Quarterback (Dual-threat, Game manager, System) Linebackers Snapping Long snapper, Holder
Backs Halfback/Tailback, Fullback, H-back, triple-threat Backs Cornerback, Safety, Halfback Returning Punt returner, Kick returner, Jammer
Receivers Wide receiver (Eligible), Tight end, Slotback Nickelback, Dimeback Tackling Gunner, Upback, Utility
Formations (List)NomenclatureStrategy