What is the definition of defensive back in football?
1. A defensive back is a defensive player who sets up position off the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs are used primarily for pass coverage and are assigned to cover the wide receivers and sometimes tight ends, depending on the defensive formation. Cornerback and safety are considered defensive back positions.
What does a defensive back do?
Defensive backs line up away from the center of the line of scrimmage. They cover the deep backfield areas and primarily pursue receivers from the opponent’s offense.
What is a defensive back’s job on a play?
After the snap occurs, defensive backs run forward or backpedal in order to stop long passing plays or tackle members of the offense. They cover the wide receivers and the tight end and try to disrupt their routes. It’s important that they don’t allow the receivers to get behind them, since this could potentially lead to major yardage gains or a touchdown.
What are the responsibilities of a defensive back?
The main responsibility of a defensive back is to prevent touchdowns from being scored. To do this, they are required to cover the deep backfield through man-to-man or zone coverage. Most of their job involves pass coverage and tackling.
What makes a good defensive back?
Athleticism is critical for defensive backs. They must have the explosive speed and physical agility to keep up with a receiver, and the strength to tackle when necessary to stop a running or passing play or prevent a touchdown. Defensive backs are often the fastest players on a team’s defense. Good ball skills also help defensive backs make interceptions or knock the ball down when the opportunity arises.
A strong understanding of the game helps defensive backs succeed in their positions on the field. They must be skilled in reading the play and anticipating what the quarterback is going to do with the ball.
What are the different types of positions a defensive back can play?
There are two main types of positions defensive backs play: cornerback and safety. These players are sometimes collectively referred to as a team’s secondary.
What are the four types of defensive backs?
In most defensive formations, there are four football positions designated for defensive backs: left cornerback, right cornerback, a free safety and a strong safety.
Left and right cornerbacks
The defense includes a cornerback on each side of the field. The right and left cornerbacks are positioned closest to the sidelines compared to other members of the defense, and they are responsible for covering the outer thirds of the field. Cornerbacks are positioned across from the offense’s wide receivers. They must be able to backpedal quickly and be fast and agile enough to keep up with the wide receivers. The main task for a cornerback is to disrupt passing plays by tackling, intercepting passes or causing the receiver to fumble.
The free safety is lined up furthest back from the line of scrimmage out of all the members of a team’s defense. They are “free” to go wherever they’re needed to help the defense succeed in stopping the ball and, if possible, causing a turnover. They often anticipate which way the quarterback will throw the ball and then assist the defensive linemen or cornerbacks in that area of the field. At times, free safeties participate in a blitz.
The strong safety is named for their position on the field. They line up slightly ahead of the free safety and over toward the opponent’s strong side. Typically, this is the side where the tight end is positioned on offense. Strong safeties are often slightly larger and stronger than free safeties in order to take on the tight ends, who are also larger players. Duties of a strong safety include covering passes and stopping runs.
Is a defensive back a safety?
A safety is a type of defensive back on a football team. Most teams have two safeties: a free safety and a strong safety. These safeties are positioned deeper than other defensive players and serve as the team’s last line of defense.
What is the difference between a cornerback and a safety?
Both cornerbacks and safeties are defensive backs on their team, but their positions and responsibilities on the field are different. Cornerbacks are positioned toward the sidelines of the field and closer to the line of scrimmage, while safeties are positioned closer to the middle of the field and farther from the line of scrimmage.
Cornerbacks focus on covering the opposing team’s wide receivers. Safeties have a deeper position that allows them to see where the play is headed and assist the rest of the defense accordingly. For both positions, the key responsibility is to disrupt passing plays and cause turnovers when possible.
Where do defensive backs stand?
Defensive backs stand further back from the center of the line of scrimmage than other defensive players. Cornerbacks are positioned somewhat close to the line, but far out toward the sidelines. Safeties are positioned toward the middle of the field, but they are the furthest back from the line, with the strong safety being a bit closer to the line than the free safety.
What is the difference between a defensive back and a defensive line?
Defensive backs are not considered to be part of the defensive line, which is made up of several types of defensive linemen. Defensive backs focus primarily on disrupting passes, while the defensive linemen primarily make tackles.
Defensive backs in American football vs. Canadian football
American football requires that each team have 11 players on the field at a time, while Canadian football requires 12 players per team. As a result, Canadian football teams have an additional defensive back position called the defensive halfback. Note that while this position is sometimes simply referred to as the halfback in Canadian football, in American football, the halfback refers to one of a team’s two running backs (the other is the fullback).
The defensive halfback’s role combines elements of the cornerback and linebacker positions. They typically provide man-to-man coverage of the slotback. The nickelback position in American football has many similarities with the defensive halfback in Canadian football.
Who are the best defensive backs in NFL history?
The rankings for the top DBs in football history include the following standout safeties and cornerbacks:
Playing at both safety and cornerback, Ronnie Lott is widely considered one of the best defensive backs of all time. After being selected in the first round of the 1981 NFL Draft, he spent most of his career playing for the San Francisco 49ers. He recorded a total of 63 interceptions, 1,146 tackles and five touchdowns. Lott was a four-time Super Bowl champion, first-team All-Pro eight times and a 10-time Pro Bowl participant.
Deion Sanders played primarily at cornerback over 14 seasons in the NFL, which was spent with a number of teams including the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens. He made 53 interceptions and 22 touchdowns in his career and was voted as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1994. He also won two Super Bowls and was selected to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. As of 2023, he is the head coach for the football program at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Charles Woodson is the only defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He played as a defensive back for 18 season in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers and started off his career by being selected as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He later was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and was a Super Bowl Champion. Woodson had a career total of 20 sacks, 65 interceptions and 1,105 tackles.
Ed Reed is a standout safety who played primarily for the Baltimore Ravens during his NFL career before becoming a free agent and signing with the Houston Texans and then New York Jets. He participated in nine Pro Bowls, was honored as Defensive Player of the Year and won a Super Bowl. As of 2023, he holds the NFL records for the most interception return yards (1,590 yards) and the longest interception return (108 yards).
During his 12-year NFL career, Troy Polamalu played strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A two-time Super Bowl champion, he was known as a hard-hitting player on the field and racked up a total of 783 tackles and 12 sacks in his career. In his last season with the Steelers, Polamalu made eight combined tackles and one quarterback hit in his final game.
Dick “Night Train” Lane
Dick Lane was a cornerback for 14 seasons in the NFL, playing with the Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions. In two of those seasons, he was the league’s interceptions leader. He was also in the Pro Bowl seven times and selected to the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team. He still holds a record he set in 1952 for the most interceptions in a season (14). Over his entire career, he recorded 68 interceptions and 1,207 interception return yards.
Considered to be one of the greatest cornerbacks of all time, Mike Haynes made his mark in the NFL playing for the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Raiders. He was selected to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, won a Super Bowl and was in nine Pro Bowls. He recorded a total of 46 interceptions and 5 touchdowns in this career.
How much does a defensive back make in the NFL?
Salaries for defensive backs in the NFL vary widely based on a player’s proven skills and potential for success. As of the 2023 season, the top-paid cornerbacks and safeties in the NFL earn around $10 to $20 million per year. Most players in these positions earn around to $1 to $2 million per year.
Examples of how defensive back is used in commentary
1. The Dallas Cowboys’ defensive back jumps in front of the wide receiver and snags the interception.
2. The defensive back lines up next to the linebackers to help stop the run being made by the Panthers.
Sport the term is used