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Football Defense

What is the defense in football? How many players are on the defense? What are the positions of the football defense? Get ready to learn all about football defenses.

Football Defense

The defensive unit, or the defense for short, is called onto the field when a team does not have possession of the ball.


Defense Positions

A football defense has the following positions:

Football Defensive Goals

The goals of the defense are:

The defense accomplishes these goals by forcing turnovers and by tackling the ball carrier before the first down marker and forcing the offense to punt.

Football Tackling

Tackling is the act of bringing the ball carrier to the ground. When a player is tackled, the down is over. The player's knee or arm must hit the ground with the ball in hand as a result of contact with a defensive player. The defense must be good at tackling in order to keep the offense from receiving first downs and eventually points.

Football Coverage

Coverage defines the alignment of the defense on the field. There are two basic kinds of coverage:

  • Man to man: Each defensive back is assigned a player and covers him
  • Zone: Each defensive back is assigned a zone and must cover that zone and every offensive player in it


Football Blitz

A blitz in football is a play design that has the defense sprint towards the quarterback at the start of a down for a sack. A sack is when the defense tackles the quarterback for a loss of yards. To be considered a blitz, the defense must send more rushers than usual; this is usually five or more players.



Football Terms

Here are some glossary terms related to football defense:

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