Football Defensive Unit

Chapter 3.5

The defensive unit is called onto the field when a team needs to defend from a score. Get ready to learn about this group of defensive players.

Team Units

We've already learned that 11 players can be on the field per team during a scrimmage down. However, football is different from other sports in that it allows for unlimited substitutions whenever a play ends. As a result, layers are grouped into three main categories or units:

The Defensive Unit

The defensive unit, or the defense for short, is called onto the field when a team loses possession of the ball.

Rookie Road Football Defense Image

PRO TIP: If you're ever lost, just look at which team has the ball. The team on defense does not have the ball.

Defensive Unit Goals

Think of the defense as a highly defensive unit of players whose main job is two-fold:

  1. to gain possession of the ball for their team
  2. to prevent other team from moving closer to their end zone
  3. to prevent the other team from scoring points

Without a good defense, a football team will give up to many points to the opposing team. After all, a team cannot win a football game if the other team scores more points.

Defensive Player Positions

There are many ways to structure an defensive unit, but every defense will have the same basic structure:

  1. The Defensive Line
  2. The Secondary

We'll learn more about defensive player positions in future chapters.

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