What is a Pressure Defense in Football?
A pressure defense in football is a defensive alignment and strategy in which defensive backs and linebackers play much closer to the line of scrimmage than they normally would when defending against the passing game, and often more players will rush the line of scrimmage in order to pressure or sack the quarterback or stuff the running back behind the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs still line up opposite of wide receivers, though they will line up very close to the line of scrimmage, which is called a press. This strategy is meant to allow more time for the defensive line or linebackers to reach the quarterback in case of a pass, as the defensive backs will bump into and try to stop the wide receivers from moving quickly up the field.
Pressure Defense Strategy
The main goal of the pressure defense is to reach the quarterback and sack them before passing the ball. If the ball is handed to the running back, stopping them is also a priority. Pressure defense is often used alongside blitz plays, as to give the defensive front more time to reach the quarterback by slowing down wide receivers after the snap.