Football Weak Side

football weak side

Oftentimes, in a game of football, you may hear the term “weak side” referenced, usually alongside the term “strong side.” For those unfamiliar with these terms, we will discuss the concept of the weak side below, including what it is, how it compares to the strong side, and what players are located on the weak side. Read on to learn all about the weak side!

What Is the Weak Side in Football?

The weak side in football is the side of the field opposite the side that the tight end (TE), a player on the offense, lines up on. The weak side is used by defensive coordinators when designing plays and by players when aligning themselves on the field.

Strong Side vs. Weak Side

The free safety, a player position on the defense, stands on the weak side of the field. The weak side has fewer offensive players, which is one of the reasons it’s considered the weak side. The side of the field with the tight end is called the strong side because it has an extra blocker, and therefore, most offenses make run plays toward the strong side because the additional coverage can better protect the ball carrier from being tackled.

Weak Side Players

There are two positions in football that play exclusively on the weak side: the weak side linebacker and the free safety.


How do you determine the weak side in football?

In football, the weak side is determined by wherever the tight end lines up on the offense. Most offensive plays include one tight end, and that tight end will line up on one of the two sides of the offensive line, though in the backfield. Since the tight end’s presence makes whatever side they are on stronger as a result of there being an extra blocker, that side is referred to as the “strong side,” meaning that the weak side is whichever side is opposite that on which the tight end lines up.

What is the safety on the weak side called?

The safety on the weak side of the field is called the free safety. They play on the opposite side as the tight end and the strong safety, which both line up on the strong side. Since the tight end is on the other side, the free safety is more concerned with covering passes in the deep zone than tackling runners. The free safety will make tackles when necessary, as they are the last defender before the goal line.