What is Backpedaling in Football?
Backpedaling in football is a movement used by defensive backs in which they can quickly move back in the field while keeping an eye on the quarterback and on all receivers on the field. Defensive backs backpedal right after the snap, that gives them some time to read the quarterback, the receivers, and the play; while still maintaining the closest receiver in front of him. Backpedaling is one of the most basic football fundamentals for defensive backs at all levels, and practicing it while improving play reading abilities makes great defensive backs.
How to Backpedal
Before the snap, defensive backs should be in a forward-leaning position, while keeping his knees flexed and his back straight. An important part of the pre-snap position is having the toes line up with the dominant leg's heel, which allows defensive backs to have a quick and powerful first backpedal step. While backpedaling, the defensive back's attention must first go to the quarterback, reading his movement and checking where the ball is going.