On an NFL football team, there are generally around fifty-five (55) total players on the active roster. 11 players on the field make up offense, defense, and special teams. Each of the eleven positions on the field also require backups, with a few bench players serving as backups for multiple positions for depth at more important positions, such as wide receiver or running back. The dimeback is considered a backup defender, typically played by a cornerback or safety. Dime backs are also called the "6th defender" and helps form the dime defensive scheme.
Dime backs are brought into the game when there are more than four defenders and the team operates in a "dime" formation, which means there are usually five or six defenders. A typical dime defense includes four wide receivers up against four cornerbacks.
Dime backs need to:
When a coach puts a dime back in, there's no guarantee what the play will look like. They have to be ready for any scenario and jump in where help is needed. Dime backs often replace a linebacker for particular game scenarios so the team's pass defense is stronger.