Football Front Seven
What Is the Front Seven in Football?
The “front seven” is a term in football used to describe the seven defensive players at or nearest to the line of scrimmage on each snap. The front seven consist of the defensive linemen and the linebackers. The front seven are normally the seven starting defenders, sometimes referred to as a “defensive dream team,” meaning that these players are the strongest defenders on the roster. They act as a “wall,” meaning that offensive players have a hard time getting through them to score.
Front Seven Positions
The front seven is made up of linemen and linebackers. These are the positions that play in the front seven:
- Defensive (nose) tackle
- Defensive end
- Middle (inside) linebacker
- Outside linebacker
The front seven have a few different roles depending on the play. Their main goal is to make tackles and block passes. In some situations, linebackers have to drop back into their respective zones for zone coverage. Typically each defensive member covers an opponent, but the game plan can change depending on the other team’s formation.
Front Seven in Formations
The front seven are the base of most defensive formations. The most common defensive formations are the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses, both of which utilize the front seven. The seven diamond defense (also referred to as the 7-1-2-1 defense) also relies on the front seven as the base of the formation. These were very popular before the forward pass was introduced.