What is Nickel Back in Football?
A nickel back in football is the fifth defensive back on the field in a nickel defensive alignment. The nickel defensive alignment is any defensive alignment that uses five defensive backs, the fifth player being called the nickel back.
About the Nickel Back
This formation stems from the Philadelphia Eagles 1960 Championship win. It was later adapted by the Miami Dolphins and used by teams across the world. It is most commonly used when opposing teams have three or more wide receivers on the field. This is a defensive strategy that decreases the chance of the other team throwing a successful pass.
The nickel back supplies:
- Extra pass support
- Extra defensive support where needed
It is usually played by a cornerback or safety, just like the dime back position. This 5th defender is crucial to the dime defense, which is any formation that has five defenders. Coaches put a dime back in when they expect the other team to throw the football more often.