View Full Version : Defensive Line Lingo

04-30-2008, 10:08 AM
I have never played football so I was wondering if someone could explain to me the basic language when talking about the defensive line. I understand the positions and everything, but I'm having trouble understanding the gap assignments and the difference between 2 and 3 technique. Any other helpful information would be appreciated.

04-30-2008, 10:20 AM
i could be completely wrong but i think the technique refers to which hole/man they are playing over

1 is the inner most 5 is the outermost
so 1 is over the A gap 2 over the guard, 3 over the B gap 4 over the tackle and 5 over the C gap

think i might be wrong though

04-30-2008, 10:23 AM

That explains the gaps pretty well, stephenson is correct.

04-30-2008, 10:25 AM
0 technique is heads up on the center
1 technique is the guard's inside shoulder
2 technique is heads up on the guard
3 technique is the guard's outside shoulder
4 technique is the tackle's inside shoulder
5 technique is heads up on the tackle
6 technique is the tackle's outside shoulder
7 technique is the Tight End's inside shoulder
8 technique is heads up on the TE
9 technique is outside the Tight End.

04-30-2008, 10:31 AM
ok well i was wrong...ish

that helps me too though

04-30-2008, 10:43 AM
6-9 technique are ones you pretty much never hear about b/c they are basically your 4-3 DEs. 5 technique DTs are your 3-4 defensive ends, and your nose tackle is usually just called that instead of the 0 or 1 technique. 3 and 4 are what you find in 4-3 DTs.

04-30-2008, 11:35 AM
I may help. I am a D3 TE's coach, but in every playbook, all OCs define how they want to name everything. So having tons of playbooks in binders, actually sitting next to me, each OC labels it something differently.

Here is what I personally like, and what my OC uses.


04-30-2008, 11:42 AM
Gap assignment also change depending on the defense, if they are in a 3-4 vs a 4-3. Responsibilties for DTs can change depending on on the system they are in. Some systems have their DTs "squeeze" to stop the run, while the LBs flow or spill to compliment it.

The vikings did this to us. They have two huge guys in the middle, so on running plays, based on what I remember seeing, they would control their gap, but also drive the -o-linemen, guard in this case, into the other gap. So in essence they are controlling two gaps. So someone like Brandon Jacobs has no hole to rush through because Williams is in one of the gaps, and shoving Snee or someone else into the other gap, making him bounce the ball to the outside.

Now with fast LBs you want your d-line to do this so you can spill and make the play.

It depends on the system implemented by the DC, and the players you have. Also what front your team likes to play.

4-3 Over
4-3 under
4-3 Wide
4-3 Under Wide
4-3 Over Wide
4-3 Swim

And so on....

But it all starts with knowing the general positions or techniques, and then figuring out what front your favorite team runs the most.

Also, to note Lbs have techniques as well, and in the system listed above just add a zero.

So 10. 20, 30, 20 i, 40 i and so on. I denote secondary players by adding another zero. So if your safety is showing a Cover 3 shell and is over the center, I denote that as 000, but 10 yards, at safety depth.