Football Defensive Positions
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Defensive tackle (DT)
The inner two members of the defensive line, whose job is to maintain their position in order to stop a running play or to run through a gap in the offensive line to pressure the quarterback or disrupt the backfield formation.
Defensive End (DE)
The outer two members of the defensive line. Generally, their job is to overcome offensive blocking and meet in the backfield, where they combine to tackle the quarterback or ball carrier. On running plays to the outside, their job is to force the ball carrier either out-of-bounds or toward (into) the pursuit of their defensive teammates.
The players who line up behind the defensive linemen and generally are regarded as the team's best tacklers. Depending on the formation, most teams employ either three or four linebackers on every play. They often have the dual role of defending the run and the pass.
The players who line up the deepest in the secondary--the last line of defense. There are two types, free and strong, and they must the deep pass and also the run.
The players who line up on the wide parts of the field, generally opposite the offensive receivers.
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