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In American football, an eight-in-the-box defense is a defensive alignment in which 8 of the 11 defensive players are close to the line of scrimmage.
The area occupied by defensive linemen and linebackers is often referred to as "the box". The box is usually about 3-5 yards in depth and spans the offensive line in width. Normally five to seven defensive players occupy this area but frequently another player is brought into the box for run support against smashmouth-oriented offensive teams or short yardage situations.
The most common occurrence of eight in the box in the NFL involves the strong safety walking down from his position (moving to within) 10-15 yards off the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped.From this tightened position he can offer the aforementioned run support as well as jam WRs and TEs, blitz the QB, or provide flat coverage. Due to the superior athleticism of NFL players, it is not uncommon for the box safety to even provide deep coverage after the snap, giving the QB a pre-snap Cover 1 read but effectively transitioning into Cover 2 or another shell post snap. Often, to hold a disguised defense, the safety will not come down until the snap of the ball. While this is not the eight in the box strategy, it gives the same results without showing what your defense is before the snap of the ball.
Obvious advantages come off the eight in the box strategy including more defenders to stop the run game of the opponent which is the main reason for this strategy. The eight in the box scheme is also often used by teams throughout the NFL as a disguise to which players will be coming after the quarterback. This creates a level of difficulty for the offensive linemen because they will not know pre-snap who they will need to block. Quick decisions will need to be made after the snap of the ball.
Defenses would rather not have to go to the eight in the box strategy because it takes away from the pass coverage. However, teams that run the ball effectively force defenses to go to this strategy. Once a defense does this, the offense can run play-action passes to keep the defenders near the line of scrimmage as the receivers (usually 1 or 2 since, often, heavy packages are in the game including tight ends in place of receivers) run by them and have an entire field to run away from a cornerback, putting the defensive backs at a disadvantage. This scheme can also work against the team that is covering the run. In a base defensive set, there are 3 levels of defenders; line, linebackers, and safeties. The safeties are there to keep runners from going all the way for the score. However, when one safety creeps down toward the line of scrimmage, that leaves only one high safety to make the tackle once the runner has broken the first line of defense.
A running back (RB) is a member of the offensive backfield in gridiron football. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback to rush the ball, to catch passes, typically out of the backfield, and block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback, a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back" if he is the team's starting running back.
In gridiron football, a lineman is a player who specializes in play at the line of scrimmage. The linemen of the team currently in possession of the ball are the offensive line, while linemen on the opposing team are the defensive line. A number of NFL rules specifically address restrictions and requirements for the offensive line, whose job is to help protect the quarterback from getting sacked for a loss, or worse, fumbling. The defensive line is covered by the same rules that apply to all defensive players. Linemen are usually the largest players on the field in both height and weight, since their positions usually require less running and more strength than skill positions.
A cornerback (CB) is a member of the defensive backfield or secondary in gridiron football. Cornerbacks cover receivers most of the time, but also blitz and defend against such offensive running plays as sweeps and reverses. They create turnovers through hard tackles, interceptions, and deflecting forward passes.
A linebacker is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen, and therefore "back up the line". Linebackers generally align themselves before the ball is snapped by standing upright in a "two-point stance".
In gridiron football, blitzing is a tactic used by the defense to disrupt pass attempts by the offense. During a blitz, a higher than usual number of defensive players will rush the opposing quarterback, to try to tackle the quarterback or force him to hurry his pass attempt.
Strategy forms a major part of the game of American football, and both teams plan many aspects of their plays (offense) and response to plays (defense), such as what formations they take, who they put on the field, and the roles and instructions each player are given. Throughout a game, each team adapts to the other's apparent strengths and weaknesses, trying various approaches to outmaneuver or overpower their opponent to score more points in order to win the game.
The 46 defense is an American football defensive formation, an eight men in the box defense, with six players along the line of scrimmage. There are two players at linebacker depth playing linebacker technique, and then three defensive backs. The 46 defense was originally developed and popularized with the Chicago Bears by their defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, who later became head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals.
A formation in football refers to the position players line up in before the start of a down. There are both offensive and defensive formations and there are many formations in both categories. Sometimes, formations are referred to as packages.
In sports, a starting lineup is an official list of the set of players who will participate in the event when the game begins. The players in the starting lineup are commonly referred to as starters, whereas the others are substitutes or bench players.
The Tampa 2 is an American football defensive scheme popularized by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers National Football League (NFL) team in the mid-1990s–early 2000s. The Tampa 2 is typically employed out of a 4–3 defensive alignment, which consists of four linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks, and two safeties. The defense is similar to a Cover 2 defense, except the middle linebacker drops into a deep middle coverage for a Cover 3 when he reads a pass play.
In American football each team has 11 players on the field at one time. The specific role that a player takes on the field is called their position. Under the modern rules of American football, teams are allowed free substitutions; that is, teams may change any number of players after any play. This has resulted in the development of three "platoons" of players: the offense, the defense, and the special teams. Within those platoons, various specific positions exist depending on what each player's main job is.
The flexbone formation It is an offensive formation in American football that includes a quarterback, five offensive linemen, three running backs, and varying numbers of tight ends and wide receivers. The flexbone formation is a predominant turnover formation derived from the wishbone formation and it features a quarterback under center with a fullback lined up directly behind the quarterback. There are two smaller running backs called slotbacks aligned behind the line of scrimmage on each side of the offensive line. The slotbacks are sometimes incorrectly referred to as wingbacks. But in order to be a wingback, there must be a guard, tackle and tight end all on one side of the center on the line of scrimmage and then the wingback off the line of scrimmage.
The triple option is an American football play used to offer several ways to move the football forward on the field of play. The triple option is based on the option run, but uses three players who might run with the ball instead of the two used in a standard option run.
In American football a play is a close to the ground "plan of action" or "strategy" used to move the ball down the field. A play begins at either the snap from the center or at kickoff. Most commonly plays occur at the snap during a down. These plays range from basic to very intricate. Football players keep a record of these plays in their playbook.
In American football, the 3–4 defense is a common defensive alignment consisting of three down linemen and four linebackers. It is a called a "base defense" because it is the default defensive alignment used on "base downs". However, defenses will readily switch to other defensive alignments as circumstances change. Alternatively, some defenses use a 4–3 defense.
Zone coverage is a defense scheme in gridiron football used to protect against the pass.
In gridiron football, motion refers to the movement of an offensive player at the time of the snap.
The following terms are used in American football, both conventional and indoor. Some of these terms are also in use in Canadian football; for a list of terms unique to that code, see Glossary of Canadian football.
The Miami 4–3, also called the 4–3 slide, is a scheme closely associated with the Jimmy Johnson-led Miami Hurricanes, and taken by Johnson to the Dallas Cowboys. Built around Jimmy Johnson's notion of "upfield pressure", it is a penetrating, swarming defense, with a "get there firstest with the mostest" mentality. The focus is to cause opponents to make mistakes, even if the defense might give up a big gain or two. Compared to older 4–3 defenses, such as Tom Landry's 4–3 inside, the defensive line assignments are simpler. Linemen don't read then react, they act then read. Linebackers fill the gaps the linemen leave behind, ignoring gaps away from the play. Coverages are simple, and the playbook small and easy to learn.