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Nickel Defense
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Kyle Verrill
Professor Strete
Explaining a concept
Nickel Defense
Football is one of the most popular American Sports. Millions of fans fill huge stadiums on fall weekends to watch the 11 man team sport. Football first developed from the sport Rugby, a game played in Europe.

In football there is an offense and a defense. The offense tries to score points and the defense tries to stop the offense from scoring points. The most common form of defense is either a 4-3 or a 3-4, which stands for 4 lineman, 3 linebackers, and 4 defensive backs or 3 lineman, 4 linebackers and 4 defensive backs, respectively. A coach would put a 3-4 in if he wanted more speed on the field or a 4-3 in if he needed more size on the field to fill what are called holes that the offense tries to run plays through. When the offense puts 3 or more wide receivers on the field, and ideal defense would be what is called the nickel defense. The nickel defense consists of 5 defensive backs who try to prevent the wide receivers from catching the football.

The nickel defense is a basic defensive formation that is designed to stop the pass. The alignment features four down lineman, two linebackers, and five defensive backs.

Two cornerbacks, two safeties and one nickel back line up to cover the wide receivers when the offense is in a three-receiver set. A three-receiver set would be used in a situation in which the offense needed a significant number of yards to advance before they would get a first down.

There is a position on the defense that is called a nickel back. The nickel back only comes on the field during nickel and dime situations. A dime package consists of 6 defensive backs. The purpose of this position is to prevent the offense from advancing the ball a significant amount. An ideal situation to bring nickel defense would be a 3rd down and long

There is a variation of the nickel defense that is called the forty nickel defense. The forty nickel is characterized by four defensive linemen, four linebackers, and 3 defensive backs. The idea of the forty nickel defensive philosophy is an attacking eight man front with the availability of a five defensive back scheme by dropping 2 of the linebackers back into coverage while the 3 defensive backs are already in coverage.


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Nickel Defense And Wide Receivers. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from