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Football 101 - Understanding the Basics of the Dime Defense

Defensive Formations - The Dime Defense

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Dime Formation

Dime Formation

James Alder
The dime defense is a basic defensive formation that is designed to stop the pass. The alignment generally features either four down lineman, one linebacker, and six defensive backs or three down lineman, two linebackers, and six defensive backs.

If you take a look at the illustration on the right, you will see a diagram outlining the dime defense. The Os in the diagram represent offensive players while the Xs represent the placement of the defensive players.

In this particular dime formation, there are four linemen on the line of scrimmage (imaginary line seperating the offense and defense). You have two defensive ends (DE), one on each end of the line, and two defensive tackles (DT) in between. Behind the defensive line is one linebacker (LB).

Two cornerbacks (CB), one nickel back (NB), and one dime back (DB) combine with two safeties to cover the defensive backfield. The exact position of the defensive backs depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.

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