What Does A Free Safety Do
Free safety – Former Washington Commanders free safety Sean Taylor The free safety tends to watch the play unfold and follow the ball as well as be the “defensive quarterback” of the backfield. The free safety is typically assigned to the quarterback in man coverage, but as the quarterback usually remains in the pocket, the free safety is “free” to double cover another player.

  1. On pass plays, the free safety is expected to assist the cornerback on his side and to close the distance to the receiver by the time the ball reaches him.
  2. If the offense puts a receiver in the slot, then the free safety may be called upon to cover that receiver.
  3. Because of their speed and deep coverage, free safeties are especially likely to make interceptions.

Offenses tend to use the play-action pass specifically to make the free safety expect a run play, which would draw him closer to the line of scrimmage, and reduce his effectiveness as a pass defender. Furthermore, quarterbacks often use a technique to “look off” a free safety, by looking away from the intended target receiver’s side of the field during a pass play, with the intention to lure the free safety away from that side of the field.

Is free safety a hard position in football?

The safety position is one of the most challenging and complex in all of football. These guys have to do it all: Cover the pass deep, come up close to the line to play the run, and many times cover an athletic player one on one in man coverage. Defensive coordinators ask a lot from their safeties, so let’s talk about what the safety position is, what their role is on defense, and who are some of the best of all time.

How important is a free safety in football?

What is the difference between a free safety and a strong safety? – The difference between a free safety and a strong safety is that a free safety plays on the weak side of the field, whereas a strong safety plays on the strong side of the field, giving the position its name.

Is free safety harder than strong safety?

Free Safety Vs Strong Safety – The difference between free safety and strong safety is typically in the player’s build, speed and responsibility. The free safety is often a smaller and quicker player. Strong safeties are often taller and strong players who are fast and can tackle.

Where does a free safety play?

What are the Differences Between a Free and Strong Safety? – The difference between a strong safety and a free safety is their alignment on the field. The strong safety plays on the strong side of the field (hence the name), while the free safety is on the weak side of the field.

Strong safeties are usually bigger and stronger; they line up closer to the line of scrimmage and will be more focused on running plays, although like the free safety, they may need to attack pass receivers depending on the play that is being run by the offense. The safety must be one of the best and most versatile players on the defense.

As said before, a free safety’s job will depend on how a play develops. Because of that, safeties must be excellent play readers and quick decision-makers. Quarterbacks will often call plays that confuse safeties, so it is important to know the quarterback’s movements and plays.

A good safety has the combination of speed, athleticism, and tackling ability. Free safeties play far back in the defensive backfield, covering a deep zone against passing plays. Unlike the strong safety, which is often called on to act like a linebacker and even blitz on plays, the free safety typically stays in the backfield as protection against a long play that breaks through the line.

Although their primary responsibility is pass defense in the deep zone, free safeties are also called upon to tackle a breakaway run. If all other defenders have failed to contain it, the free safety is the last line of defense against the run scoring a touchdown,

How tall should a free safety be?

Final Thoughts – So, what did I learn? Safeties are big. Safeties and cornerbacks are roughly the same average height (both around six feet tall), but safeties on average weigh about 10 pounds more. That is a significant, and necessary, difference especially if you’re heavily involved in the run game.

How rare are safeties in football?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman is tackled by New England Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren, Because Losman was tackled behind his own goal line, this play resulted in a safety for New England. In gridiron football, the safety ( American football ) or safety touch ( Canadian football ) is a scoring play that results in two points being awarded to the scoring team.

  • Safeties can be scored in a number of ways, such as when a ball carrier is tackled in his own end zone or when a foul is committed by the offense in their own end zone.
  • After a safety is scored in American football, the ball is kicked off to the team that scored the safety from the 20-yard line; in Canadian football, the scoring team also has the options of taking control of the ball at their own 35-yard line or kicking off the ball, also at their own 35-yard line.

The ability of the scoring team to receive the ball through a kickoff differs from the touchdown and field goal, which require the scoring team to kick the ball off to the scored upon team. Despite being of relatively low point value, safeties can have a significant impact on the result of games, and Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats estimated that safeties have a greater abstract value than field goals, despite being worth a point less, due to the field position and reclaimed possession gained off the safety kick.

Safeties are the least common method of scoring in American football but are not rare occurrences – a safety has occurred around once every 14 games in the history of the National Football League (NFL), or about once a week under current scheduling rules. A much rarer occurrence is the one-point (or conversion) safety, which can be scored by the offense on an extra point or two-point conversion attempt: these have occurred at least twice in NCAA Division I football since 1996, most recently at the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, though no conversion safeties have occurred since 1940 in the NFL.

A conversion safety by the defense is also possible, though highly unlikely. Although this has never occurred, it is the only possible way a team could finish with a single point in an American football game.

Do free safeties need to be fast?

What is a Safety in Football? – Defenses will usually deploy two types of safeties – a strong safety and a free safety – each with their own set of responsibilities. Strong safeties usually concentrate on stopping the run and covering the tight end (on passing plays) –- which usually means bigger + stronger players might be more suitable for the role.

Free safeties rely more on their speed and ability to cover receivers as they usually focus more on helping out in coverage. Although there may be a technical difference between the two, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interchangeable. Having safeties who are effective against both the run AND the pass gives coaches flexibility to move a player from strong safety to free safety, and vice versa.

No longer can a safety be a ‘specialist’ – really good at one thing and average in another. Especially at upper levels of the game where we see a proliferation of high-powered spread formations, safeties should have the ability to stop the run and be strong in coverage.

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Can a free safety play strong safety?

Free Safety vs Strong Safety: What are the Differences?

  • When football teams run base defensive formations, they often have four members in the secondary,
  • These players will consist of two cornerbacks and two safeties – a free safety and a strong safety.
  • While both latter positions are safeties, there are nuances of each position that make them slightly different,
  • Their duties on the field are different, and as such, the skills required to play each position varies quite a bit,

It’s not that a free safety can’t play strong safety, or vice versa. it’s just that different players have skills that may make them better fits at certain positions,

  1. In many ways, the breakdown between the two safeties is similar to that of the three different linebackers – the weak-side (or Will), middle (or Mike) and strong-side (or Sam),
  2. Understanding the differences between the two safety positions is crucial in deciding which position is best for you (as a player) or your players (as a coach),
  3. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between a free safety and strong safety.

A strong safety will start the play on the strong side of the field – which is determined by how the offense lines up. In most cases, the tight end will signify where the strong side of the field is. If there is only one on the field, where he lines up will be considered the strong side. The opposite side is called the weak side.

  • If there is no tight end on the field – or if there are two tight ends, with one on each side of the field – then the strong side is determined by the handedness of the quarterback.
  • For example, if the quarterback is right-handed in these situations, then the strong side will be the right side of the field, and vice versa for left-handed quarterbacks.
  • The strong safety will have a lot of characteristics and skills similar to,
  • He will be bigger and stronger than the free safety, in most instances, and he will be better at tackling and supporting the run defense than he will be in pass coverage.
  • Still, coverage skills is a must – which is why he’s in the secondary and not a linebacker.
  • Since strong safeties focus a lot on stopping the run, they will start near the line of scrimmage a lot.
  • Defensive coaches may have them line up just behind the linebackers or even in front of the linebackers out wide, almost as another defensive end.
  • In pass coverage, they are often responsible for picking up tight ends.
  • Coaches try not to have them cover wide receivers a lot, because most strong safeties don’t have the speed to keep up with most wide receivers.
  • A lot of times, you will see strong safeties come on blitzes from the outside or the inside.

Defensive coaches can almost “hide” strong safeties in the pre-snap formation so that offensive linemen have a tough time picking them up to block. That allows them to run free toward the quarterback on a blitz. At the same time, strong safeties can fill in the coverage duties of linebackers when the linebacker is asked to blitz. A free safety will start the play by positioning himself on the opposite side of the field as the strong safety – the weak side. The weak side of the field is determined by the same rules as discussed above. Free safeties are typically more similar in stature, skills.

  1. Because of this, free safeties are often much more focused on pass defense than run defense.
  2. It’s not that a free safety won’t chip in and help with run support – it’s just that they will do it in slightly different ways.
  3. Against the run, the strong safety can creep up to the line of scrimmage and be more aggressive in trying to tackle the ball carrier or force him out of bounds,

The free safety, meanwhile, has to stay back and mirror where the play is going. Again, they cannot allow any ball carrier behind them, as this will likely result in a touchdown. On passing plays, the free safety will serve as over-the-top support coverage for one of the cornerbacks,

  • Strong safeties may have this responsibility in pass coverage, too, depending on the situation of the game,
  • If the defense is running a two-deep zone coverage, for example, then both safeties will stay deep and provide over-the-top support to the cornerbacks.
  • In man-to-man defenses, free safeties will often cover a third or fourth wide receiver on the field.
  • They typically do not cover tight ends, however, unless the strong safety is blitzing on that play.
  1. The free safety and strong safety are similar positions with minor differences between the two,
  2. In this way, they are a lot like the three linebacker positions.
  3. Players who are safeties can change between the two positions, but there are specialists who are much more fit for one over the other.

: Free Safety vs Strong Safety: What are the Differences?

Was Brian Dawkins a free safety?

Dawkins started at free safety. He had six tackles and one pass defensed.

What’s the hardest position to play in football?

Cornerback is the hardest position in football, and it’s one of the toughest jobs in all of sports. Corners are some of the smallest men on the field, but they’re typically the most athletic. Exceptional speed, quickness, and agility are prerequisites for the position.

What is the easiest position to play in football?

Some of the easiest positions in football include: Punter. Defensive Tackle. Fullback.

What’s the difference between SS and FS?

SSs are usually the best tacklers in the secondary. Free Safeties are smaller and faster, and tend to be the deepest player in the secondary. They are responsible most often for providing help on long pass plays.

What’s the difference between cornerback and free safety?

Defensive back Position in American football and Canadian football A diagram of a standard set. The defensive backs include two (labeled CB on the diagram), a (labeled FS) and a (labeled SS). In, defensive backs (DBs), also called the secondary, are the players on the defensive side of the ball who play farthest back from the line of scrimmage.

  • They are distinguished from the other two sets of defensive players, the who play directly on the line of scrimmage, and the, who play in the middle of the defense, between the defensive line and the defensive backs.
  • Among the defensive backs, there are two main types,, which play nearer the line of scrimmage and the sideline, whose main role is to cover the opposing team’s, and the, who play further back near the center of the field, and who act as the last line of defense.
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American defensive formations usually includes two of each, a left and right cornerback, as well as a and a, with the free safety tending to play further back than the strong safety. In, which has twelve players on the field compared to the eleven of, there is an additional position called, which plays like a hybrid between a linebacker and cornerback.

Canadian formations include two cornerbacks, two halfbacks and one safety, for a total of five defensive backs. defensive back jumps for the ball with wide receiver Besides the standard set of defensive backs, teams may also remove a defensive lineman or a linebacker and replace them with an additional defensive back.

The fifth defensive back is commonly called the (so named because a five-cent coin in the U.S. and Canada is called a ). By extension, a sixth defensive back is called a (because the next value coin in the U.S. and Canada is called a ). Rarely, teams may employ seven or even eight defensive backs.

What does SS mean in football?

Safety (S) – The safeties are the last line of defense (furthest from the line of scrimmage) and usually help the corners with deep-pass coverage. The strong safety (SS) is usually the larger and stronger of the two, providing extra protection against run plays by standing closer to the line of scrimmage, usually on the strong (tight end) side of the field.

Who tackles the most in football?

The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia’s notability guideline for stand-alone lists, Please help to demonstrate the notability of the topic by citing reliable secondary sources that are independent of the topic and provide significant coverage of it beyond a mere trivial mention. If notability cannot be shown, the article is likely to be merged, redirected, or deleted, Find sources: “List of National Football League annual tackles leaders” – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR ( January 2023 ) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message )


NFL lists Quarterbacks Running backs Receivers Defense Special teams Other lists
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This is a list of National Football League (NFL) players who have led the regular season in solo and combined tackles each year. The record for most solo tackles is held by Ray Lewis, who made 156 in the 1997 season, while the record for most combined tackles belongs to Hardy Nickerson, who made 214 in 1993,

What do scouts look for in a safety?

2. Awareness – This is a big one. Safeties have to be aware of the coverage scheme they are running and all the responsibilities of their teammates around them. They must know the coverage concepts inside and out. They must be aware of the offensive scheme they are playing against, route combinations and how the opposing quarterback is looking to manipulate that coverage with such tactics as pump fakes, eye manipulation and play action passing.

  1. This starts before the snap of the ball in recognizing personnel groupings, alignments and presnap motion and shifts.
  2. Especially when a safety aligns in the deep middle of the field, he has a unique big picture view of the other 23 players on the field and it is imperative that he not only is aware of the entire situation, but that he also can communicate what he is processing to his teammates.

Safeties on the second and third level and constantly being challenged by route concepts to play the receiver in front of them or the one behind and sometimes there isn’t a truly correct answer. Great safeties are well prepared, quick thinkers with an excellent awareness of their surroundings.

What is the smallest NFL player?

Who Was the Shortest NFL Player of All Time? – As highlighted above, Jack Shapiro was the shortest NFL player of all time, reportedly standing at a little under 5’1″.

Do safeties get hurt in football?

Which NFL Position Groups Suffer the Most Injuries? I’ve been thinking about this since the Falcons drafted Corey Peters, While most of us here think it was a fine pick, DT wasn’t a *need* in any obvious sense. If we’d drafted a guard, for instance, we could have an instant starter instead of the likely backup (for the time being) we have in Peters.

  1. However, could it be that certain positions tend to experience such turnover that teams must stockpile extra talent? I had a strong hunch that defensive tackles get hurt more often than other players.
  2. How to test such an assumption? To the mathmobile! At which position groups should teams collect the most injury insurance? Let’s break down end-of-season injured reserve data: The chart accounts for how many players of each position are usually on the field at the same time.

This means that while about 10 NFL teams can expect to have a QB on injured reserve by the end of each year, about 24 can expect to have either a FS or SS on IR.24 IR safeties, divided by 2 safety positions, equals 12 average IR players per safety position.

  • I’ll explain more.) A verdict: As we saw last year when Jason Snelling was our last man running for half a month, RBs get hurt a lot,
  • It’s no wonder their careers tend to be the shortest of any position group, while OL stick around forever.
  • The difference between DTs and non-RB positions seems pretty substantial.

Of course quarterbacks get hurt the least – every NFL offense, except San Francisco’s, is designed to protect the QB. Safeties are also pretty safe (LOL), perhaps because they’re the least likely defender to face contact during the average play. This also means that, in the average year, most NFL teams can expect to lose one of their DTs (or, even more critically, their NT) for the season.

  1. Thus, losing Peria Jerry for ’09 was no surprise at all.
  2. Here’s how I came up with this chart (you can skip all the rest if you want): Finding the numbers: I’m pretty confident in the best IR data available for and, while 2007’s came from an old post in a gambling forum I’ve lost the link to and can’t find again.

That last one might sound shady – however, gamble bros care about accurate and up-to-date injury reports more than anybody, Plus it’s not like the ’07 numbers ended up way off from the other two. All three years were pretty consistent, with the only really alarming outlier being the massacre of ’09 linebackers (a dozen more IR LBs in ’09 than in ’07 and ’08 combined).

And fiddling with them: I added the number of IR players for each position group from ’07, ’08, and ’09. If a player was listed as something vague like DB or DL, I gave both sub-groups (CB and S, and DT and DE respectively) half credit for that player. I divided the total for each position group by 3 (for 3 years of data), providing an average for each position group.

You’re with me so far. I then divided that average by the number of players from each position group that are usually on the field at once. Let me explain that. There are always 2 OTs on the field, while there’s always only 1 QB, smartass wildcat objections notwishstanding.

So I divided the total number of OTs by 2 and let QBs ride. I also left C at 1 and divided G by 2, DE by 2, and S by 2, as that’s how many players from each of these position groups are almost always on the field. Things got trickier for offensive ball-handlers. Offensive coordinators have 5 spots to customize for each play, trotting out some combination of RBs, WRs, and TEs.

If we had a set of really great data on how many of each type of ball-handler the average NFL team uses per play, that would be great. But we don’t, do we? (Do we?) I figured it would be best to guesstimate 1.33 RB, 2.33 WR, and 1.33 TE appear in the average formation.

  1. This takes into account everything from 2-back/2-TE sets to 5-WR sets.
  2. It might be skewed a little towards my pass-happy concept of the modern NFL, as a surprising number of teams may typically keep 2 RBs on the field most of the game.
  3. However, the divider for RBs must be smaller than 2, as no NFL teams run Paul Johnson’s offense and plenty use 1 or 0 RBs at times.
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(Plus, even if we divide RBs by a full 2, It’s still the most injured position group by far.) My formula is not perfect at all, and if you have a suggestion for how these 5 spots could better be allotted, let’s hear it. On defense, I had to account for the 3-4 and nickel packages.

  • I actually divided LBs by only 3, since most teams do use the 4-3 – and ~20 teams running 2-LB nickel sets on 3rd down likely more or less makes up for ~10 teams running 4-LB base sets on 1st and 2nd.
  • Next I divided DTs by 1.5 and CBs by 2.5.
  • Regarding 1.5 for DTs: first, many teams use the 3-4.
  • Second, some 4-3 teams replace a DT with a coverage LB (3-3-5) or an extra pass-rushing DE when in nickel (as we used to do with DE Jamaal Anderson,

he’s now a true tweener, so present-day Jamaal isn’t the perfect example). I went back and forth on using 1.5 for DT, since using anything too small makes it look like I rigged the data to support what I’d wanted to support in the first place (i.e., drafting Corey Peters was smart because DTs get hurt more than anybody else), but the number has to be smaller than 2 to account for the 3-4.

  • And 2 CBs is simply not enough, meaning the extra,5 has to come from somewhere.
  • Can’t take it from DE or S, as all common sets use 2 of each of these, and there are almost always more than 2 LB on the field.
  • Let me know if you think 1.5 is too small of a number for DTs, but increasing it to 1.75 doesn’t change its standing as the second-most IR-prone position group.

Regarding 2.5 for CBs: teams can have as many as 5 CBs on the field at once, and nickel sets have been base defenses in many games. If the extra,5 is off, it’s quite possibly too small. The total number of players expected to usually be on-field for each position group:

QB: 1 HB: 1.333 WR: 2.333 TE: 1.333 T: 2 G: 2 C: 1 DE: 2 DT: 1.5 LB: 3 CB: 2.5 S: 2

Caveats: Obviously this is only injured-reserve data. If we could include all the hundreds of Probables, Doubtfuls, Questionables, and Outs that surface during a season, who knows if things would change? Maybe certain positions are more likely to suffer small injuries and less likely to reach the IR.

  • My jimmy-rigged “players per position group on the field” formula can’t account for special teams.
  • Since more LBs play special teams than QBs do ( you knew this, right? ), this certainly nudges LBs a little bit higher on the chart.
  • We could BS some percentages to throw in for special teams-intensive position groups.

Then again, half the point of drafting a sixth-round LB is having another guy to throw at kick returners, so maybe special teams should just be thought of as a hazard that comes with not playing quarterback. Suggestions? I still have all the data, so we’ll break this out again next year with another season of data to add and hopefully a formula tweaked by your comments.

What is the rarest thing in football?

Usage – The fair catch kick rule is very rarely invoked, and is one of the rarest plays in football. The rule has been regarded as “obscure”, “bizarre”, and “quirky”. A unique set of circumstances is required for a fair catch kick to be a viable option.

  • For one, the fair catch would need to be made at a point on the field where a field goal attempt has a reasonable chance of being successful; most fair catches are made well outside of,
  • Furthermore, for a fair catch kick to be a viable option near the end of the fourth quarter, the team attempting the kick needs to be either tied or behind by three points or fewer; even if such a situation were to occur, a coach might still decline to attempt a fair catch kick.

For example, head coach, known for his knowledge and utilization of obscure football rules, declined the opportunity to attempt a 75-yard fair catch kick at the end of regulation in ; although kicker was able to kick the ball that far and the game was tied, Belichick felt the risk of a return touchdown by the opposing team off a failed kick outweighed the opportunity to score from the kick.

Who led the officiating department of the National Football League from 1968 to 1990, said that even in the event a fair catch is made within field goal range, most teams would attempt to score a unless there is not enough time left to score one. Accordingly, most fair catch kick attempts occur when a team has fair-caught a ball from a punt from deep in their opponent’s territory but there is not enough time left in the half to go for a touchdown.

After Cottonwood High School (Murray, Utah) kicker Ryan Nielson successfully completed a game-winning fair catch kick in 2022, coach Casey Miller said he thought “I’ve never seen a chance to do this play in my life. If it’s not going to happen now, it will never happen in my lifetime.” Despite its drawbacks, there are several unique advantages to using the fair catch kick.

  • Because the defense is required to be ten yards beyond the spot of the kick, the kicker can take a running start before kicking as opposed to the typical two steps taken on regular field goal attempts.
  • Similarly, the kicker does not have to worry about a low snap because the ball is not snapped.
  • Because the defense cannot come within 10 yards of the kicker before the ball is kicked, the kicker can give the ball a lower trajectory than a field goal kick from scrimmage without the threat of it being blocked.

The fair catch kick would also be of a shorter distance than a normal field goal attempt from the same spot, because the fair catch kick is taken from the spot of the catch, while a typical field goal is taken seven yards back from the, In the XFL, the rules allow for a fair catch kick after time expires and do not allow the opposing team to return it, making it a feasible end-of-half strategy where it otherwise would have been too dangerous in the NFL.

What is the hardest position to play in football?

Cornerback is the hardest position in football, and it’s one of the toughest jobs in all of sports. Corners are some of the smallest men on the field, but they’re typically the most athletic. Exceptional speed, quickness, and agility are prerequisites for the position.

What is the hardest position to learn in football?

Fullback – A fullback’s job on the field is quite simple, with their main responsibility being to run to the line of scrimmage and block for the running back, It isn’t as easy a punter’s job, as playing fullback is very physically demanding, but in terms of importance, many teams don’t even use a fullback in modern football.

Quarterback Kicker Cornerback

What is the easiest position to play in football?

Receiver: 1 – The easiest position on offense may be the receiver. He has limited responsibility and most plays may have nothing to do with him at all.