Free safeties can be split into two categories – zone and man. Zone defenses seek to get into the backfield and press down on the quarterback in a manner similar to a man coverage. Man defenses are more aggressive and will play a man-free coverage. In both cases, the primary responsibility of the CB is to bring down the pass. The secondary is responsible for the support of the FS/SS to prevent the run and to disrupt the quarterback's release.The linebackers are the third level of defense and are most often the ones tasked with pressuring the QB.
The linebackers are responsible for two main tasks – one is to hold the line of scrimmage and play the run, and the other is to drop into coverage and disrupt the quarterback's release. The linebackers are responsible for a variety of responsibilities. Some of the primary responsibilities include: blitzing the quarterback, blitzing the tight ends, playing the run, and dropping into coverage. The strong safety is the primary defensive back who is responsible for man coverage.
In addition to man coverage, the strong safety is often responsible for zone coverage.A free safety is a player who is responsible for covering ground, and is responsible for covering the deep center of the field. A safety is also responsible for playing deep into the flat, and is responsible for covering plays of running back or receiver.A strong safety is most often responsible for man coverage, as he has the responsibility of covering the deep middle of the field. A strong safety playing in the middle of the field typically plays zone coverage.A strong safety is also responsible for the safety position on the field in the secondary. A strong safety is responsible for playing deep into the middle of the field, and he is responsible for playing deep in the middle of the field in zone coverage. Free safeties are able to play the run, while strong safeties play the pass and cover the field.
Both players are in position to help the linebackers and defensive backs on certain plays.The linebackers are normally the only players on defense who are responsible for stopping the run. In this role, they must ensure that the offense is in a position to run the ball and that the quarterback does not throw an interception. The linebackers are responsible for covering the receiver in the flat and to contain the running back.The defensive line is the group of players that are responsible for stopping the run and stopping the quarterback. Typically, the defensive line consists of the two defensive tackles (DT) and three defensive ends (DE). The DE is our primary pass-rusher.
The DT is responsible for making sure the quarterback has no easy options to throw to on the run.The linebackers are in position to help the defensive tackles and the defensive ends. Free safeties play man coverage, with the strong safety playing shallow zone coverage. The free safety is always responsible for the deep safety, and the strong safety is responsible for the deep safety.The free safety is the primary defender in the middle of the field. The strong safety is the primary defender in the outside, and the cornerbacks play zone.The cornerbacks and safeties are all very intelligent, and play a variety of coverage. They are "tacklers," meaning they attack the ball carrier with their hands, not their eyes. The free safety is also able to play in press-man coverage, which means he is responsible for the wide receiver in front of him.The strong safety is usually the first player off the ball in coverage. He is best when lined up in the slot, in a zone cover-3, or in press man coverage, which is the back-side area of a two-deep shell. The free safety plays deep off the line of scrimmage.