Positional Breakdown: Defensive Line (DL)

These players are big, strong, and tough - like a whole turtle squad made of Raphs!


1 / 5

Most Defensive Lines consist of 4 players: 2 Defensive Ends (DE) and 2 Defensive Tackles (DT). Defensive Ends have more recently also been referred to as ‘Edge Rushers’ or just ‘Edge.’

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2 / 5

Much like the Offensive Tackles on either end of the OL, the D-Ends are on each end of the Defensive Line. Their job is to tackle the running back on running plays and rush the quarterback on passing plays.

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3 / 5

DEs tend to be both lanky and muscular – similar to Tight Ends on the offensive side of the ball – so that they can be strong enough to overpower the O-Line, but fast enough to get to the quarterback before the ball is thrown.

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4 / 5

DTs line up inside of the D-Ends and have a similar job: tackle whoever is carrying the ball. Like DEs, D-Tackles will try to bring down the running back on running plays, and try to sack the quarterback on passing plays.

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5 / 5

DTs tend to be very big and very strong, as they are often double-teamed by the Offensive Line, which is where multiple OL will block one DT.

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