Casey Sully

There are many different fronts in all levels of football. In each defensive front, coaches and players need a way to communicate different alignments when setting up against an offense. To do that, we use a numbering system that tells us where each defensive player is aligned in comparison to an offensive lineman. If a defensive lineman is directly in front of an offensive lineman, they are an even number. If the defensive player isn’t directly over the offensive player, they are an odd number. There are some nuances, based on whether the the player has an inside shade or not. If they do, an “i” denotes that.

spread offense
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Spread Offense

5-techniques align on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle. Similar to 4-techs, the 5-technique has to be sturdy in run defense while still having pass rush ability. 5-techs are prominent in 3-4 defenses.

In 3-4 defenses, 5-techs are asked to both two-gap and one-gap. Two-gapping defensive linemen need to be strong so that they can read, shed, and control the two gaps on either side of them. 3-4 defensive ends typically hover around 280-300 lbs. They usually aren’t relied on to generate pass rush on their own and are instead used to keep linebackers clean. However, aligning in a 5-technique does give some extra pass rush juice because they can attack the tackle at an angle and gain leverage outside.

5-technique to the offensive right
5-technique to the offensive left

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