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.
7-techniques align on the inside shoulder of the tight end. Another, more intuitive name for a 7-technique is a 6i. However, calling them 7-techs is still common. It is the only technique that doesn’t go in numerical order from the inside-out.
Similar to the 6-technique, aligning as a 7-technique gives the defensive player leverage to jam the tight end on releases and to rush the passer from the outside. In the run game, they are typically responsible for forcing the ball back inside or occupying the C-gap. However, because of their inside alignment on the tight end, that leaves the 7-technique more susceptible to double teams between the tight end and tackle.