Safety (football position)

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Position of the safeties in a 3-4 defense

Safety is the name of two positions in American football within a team's defense . A distinction is made between free safety and strong safety .

In lineups for moves, the abbreviations SS for strong safety and FS for free safety are used within the defensive backfield (also called secondary ) for safeties. The remaining players in the defensive backfield are the cornerbacks (CB).

Strong Safety

The strong safety plays opposite the "strong" side of the attack line, i.e. on the same side as the tight end or the fullback of the opposing offense . The Strong Safety is usually of a stronger stature than the Free Safety and is closer to the line of scrimmage at the beginning of a play .

Free safety

At the beginning of a play, the Free Safety must “read” the line-up of the attacking team and guess their moves. He should be able to intercept the "deep" passes of the opposing quarterback . As a free safety, it serves to support the cornerbacks.

The Free or Strong Safety can also attack the quarterback directly at the beginning of a play, this is then the so-called Safety Blitz . Since this attack exposes the line of defense, it is very risky for defense and is rarely used in practice.