Terminology: Setting the Edge

3 Apr

160403 - the edge and perimeter

Fear of the long run or the long pass dominates the thinking of any defense.  This is especially true on the outside — or perimeter — of a defense where it is the weakest because it is defended by the fewest players.  If a defense has no player there who can “set the edge” against the run, then an offense can run outside for big-time yardage.

There are three areas of a defense that an offense can attack: inside, off-tackle and the outside.  The outside is the weakest because it has the fewest defenders. The “edge” of an offensive formation is the corner formed by the “end man on the line” — that is to say, the last man on each side of the offensive line. This means that every offensive formation has two edges: one to either side.   The “outside” meanwhile is that spacious and sparsely defended area of the field beyond the edge.

160403 - inside, outside, off-tackle (setting the edge)

Setting the edge is jargon for preventing a running play from getting outside.  All defenses assign a perimeter or edge defender that job or what coach’s call contain responsibility.

The contain defender — usually the end man along the defensive line — takes on all blockers and the ballcarrier and at-tempts to create a logjam at the edge so that pursuit coming from inside the defense — what is called the inside-out pursuit — can make the tackle if he doesn’t.

Setting the edge or shutting down an offense’s outside attack is critical to any defense if it hopes to prevent it from scoring.  Offensively, the  opposite is true. Setting the edge means the offense has blocked up the  edge defenders in such a way as to gain the outside.

 

 

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