Football is littered with specialized terminology. From Landry shift to option route, commentators rarely get to explain everything you need to know before the next play. Inside The Pylon’s glossary was developed to give fans a deeper understanding of the game through clear explanations, as well as image and video examples. Please contact us with any terms or phrases you’d like to know more about.
6 Technique is an alignment designation for a defensive lineman and/or outside linebacker on the line of scrimmage that is lined up outside the tackle and head up over the tight end, between the C Gap and D Gap. Like the wide 9 technique, the 6 technique defender on a pass rush uses outside leverage to collapse the pocket from the sides. From this head up alignment, the defender will often be tasked with jamming and/or re-routing the tight end before rushing the passer. Against the run, the 6 technique will often be the contain/force defender responsible for setting the edge and funneling the ball carrier back inside toward the teeth of the defensive front.
Here, New England Patriots defensive ends / outside linebackers Rob Ninkovich (#50) and Chandler Jones (#95) are positioned head up over the New York Jets tight ends, using 6 technique on their respective sides:
Gaps are widened by blocks, used as holes or lanes by running backs, and/or targeted by defenders as an entry point to the backfield. As the play develops, so does the gap, either being filled with rushers and/or blockers, or expanding as players move.
Failing to set the edge can be disastrous for a defense, as the space outside the “end of the line” leads to open field and big plays.
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Brian Filipiak wrote this entry. Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Filipiak.
All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.