Football is littered with specialized terminology. From kill call to hit and throw, 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.
Wall is an underneath coverage technique used by defenses to help secondary defenders with deep coverage responsibility. Box defenders traditionally use wall technique, particularly linebackers and safeties in zone or pattern match coverages.
Often, the job of the “wall” linebacker is to prevent the receiver from releasing deep and inside. By altering the route of an inside receiver, the wall technique forces a quarterback to put air under the ball, allowing safeties time to come over and make a play. One way to tell that the wall technique is being implemented is a linebacker or safety turns his body parallel to the sideline to prevent getting beat deep inside at all costs.
Below, Darian Stewart (#26) has “wall” technique responsibility and must prevent the #3 receiver from getting deep and inside to help safety Shiloh Keo (#33), who starts aligned outside the #3 receiver:
Stewart plays the wall technique correctly by keeping the receiver outside of him:
The Jets use a “wall” technique below with David Harris (#52), whose assignment is to prevent Jordan Matthews (#81)from getting deep over the middle. One can see he starts to play “wall” by turning his back parallel to the sideline. He abandons the technique once Matthews runs a drag.
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All video and images courtesy NFL Game Rewind.