ITP Glossary: 7 Technique

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From 4 technique to cadence, 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.

7 Technique

7 Technique is an alignment designation for a defensive lineman that is lined up over the inside shoulder of a tight end, outside the offensive tackle and shaded toward the C gap. From this position, the 7 technique can be responsible for delivering a jam on the tight end to prevent a free release into the route. However, the primary task of a 7 technique lineman is to rush the passer, using outside leverage to get around the edge. Against the run, the 7 technique – as the likely end man on the line of scrimmage – will have force / contain responsibilities and attempt to set the edge in order to prevent runs from breaking outside the tackle box. He is also likely to face double teams in the running game given his split alignment between the offensive tackle and tight end.


Note: In an effort to keep odd numbered techniques consistent (i.e., alignment to the shoulder of the offensive player), the Bear Bryant numbering system swaps the order of the 6 and 7 techniques.

Here, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Jared Odrick is aligned as a 7 technique, positioned over the inside shoulder of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski:


From this position, Odrick is responsible for the C gap in the running game and could also deliver a quick jam on Gronkowski to prevent a free release in the event of a passing play.

Similarly, here is Washington defensive end / outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan aligned to the inside shoulder of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz:


The 7 technique, like Kerrigan above, is often used in defensive fronts with four down lineman. As the strong-side defensive end in the front, the 7 technique must be stout at the point of attack against the run yet also possess the typical speed and athleticism of an edge rusher against the pass.

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Brian Filipiak and Aidan Curran wrote this entry. Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Filipiak. Follow Aidan on Twitter @ARCurran_28.

All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.


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