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What Is A Defensive End? (DE)

american football defense defensive end football 101 football terminology football training Mar 11, 2024

This player lines up on the end of the defensive line.

They have two primary responsibilities:

1) Pass Rush: 

On passing plays this player is responsible for rushing the QB and trying to prevent them from throwing the football by sacking them. A strong pass rush is the foundation of great pass defense. 

2) Run Contain:

Similar to cornerbacks, defensive ends are trying to contain the run and force the RB to the middle of the field. The are the first line of defense when it comes to contain an outside run. Forcing the run to the inside makes it possible for LBs and DTs to get involved in stopping the run. 

There are two defensive ends that line up on the field, Right Defensive End (RDE or RE) and Left Defensive End (LDE or LE).

This position is responsible for rushing the quarterback on pass plays and defending runs that go to the outside.

Players known for playing this position include Reggie White, JJ Watt, and Nick Bosa.

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