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What Are The Nickel Dime & Quarter Packages In Football?

The nickel, dime, and quarter defenses in football are types of packages that defenses run. These packages are in relation to how many defensive backs are on the field.

The nickel package means there are 5 defensive backs on the field, dime means 6 defensive backs and quarter means 7 defensive backs. Coaches will use these different packages to match the offensive personnel.

In this article, we’re going to show you what each package means in football and why defensive coordinators will have the 3 packages.

Why Do Defenses Use Different Packages In Football?

Speed is the main reason why defenses will use different personnel packages. Defenses need to adjust to offense speed. If they have a linebacker on the field, they will simply not be able to cover a slot receiver.

Offensive team speed is also a factor too. If the offense is throwing the ball on 2nd and 3rd downs, the defense needs to prepare themselves to cover the speed of the offense on those downs.

What Is The Nickel Position In Football?

The nickel position is a defensive position that will bring in a fifth defensive back into the play. This occurs when the offense has 3 or more receivers and at least one running back. The nickel back is usually second or third on the depth chart of cornerbacks, although he may be 5th in line in some football teams.

It is called the nickel position because he is the 5th defensive back on the field. 5 cents is often referred to as a nickel. This where the term gets its name from.

This package is the more common package in football, as the game has changed to have more pass covering linebackers on the field, as opposed to run-stopping.

Due to the evolution of the spread offense, teams are keeping more linebackers off the field to match up with the speed of the offense. This means that more defensive backs must be ready at all times to cover the slot receivers.

Nickel Package In Football

The nickel package is one of the most common defensive personnel packages in football. It typically has 5 defensive backs on the field, 4 defensive linemen, and 2 linebackers. Teams will often use the nickel package against teams that use 4-5 wide receivers.

The reason for this is to make sure the defense can match up with the offense’s speed. Bringing in an additional defensive back allows the defense to have a player on the field who is more likely to cover a wide receiver.

Most NFL’s have a designated player who will come in as their Nickelback. This play is often the 3rd corner or the 3rd safety team that can defend the pass. This play is often known as the nickel back, star, or even jack backer in some defenses.

Dime Package In Football

The dime package is a package that many defensive coordinators have. The reason for this is because they want to have speed on the field for passing situations. This package will usually have 6 defensive backs, 4 defensive linemen, and 1 linebacker. Like the nickel package, this will allow defenses to match ability with their opponent’s receivers.

Dime packages are often used in passing situations, such as 2nd or 3rd and long. Defensive coordinators will get away from their base alignments (4-3 or 3-4) and bring extra defensive backs.

Quarter Package In Football

The quarter package in football involves 7 defensive backs, 0 linebackers, and 4 defensive linemen. This is a speed package that is typically run in prevent situations or emergency 2-minute situations.

Defensive coordinators will have dime packages in their playbook for situations where they are 100% certain that the other team will throw the football. It is rare to see a team’s quarter defense on the field, but every coach has it in their playbook.

What Is The Dollar Defense In Football?

The dollar defensive package was made famous in Madden, to defend against pass-heavy teams. This package includes 8 defensive backs on the field and typically 3 defensive linemen.

This package is rarely used in football games, typically only for prevent-situations or if the coach has a specialty blitz package.

Teams don’t necessarily use a dollar package because of how weak it is against the run. The offensive lineman mismatches teams if they do decide to run the football. This is why the dollar package is typically run when defenses are 100% sure that the other team will throw the football. The dollar package is typically run in emergencies, such as a Hail Mary.

Conclusion

The nickel, dime, and quarter packages are used regularly by defensive coaches. These packages are a great way for coaches to make sure they can match up with offenses. The nickel package will help the defense get the right defender on the field against the offense’s best receiver.

A good pass rush is essential when you’re using a 4 man or 5 man defensive line. The problem with these defenses is that pass rushers, linebackers, and defensive backs aren’t available in enough numbers to match up against spread passing teams (which almost every team uses these days). You need to bring in an extra defender, but at the same time keep your secondary coverage skills intact.

This is where the nickel package comes in. With 5 and later 6 defensive backs on the field, you largely have a nickel package. The advantage of the nickel package is that it gets you an extra defender. The disadvantage is that you are often exposed to many quick pass offenses who use spread formations, so pass rushers aren’t as effective.

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