What are Defensive Alignments and Techniques?



Kendall Mirsky details defensive line techniques, clarifying misconceptions and providing a structured understanding of pre-snap alignments and player roles to enhance comprehension of defensive line play in football.

  • Defensive line techniques involve pre-snap alignments relative to the offensive line.
  • Even techniques align helmet to helmet with offensive linemen: zero tech (center), two tech (guard), four tech (tackle), and six tech (tight end).
  • Odd techniques involve alignment on the shoulder or in the gap between offensive linemen.
  • Odd techniques include one tech (center), two eye tech (inside shoulder of guard), three tech (outside shoulder of guard), four eye tech (inside shoulder of tackle), five tech (outside shoulder of tackle), seven tech (inside shoulder of tight end), and nine tech (outside shoulder or wider of tight end).
  • Players aren’t restricted to specific techniques based on play style.
  • Example with Ed Oliver and Star Lotulelei illustrates this flexibility.
  • Demonstrates various alignments using examples from gameplay.
  • Differentiates between even and odd techniques.
  • Explains the numbering system for different alignments.
  • Provides clarity on the roles and positions within defensive line play.


You can find Chris on Twitter (@lowbuffa), getting dirty in #MafiaGardens, or watching football. Go Bills!