If you have been around the game of football for a while you have likely heard of the term dime back. Unfortunately for many football fans they are not aware what this term means.
A dimeback in football refers to the sixth defensive back on a defense. In most defensive formations there are going to be four defensive backs on the field. When playing with six you are in a dime defense, and that sixth db is called a dimeback.
Dimebacks are primarily used in situations in which the defense is focusing on stopping the pass. These players are typically cornerbacks and in most cases will replace a linebacker or defensive lineman.
The dimeback is not the only defensive back position that has a unique name. When a team plays with five defensive backs this is referred to as a nickel defense personnel. The fifth defensive back in that formation is referred to as the nickel corner.
When Are Dimebacks Used In Football
Now that you know what a dimeback is you may be wondering when this position is used in a football game. After all, dimebacks are not used in the vast majority of defensive formations.
Stopping A Spread Offense
One of the main situations in which a team may use a dimeback would be to stop a spread offense. A spread offense uses a large number of receivers and primarily gains yards through passing the football.
When facing one of these offenses you will find a traditional defense may leave you vulnerable in pass coverage. By using a dimeback you are going to have more defensive players that specialize in stopping the pass.
This will allow you to avoid mismatches that a spread offense tries to take advantage of. The weakness of this defense is their ability to stop the run. By switching to dime coverage the defense will dare them to run the ball.
Holding A Large Lead
Another instance in which a dimeback would be used is when holding a large lead. When down by a large number of points teams will be forced to score at a quick pace in order to catch up.
When trying to move down the field quickly passing is a better option than running the ball.
This is because running plays have a lower average yards per play. Additionally, running plays are typically going to keep the clock running.
When passing, an offense will be more likely to stop the clock via incomplete passes and receivers running out of bounds.
When holding a large lead a defense can expect the opposing offense to pass the ball. By using a dimeback a defense will be matched up well for a passing offense.
Limiting The Two Minute Drill
Another reason that a team may use a dimeback is when facing the two minute drill. This refers to when a team is trying to score with two or fewer minutes remaining in a half.
In these situations, a team will rarely run the ball as this will kill too much time. Instead, teams will pass on every play.
To prepare for this offensive strategy the defense will often bring on a nickel back and a dime back. These extra defensive backs will help defend from the opposing teams passes.