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Terminology: Backside Contain

19 Jan

The backside of any defense is where, initially, the ball isn’t going.  Backside contain is protection for those times when an offensive play – like a reverse, or counter, or bootleg – changes direction and attacks a defense’s backside. 
  
Like containment on the playside, backside contain is about keeping the ballcarrier bottled up in the backfield and allowing the pursuit from the interior defenders to catch him before he breaks “outside” into the perimeter where the defense is weakest.
   
The assignment is performed at the edge of a formation by a Defensive End or Linebacker, depending upon the defensive scheme. 
  
Routinely the contain defender will “stay at home” or “squeeze down” and look for the ball coming back his way.   When the ball goes away, he will “trail” the play at the same depth as the ballcarrier and shut down any reverse before it gains speed. 
         
In either case, the defender is under control and will not cross the line of scrimmage and pursue the ballcarrier until he, himself, has crossed the line. 
     
Now to “squeeze down” means to replace.  The Defensive End (99) in the picture below is doing exactly that.  He’s moving into the space vacated by the Offensive Tackle who is blocking down on the weakside Linebacker (33).  From this position, he can stay “flat” – meaning parallel to the line – which keeps his outside arm free in the event of a trap block coming from the inside and allows him to read flow.