Edge rusher

The term edge rusher (edge defender or simply edge) is a piece of nomenclature designating a position in gridiron (American) football. Some analysts often consider "edge rusher" to be its own position entirely.[1]

Players considered to be edge rushers are usually 4-3 defensive ends or 3-4 outside linebackers. It is important to understand that 3-4 outside linebackers often act as an extension of the defensive line, in that they will attack the offensive tackles or blocking tight ends on the majority of their snaps under a majority of 3-4 schemes, though it is not uncommon to see them drop back and play a more traditional 4-3 linebacker role as well.[2]

One reason the word "edge" is used in the term "edge rusher" is that edge often refers to the area outside of offensive tackles, but within a couple of yards of the line of scrimmage. While other positions will rarely be referred to as edge rushers, other than 4-3 defensive ends and 3-4 outside linebackers, it is quite common for defensive backs, traditional linebackers, and even defensive tackles to occasionally play the position on a play-to-play basis.[3]


  1. ^ Holler, John (April 11, 2017). "NFL vocabulary is changing". 247sports.com.
  2. ^ Schalter, Ty (August 8, 2012). "4-3 vs. 3-4: Showcasing the Biggest Differences in the NFL Pass Rushes". bleacherreport.com.
  3. ^ "ITP Glossary: Set The Edge". insidethepylon.com. January 12, 2016.

See alsoEdit

Positions in American football and Canadian football
Offense (Skill position) Defense Special teams
Linemen Guard, Tackle, Center Linemen Tackle, End, Edge rusher Kicking players Placekicker, Punter, Kickoff specialist
Quarterback (Dual-threat, Game manager, System) Linebacker Snapping Long snapper, Holder
Backs Halfback/Tailback (Triple-threat, Change of pace), Fullback, H-back, Wingback Backs Cornerback, Safety, Halfback, Nickelback, Dimeback Returning Punt returner, Kick returner, Jammer, Upman
Receivers Wide receiver (Eligible), Tight end, Slotback, End Tackling Gunner, Upback, Utility
Formations (List)NomenclatureStrategy