In our fifth part of this series, we are going to take a look at the Green Bay Packers’ basic dime defense. Adding another defensive back to the secondary, this formation is used in obvious passing situations and where speed is necessary. We’ve seen this more against teams like the Detroit Lions who employ a spread offense and are often in the shotgun.
Explaining the Formation
We move on from the nickel formations to the dime, which adds another defensive back to the secondary by sacrificing an inside linebacker. A little run support is given up to focus more on shutting down receivers in coverage. In Dom Capers’ defense, the basic dime package is a 2-3-6 formation.
Most teams don’t use their dime packages with a lot of frequency, but it is becoming more popular as the passing game grows. You won’t usually see a dime formation against offenses with less than three wide receivers on the field, because it’s not very effective against the running game. It’s meant to stop the passing attack, so defensive coordinators don’t want to put their players in situations where they can be left vulnerable.
The dime is generally only used in the more obvious passing situations, or where the offense is showing certain personnel groupings that try to take advantage of speed. Aside from four wide receiver sets, teams that often send their faster running backs and tight ends into passing routes will see more dime defenses used against them. Defenses don’t want to have a slower linebacker covering a faster back, so they replace him with a defensive back who can keep up.