In football, WDE refers to the weakside defensive end position. In the offensive line, the defensive end tackles the quarterback before he throws the ball.
The weakside defensive end takes up one position on the defensive line. The WDE lines up on the weak side of the formation.
The side of the formation with fewer players is usually the side without a tight end.
Because they line up at the end of the defensive line, this position is known as an end.
In our guides to the DE and DT positions, you can find more acronyms.
In Football, What is the Role of a WDE?
In football, a WDE is a weakside defensive end, so you might wonder what these players do.
We will break down some of the defensive end’s key on-field responsibilities below.
Rushing The Passer
During each play, the defensive end (WDE) lines up against the offensive tackle (OT) in order to put pressure on the quarterback.
Often, WDEs will have a chance to play one-on-one with these players, giving them a great opportunity to reach the quarterback.
Sacks and forced fumbles are often the results of reaching the quarterback as a defensive end.
Defensive ends prioritize their ability to rush the passer over any other responsibilities they may have.
It is largely due to the defensive end’s ability to shut down an opponent’s quarterback that this position is so highly paid.
Due to the fact that these players line up on the weakside of the formation, they will be able to get to the quarterback more easily. This is because they won’t have to deal with the tight end’s blocking.
Containing The Run
Aside from putting pressure on the quarterback, WDEs must also contribute to the run defense. Generally, defensive tackles are more likely to disrupt the run, while defensive ends typically contain the line.
In order to tackle the running back, the defensive end must funnel him into the middle of the field.
The ball is typically run toward the strong side, so a strong-side defensive end is likely to be more involved in the run game than a weak-side defensive end.
Filling Passing Lanes
In addition to sacking the quarterback, the weakside defensive end must also contribute in other ways to pass defense.
If the WDE realizes he cannot get to the quarterback, his next most effective option is to get his hands up to block a pass. By reading his eyes and body language, a DE should be able to predict where and when the quarterback will throw.
WDEs should get their hands up to block the passing lane. Batting balls near the line of scrimmage can lead to incomplete passes and even interceptions.
It is also possible for the defensive end to play zone coverage occasionally, depending on the defense’s scheme.
Our football acronym guides explain what HB means in football or what FB means in football.