The Safety Position

This is really starting to grate on my nerves.

In the NFL, there are 4 players in the secondary. The two outside guys are cornerbacks, and the two inside guys are a free safety and a strong safety.

In the CFL, we have 5 players in the secondary. The two outside guys are the cornerbacks; inside of them are two halfbacks, and in the middle is a safety.

Note, in the CFL, he is a SAFETY, and NEITHER a "free" nor a "strong" safety, just a safety, pure and simple.

So why is it that practically EVERY commentator, be he play by play, commentator, or panelist, on all CFL broadcasts, CBC or TSN, continually now refer to our safeties as "free safeties"?

It's driving me nuts......most all of our commentators have played CFL football so there is no excuse.

One of them was a safety (Suitor)

On the Rider depth chart on riderville, the position is listed as "Free Safety"...

[url=] ... r%2021.pdf[/url]

It is just something football goes through every once in a while. Look at the slotback position, it used to only be referred to as a tight end position. Now the only time you here the phrase tightend in the CFL, is when they line up in a traditional tighend package.

And that makes NO sense at all.

If you have a Free Safety, then that presumes that you have a Strong Safety, which you don't. If there's only one safety, then that is what he is; a safety, pure and simple.

I can’t see it being a big deal, but as far as I know, it has always been a “free safety”.
I think by implication, the “safety” more so than in the NFL, is allowed to move about the field in a “free” coverage.
It’s actually a pretty accurate description.

I dont like it either they started that a few years ago.

I symathize with why you might think that that is the way it was/is. It was wrong many years ago man. The way I understand it, is the word "free" simply refers to, 'free to roam' for help coverage for the other four DBs, blitzes or run coverage. The stong safety term in the NFL refers to a safety that is strictly a run spy or a blitzing DB. The game, and the way that game is called, is ALLOWED to change despite your opinion.


Call it the rover position instead and end all the arguement. :wink:

Is it honestly that big of a deal?

Geez guys the game evolves for crying out loud. It has been more or less in a constant state of change, particularly with regard to position names, since it was invented in Canada lo so many years ago.

How postions are described in broadcasting are also slightly different than on the field of play because it is necessary to verbally illustrate a player's overall position on the field because it isn't usually apparent to the viewer/listener.

I suggest you read this excellent, but long and confusing article.

[url=] ... tion-names[/url]

Actually boys and boys..

officially, he's a Free Safety.

get your NFL thoughts out of your head.

Its not, but they never did before. You ever notice Americans call offside "offsides"? And hockey instead of whos in goal or net tonight they say" nets "? Just an observation.

You say tomato and I say tomato...lets call the whole thing off.

I saw a t-shirt a while back that said, “You say Tomato, I say F*@$ You!!!”

It was a thing of beauty.

Then, there’s also the classic tale of the girl who sang that song for an audition but pronounced “tomato” the same way both times…she got called back for the 2nd round of auditions, but only because the judges thought it was so damned funny that they wanted to hear her sing it again.

“You say tomaytoh, I say tomaytoh
You say potaytoh, I say potaytoh
Neee-therrr, Neeetherr,
Eye-therr, Eye-therrr…”