What Is The SAF Position In Football? 

SAF football position: Football’s safeties are among the game’s most significant and adaptable defensive positions. They are crucial for halting the run and creating pass coverage since they are the final line of defense. In this article, we will go into greater detail about the SAF position in football, with strong safety and free safety positions. Keep scrolling down to learn more!

What is the SAF football position?

What is the SAF football position?

The safety position – and sporadically the strong safety – is referred to as the SAF football position. Strong safety is typically referred to by the abbreviation “SS,” while safety is typically denoted by the letter “S.” The NFL Draft is a frequent occasion when the SAF acronym is used.

Moreover, defensive backs called safeties set up ten to fifteen yards behind the scrimmage line. In a standard structure, there are two varieties of positions: free safety and strong safety. The defensive strategy defines their responsibilities. Pass defense toward the center and sidelines of the field is typically part of the defensive duties of the safety and cornerback.

Safeties are required to be confident tacklers because they are the final line of defense. Besides, SAF’s position in football is now increasingly active in defending the pass-eligible receivers as professional and collegiate football have shifted their attention to the passing game.

Abbreviation Position Category
QB Quarterback Offense
RB Running Back Offense
FB Full Back Offense
TB Tail Back Offense
HB Half Back Offense
OL Offensive Line Offense
G Guard Offense
LG Left Guard Offense
RG Right Guard Offense
T Tackle Offense
LT Left Tackle Offense
RT Right Tackle Offense
C Center Offense
WR Wide Receiver Offense
TE Tight End Offense
DL Defensive Line Defense
DE Defensive End Defense
LE Left End Defense
RE Right End Defense
DT Defensive Tackle Defense
NT Nose Tackle Defense
LB Linebacker Defense
MLB Middle Linebacker Defense
ILB Inside Linebacker Defense
OLB Outside Linebacker Defense
LOLB Left Outside Linebacker Defense
ROLB Right Outside Linebacker Defense
SLB Strong Side Linebacker Defense
WLB Weak Side  Linebacker Defense
DB Defensive Back Defense
CB Cornerback Defense
S Safety Defense
SS Strong Safety Defense
FS Free Safety Defense
P Punter Special Teams
K Kicker Special Teams
PR/KR Punt/Kick Returner Special Teams

Free Safety

The free safety takes up position on the field’s weak side. The tight end should align themselves on the strong side of the line. The weak side is referred to as the opposite side of the field. The free safety is usually smaller and a little bit quicker than the strong safety.

Since strong safeties must also pay attention to the running game, free safeties are typically given more pass coverage responsibilities than strong safeties. A free safety needs to be quick, have excellent tackling ability, and be capable of comprehending the quarterback with ease.

Free Safety

Strong Safety

A defensive back that plays on the football field‘s strong side is known as a strong safety. Strong safety is more frequently utilized in run defense and is typically larger and more powerful than free safety. As they are responsible for preventing the run on a running play that sneaks through, they will often be positioned near the line of scrimmage than the free safety.


Famous SAF Football Position Players

Some famous players in this position that we want to mention are Brian Dawkins, Ed Reed, and Jamal Adams. They are all excellent players in this sport. Let’s watch it together.

Brian Dawkins

Brian Dawkins - Famous SAF Football Position Players

  • Full name: Brian Patrick Dawkins Sr.
  • Date of birth: October 13, 1973
  • Age: 49
  • Nationality: American
  • Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)

Former National Football League safety Brian Patrick Dawkins Sr. spent 16 seasons in the league, principally with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In addition, Dawkins was considered to be among the best SAF NFL position players of all time and served as the defensive captain of the Eagles. Besides, throughout his career, he was selected to nine Pro Bowls and five All-Pro first teams. 

Additionally, he competed in one Super Bowl with the Eagles, which was held in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, in XXXIX. In 2018, he was admitted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ed Reed

Ed Reed

  • Full name: Edward Earl Reed Jr.
  • Date of birth: September 11, 1978
  • Age: 44
  • Nationality: American
  • Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)

In the NFL, Edward Earl Reed Jr. played safety and spent most of his professional career with the Baltimore Ravens. He played 11 campaigns for the Ravens after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in 2002. In 2013, he also competed for the Houston Texans and the New York Jets.

Moreover, in total, Reed was chosen for nine Pro Bowls throughout his playing career. He also won the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and holds the NFL title for the two longest interception comebacks. The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed Reed as a member in 2019.

Jamal Adams

Jamal Adams

  • Full name: Jamal Lee Adams
  • Date of birth: October 17, 1995
  • Age: 27
  • Nationality: American
  • Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)

Jamal Lee Adams plays strong safety in AFL for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The New York Jets selected him in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft after watching him play college football at LSU.

Adams soon established himself as a valuable Jets starter, earning two Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro designation. Adams became the highest-paid safety in the NFL at the time in 2021 when he agreed to a four-year agreement with the Seahawks worth $72 million.


That was the end of our post on the SAF football position. To summarize, the SAF positions of free safety and strong safety are comparable with only a few subtle differences. Players who play safety can switch between the two positions, but some professionals are far more suited to one than the other.

If you want to find out more fascinating articles like this, don’t forget to keep checking back to our American Football Terms website!

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