A defensive formation in football composed of three down linemen, three linebackers, and five defensive backs.
The 3-3-5 is also known as the 3-3-Stack and the Spread Defense.
Rarely seen in the NFL, this defense was designed primarily to defeat the spread offense, and is used most widely in high school football and sometimes in college. The 3-3-5 defense takes advantage of the athleticism of a faster and smaller defense, making the formation more versatile, while providing a “stacked” core that makes down linemen and linebackers less vulnerable to blocking up front. A 3-3-5 defense usually plays a mix of coverages, but is weighted towards zone and less man, and uses a variety of blitz packages, helping to restrain running plays while also disrupting pass protection. The five defensive backs, three traditional and two hybrid safety/linebackers can provide extra pass rush and coverage.