A defensive formation in football composed of four down linemen with and four linebackers.
The primary focus of this “attacking” defensive formation takes place at the line of scrimmage—the defense stops the run by keeping eight in the box up front, and keeps the offense guessing where the blitz will come from. With so many players up front, the secondary—two cornerbacks and a single safety—must be intelligent, incredibly athletic and fast, as they are usually isolated and playing deep zone or man-to-man. The 4-4 is one of the more versatile defenses because the players in it can respond to different situations as plays progress. Linebackers can pass rush or drop into nickel or dime defense easily.