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I heard the announcers at last Saturday’s football game referring to “nickelback this” and “nickelback that.” I would like to know why they kept saying it and what it means?

That’s the name of the position, just as announcers always refer to quarterbacks as quarterbacks. A nickelback is the fifth defensive back when a defense is in its nickel package — typically four down linemen and two linebackers. A cornerback lines up on the outside receiver; a nickelback lines up on an inside receiver and serves a function similar to that of a safety.

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