Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. Historically, in the one-platoon system prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a tackle played on both offense and defense.
Like other offensive linemen, their job is to block : to physically keep defenders away from the offensive player who has the football and enable him to advance the football and eventually score a touchdown. The term tackle is a vestige of an earlier era of football in which the same players played both offense and defense.
In the NFL, offensive tackles often measure over 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) and 300 lb (140 kg). According to Sports Illustrated football journalist Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman, offensive tackles consistently achieve the highest scores, relative to the other positional groups, on the Wonder Test, with an average of 26.
The Wonder is taken before the draft to assess each player's aptitude for learning and problem-solving. Consequently, the right tackle will face the defending team's best run stoppers.
The left tackle (LT) is usually the team's best pass blocker. When a quarterback throws a forward pass, the quarterback's shoulders are aligned roughly perpendicular to the line of scrimmage, with the non-dominant shoulder closer to downfield.
A 2006 book by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, made into a 2009 motion picture, sheds much light on the workings of the left tackle position. The book and the film's introduction discuss how the annual salary of left tackles in the NFL skyrocketed in the mid-1990s.
The term tackle is a vestige of an earlier era of football, in which the same players played both offense and defense. In the NFL, offensive tackles often measure over 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) and 300 pounds (140 kg).
According to Sports Illustrated football journalist Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman, offensive tackles consistently achieve the highest scores, relative to the other positional groups, on the Wonder Test, with an average of 26. The Wonder is taken before the draft to assess each player's aptitude for learning and problem-solving; a score of 26 is estimated to correspond with an IQ of 112.
A 2006 book by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, sheds much light on the workings of the left tackle position. The book discusses how the annual salary of left tackles in the NFL skyrocketed in the mid-90's.
Premier left tackles are now highly sought after commodities, and are often the second highest paid players on a roster after the quarterback; at least one left tackle is almost always picked with one of the first five positions in the NFL Draft. These roles may include merely holding the point of attack by refusing to be moved, or penetrating a certain gap between offensive linemen to break up a play in the opponent's backfield.
Other responsibilities of the defensive tackle may be to pursue the screen pass or drop into coverage in a zone blitz scheme. The nose tackle aligns across the line of scrimmage from the offense's center before the play begins in the “0-technique” position.
The nose guard lines up head up in the center about six to eighteen inches off the ball. In run away, the nose guard's job is to shed the blocker and pursue down the line of scrimmage, taking an angle of pursuit.
The primary responsibility of the nose tackle in this scheme is to absorb multiple blockers so that other players in the defensive front can attack ball carriers and rush the quarterback. Ted Washington, who in his prime weighed around 350 pounds, is considered the prototypical 3-4 nose tackle of his era.
A few examples of nose tackles in the NFL are Vince Wilford, Casey Hampton, Kelly Gregg, Jay Ratliff, Jamal Williams, Kyle Williams, Antonio Gary, B. J. AJI, Aubrey Franklin, Marcel Darts, Stone Pound, Phil Taylor, and Terrence Cody among others. Effective against the inside run but not the short pass, the 5-2 was phased out of the pro game in the 1950s, but was still used by some major college programs into the 1980s.
Tasman, Larry (March 30, 2009), “Keepers of the blind side: Left tackles the new money position ", USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ football /NFL/2009-03-29-sw-tackles-cover_N.htm Rush, Nathan (February 8, 2008). Dixon, D., (October 18, 2004) http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1208/is_42_228/ai_n6249316/?tag=content;col1 The Sporting News Dillon, Dennis (2004-10-11).
Under the modern rules of American football, both teams are allowed 11 players on the field at one time and have “unlimited free substitutions,” meaning that they may change any number of players during any “dead ball” situation. Within these three separate “platoons”, various positions exist depending on the job that player is doing.
In American football, the offense is the term used to describe the team that has possession of the ball and is advancing toward the opponent's end zone to score points. The eleven players of the offense can be separated into two main groups: the five offensive linemen, whose primary job is to block opponents and protect their quarterback, and the six backs and receivers, whose primary job is to move the ball down the field by either running with it or passing it.
The remaining players (known as “interior linemen”) are “ineligible” to catch forward passes. Within these strictures, however, creative coaches have developed a wide array of offensive formations to take advantage of different player skills and game situations.
Like all offensive linemen, the center has the responsibility to block defensive players. The center often also has the responsibility to call out blocking assignments and make last second adjustments depending on the defensive alignment.
Like all interior linemen, their function is to block on both running and passing plays. Like a guard, the tackle may have to “pull”, on a running play, when there is a tight end on their side.
They also tend to have quick footwork skills as they often engage against containing or rushing defensive ends. Considered the most influential position on the offensive side because his team's progress down the field is dependent on his success, the quarterback is responsible for receiving the play from the coaches on the sideline and communicating the play to the other offensive players in the huddle.
The quarterback may need to make late changes to the intended play at the line of scrimmage (known as an “audible”) depending on the defensive alignment. Anywhere from one to three running backs may be utilized on a play (or none, which is referred to as an “empty backfield”).
The “tailback,” also known as the halfback, ” is often a team's primary ball carrier on rushing plays. 87, in white) begins a play in the flanker position Wide receivers are pass-catching specialists.
Wide receivers, like running backs, come in different varieties depending on exactly where they line up. Tight ends are considered “hybrid players” because they are a cross between a wide receiver and an offensive lineman.
Depending on the style of offense the coaches have designed, the game situation, and the relative skill sets of the players, teams may run formations which contain any number of running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, so long as the mandated “four backs and seven on the line” rule is followed. Over time, however, defensive roles have become defined into three main sets of players that encompass several individual positions.
The four defensive linemen (in red) have their hands on the ground in a “three point stance”Like their offensive counterparts, defensive linemen (also called rushers) line up directly on the line of scrimmage. Their function is to rush the passer and stop running plays directed at the middle of the line of scrimmage.
Defensive linemen will often take a stance with one or both of their hands on the ground before the ball is snapped. Linebackers play behind the defensive line and perform various duties depending on the situation, including rushing the passer, covering receivers, and defending against the run.
Middle linebackers must be capable of stopping running backs who make it past the defensive line, covering pass plays over the middle, and rushing the quarterback on blitz plays. Some teams keep their outside linebackers on the same side of the field at all times while others define them as playing on either the “strong side” (SLB) or the “weak side” (WEB).
They also act as the last line of defense on running plays and need to be able to make open field tackles, especially when the ball carrier has gotten past the other defenders. The strong safety (SS) is usually the larger and stronger of the two, providing extra protection against run plays by standing closer to the line of scrimmage, usually on the strong (tight end) side of the field.
The free safety (FS) is usually the smaller and faster of the two, and is usually the deepest player on the defense, providing help on long pass plays. By extension, a formation with a sixth defensive back (dime back) is called a “dime package” because it employs a second Nickelback and the U.S. 10-cent dime coin is equal to two nickels (nickel backs).
Defensive formations are often known by a numerical code indicating the number of players at each position. 2) prepares to kick the ball from the hand of a holder (Jon Ryan, No.
While many players who appear on offensive or defensive squads also play similar roles on special teams (offensive linemen to block or defensive players to tackle), there are some specialist roles that are unique to the kicking game. Depending on the type of specialist and the play that was called, the responsibilities of the these positions vary.
All three situations require the kicker to kick the ball off the ground, either from the hands of a holder or off of a tee. Teams employ kickoff specialists if they feel neither their kicker nor punter is good enough at kicking off.
Due to their specialized nature and the limited number of active roster spots, professional Loss are rare. After receiving the snap, the punter drops the football and kicks, or “punts,” it from the air in order to relinquish possession to the defensive team and to send the ball as far downfield as possible.
The player occupying this position is often a backup quarterback or a punter because of their “good hands”, feel for the ball, and experience taking snaps from a long snapper or center during plays from scrimmage. A holder is occasionally used on kickoffs if the weather or field conditions repeatedly cause the ball to fall off the tee.
These are usually among the fastest players on a team and typically play either wide receiver or corner back, as well. Teams may also use the same player for both return positions or have a specific returner for punts and another for kickoffs. The up back is a blocking back who lines up approximately 1–3 yards behind the line of scrimmage in punting situations.
Their primary role is to act as the last line of defense for the punter; however, up backs occasionally receive the snap instead on fake punts and will either pass or run with the football in those situations. A gunner is a player on kickoffs and punts who specialize in running down the field very quickly in an attempt to tackle the returner. They usually line up near the sidelines where there will be fewer blockers which allows them to get down the field quickly.