Guard (gridiron football)

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The positioning of the offensive guards in an offensive formation. Football-Formation-OG.svg
The positioning of the offensive guards in an offensive formation.

In gridiron football, a guard (G) is a player who lines up between the center and the tackles on the offensive line of a football team on the line of scrimmage used primarily for blocking. [1] Right guards (RG) is the term for the guards on the right of the offensive line, while left guards (LG) are on the left side. Guards are to the right or left of the center.

The guard's job is to protect the quarterback from the incoming linemen during pass plays, as well as creating openings (holes) for the running backs to head through. Guards are automatically considered ineligible receivers, so they cannot intentionally touch a forward pass, unless it is to recover a fumble or is first touched by a defender or eligible receiver.

Pulling guards

David DeCastro lined up at guard. David DeCastro 66 lined up 2013.jpg
David DeCastro lined up at guard.

Aside from speed blocking, a guard may also "pull"—backing out of his initial position and running behind the other offensive linemen to sprint out in front of a running back to engage a defensive player beyond the initial width of the offensive line. This technique is used in most playbooks for outside runs (where the play-side guard pulls as a lead blocker) and on counter plays (where the far-side guard pulls to block a play-side lineman). Vanderbilt's Dan McGugin is credited with first pulling guards.

While tackles can also pull, this strategy is generally less common as they are too far away to pull to the opposite side of the formation (for counter plays) and have the responsibility of blocking the outside defender (generally the defensive end) for outside runs. Since the guard is free of responsibility for play-side outside runs and far-side counter plays, pulling is generally a unique responsibility for guards.[ citation needed ]

The Packers sweep was a signature play of the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, as they won five NFL titles and the first two Super Bowls under head coach Vince Lombardi. The pulling guards were Fuzzy Thurston on the left and hall of famer Jerry Kramer on the right.

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3–4 defense American football defensive formation

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4–3 defense American football defensive formation

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The following terms are used in American football, both conventional and indoor. Some of these terms are also in use in Canadian football; for a list of terms unique to that code, see Glossary of Canadian football.

Pulling (American football)

Pulling is when a blocking player in American football leaves his usual spot in order to pick up another assignment on the opposite side of the field, running behind the other offensive linemen, to sprint out in front of a running back and engage a defensive player beyond the initial width of the offensive line.

The Packers sweep, also known as the Lombardi sweep, is an American football play popularized by Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. The Packers sweep is based on the sweep, a football play that involves a back taking a handoff and running parallel to the line of scrimmage before turning upfield behind lead blockers. The play became noteworthy due to its extensive use by the Packers in the 1960s, when the team won five National Football League (NFL) Championships, as well as the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi used the play as the foundation on which the rest of the team's offensive game plan was built. The dominance of the play, as well as the sustained success of Lombardi's teams in the 1960s, solidified the Packers sweep's reputation as one of the most famous football plays in history.

References

  1. "Football 101: Players and Positions". California Scientific.
Positions in American football and Canadian football
Offense (Skill position) Defense Special teams
Linemen Guard, Tackle, Center Linemen Tackle, End, Edge rusher Kicking Placekicker, Punter, Kickoff specialist
Quarterback (Dual-threat, Game manager, System) Linebacker Snapping Long snapper, Holder
Running backs Halfback/Tailback (Triple-threat, Change of pace), Fullback, H-back, Wingback Backs Cornerback, Safety, Halfback, Nickelback, Dimeback Returning Punt returner, Kick returner, Jammer, Upman
Receivers Wide receiver (Eligible), Tight end, Slotback, End Tackling Gunner, Upback, Utility
Formations (List)NomenclatureStrategy