Tackle (gridiron football position)

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The positioning of the offensive tackles in a formation. Football-Formation-OT.svg
The positioning of the offensive tackles in a formation.

Tackle is a playing position in gridiron football. Historically, in the one-platoon system prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a tackle played on both offense and defense. In the modern system of specialized units, offensive tackle and defensive tackle are separate positions, and the stand-alone term "tackle" refers to the offensive tackle position only. The offensive tackle (OT, T) is a position on the offensive line, left and right. 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.

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Oakland offensive line - Miami Dolphins vs Oakland Raiders 2012.jpg

A tackle is the strong position on the offensive line. They power their blocks with quick steps and maneuverability. The tackles are mostly in charge of the outside protection. If the tight end goes out for a pass, the tackle must cover everyone that his guard does not, plus whoever the tight end is not covering. Usually they defend against defensive ends, but they do also have to defend against defensive tackles, especially if the corresponding guard on their side pulls. 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 Wonderlic Test, with an average of 26. The Wonderlic is taken before the draft to assess each player's aptitude for learning and problem solving.

The distinction between right and left tackle has become less relevant. [1] [2]

Right tackle

The right tackle (RT) is usually one of the team's best run blockers. [3] Most running plays are towards the strong side (the side with the tight end) of the offensive line. Consequently, the right tackle will face the defending team's best run stoppers. He must be able to gain traction in his blocks so that the running back can find a hole to run through.

Former Minnesota Vikings' offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie 2009-0805-BMcKinnie.jpg
Former Minnesota Vikings' offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie

Left tackle

The left tackle (LT) is usually the team's best pass blocker. [4] Of the two tackles, the left tackles will often have better footwork and agility than the right tackle in order to counteract the pass rush of defensive ends. 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. Right-handed quarterbacks, the majority of players in the position, thus turn their backs to defenders coming from the left side, creating a vulnerable "blind side" that the left tackle must protect. (Conversely, teams with left-handed quarterbacks tend to have their better pass blockers at right tackle for the same reason.)

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. Premier left tackles are now highly sought after, and are often the second highest paid players on a roster after the quarterback; in the 2013 NFL Draft three of the first four picks were left tackles, and usually at least one left tackle is picked in the first five positions. [5] Recent examples include Eric Fisher (2013, 1st overall pick), Luke Joeckel (2013, 2nd overall pick), Lane Johnson (2013, 4th overall pick), Matt Kalil (2012, 4th overall pick), Trent Williams (2010, 4th overall pick), Jake Long (2008, 1st overall pick), and Joe Thomas (2007, 3rd overall pick).

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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. 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.

A trick play, also known as a gadget play, gimmick play or trickeration, is a play in gridiron football that uses deception and unorthodox tactics to fool the opposing team. A trick play is often risky, offering the potential for a large gain or a touchdown if it is successful, but with the chance of a significant loss of yards or a turnover if not. Trick plays are rarely used not only because of the riskiness, but also to maintain the element of surprise for when they are used.

Halfback (American football) Offensive position in American football

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American football positions Positions in American football

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Fullback (gridiron football) Position in American or Canadian football

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3–4 defense American football defensive formation

In American football, the 3–4 defense is a common defensive alignment consisting of three down linemen and four linebackers. It is a called a "base defense" because it is the default defensive alignment used on "base downs". However, defenses will readily switch to other defensive alignments as circumstances change. Alternatively, some defenses use a 4–3 defense.

4–3 defense American football defensive formation

In American football, a 4–3 defense is a defensive alignment consisting of four down linemen and three linebackers. It is called a "base defense" because it is the default defensive alignment used on "base downs". However, defenses will readily switch to other defensive alignments as circumstances change. Alternatively, some defenses use a 3–4 defense.

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.

Jason Smith (American football) American football offensive tackle

Jason Smith is a former American football offensive tackle. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the second overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at Baylor University. Throughout his career, he was a member of the Rams, the New York Jets and the New Orleans Saints.

Defensive tackle Position in American football

A defensive tackle (DT) is a position in American football that will typically line up on the line of scrimmage, opposite one of the offensive guards, however he may also line up opposite one of the tackles. A Defensive Tackle is typically the largest and strongest of the defensive players. Depending on a team's individual defensive scheme, a defensive tackle may be called upon to fill several different roles. 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. If a defensive tackle reads a pass play, his primary responsibility is to pursue the quarterback, or simply knock the pass down at the line if it is within arm's reach. Other responsibilities of the defensive tackle may be to pursue the screen pass or drop into coverage in a zone blitz scheme. In a traditional 4–3 defense, there is no nose tackle. Instead there is a left and right defensive tackle. Some teams, especially in the National Football League (NFL), do have a nose tackle in this scheme, but most of them do not.

A play calling system in American football is the specific language and methods used to call offensive plays.

References

  1. Tucker, Ross. "There is no longer a distinction between left tackles and..." The Athletic. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  2. Thomas, Jeanna (June 28, 2016). "Right tackles matter but still fall behind LTs". SBNation.com. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  3. Burton, Larry. "What's the Difference Between a Right and Left Tackle?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  4. Burton, Larry. "What's the Difference Between a Right and Left Tackle?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  5. Weisman, Larry (March 30, 2009), "Keepers of the blind side: Left tackles the new money position", USA Today
Positions in American football and Canadian football
Offense (Skill position) Defense Special teams
Linemen Guard, Tackle, Center Linemen Tackle, End, Edge rusher Kicking players Placekicker, Punter, Kickoff specialist
Quarterback (Dual-threat, Game manager, System) Linebacker Snapping Long snapper, Holder
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