Sample Essay

The offense consists of linemen, the Quarterback, tailback, fullback, wide receiver and tight end. The tailback and fullback are both two kinds of running backs. (American Football Positions, American Football)

The offensive line is a unit of five blockers, or linemen. The count can be six if the tight end is considered part of the offensive line. These guys usually have strong builds and their primary function is to block the defense from getting to the passer and to clear the way for runners by making holes in the defense line.  The offensive line consists of a Center, two Guards, two Tackles and one or two Tight ends. (Football Offense, American Football Positions)

The player at the center position performs the normal blocking functions of all linemen and puts the ball in play by means of a snap.

In a balanced line, i.e. a line with equal number of players on both sides of the snapping player, there is one guards on either side of the center, and inside the tackles. The guards’ role is to block on both running and passing plays. “On some plays, rather than blocking straight ahead, a guard will ‘pull’ – moving around behind the other offensive linemen upon the start of the play – in order to block a player on either side of the center, in an inside running play called a ‘trap’ or an outside running play called a ‘sweep’”. (American Football Positions)

In a balanced line, the tackles are positioned on either side of the guards. They block both running and passing players. “The area from one tackle to the other is an area of “close line play” in which some blocks from behind, which are prohibited elsewhere on the field, are allowed. For a right-handed quarterback, the left tackle is charged with protecting the blind side, and is often faster than the other offensive linemen to stop ‘speed rushers’ at the Defensive End position. Like a guard, the tackle may have to “pull”, on a running play, when there is a tight end on his side.” (American Football Positions)

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