Do You Have a Favorite Position?

Quarterback or Cornerback? Sound alike…BIG difference.  Learn the football player positions below!



Defense: wants the ball, trying to keep the offense from scoring.

Offense: has the ball, trying to score.

There are 11 players from each team on the field. That’s 22 positions to keep straight during a game! But you CAN do it!


Lets start with OFFENSE.


  • The Quarterback calls the plays and sets the plays in motion.
  • Usually the Quarterback is the leader and most visible member of the team.
  • The Quarterback will either pass the ball to a Receiver or hand the ball to a Running Back.

Offensive Line:

  • The Offensive Line sets up a protective wall against the Defense so that the Quarterback has time to make his move.
  • The Offensive Line also tries to open up holes for the Running Back to run through.

The Offensive Line consists of the

  • Center who hikes the ball to the Quarterback.
  • Guards on either side of the center to GUARD the middle.
  • Tackles on the outside to TACKLE anyone coming through the line.

Tight End:

  • Usually lines up on the Offensive Line but can also receive a pass from the Quarterback.

Wide Receiver:

  • This player lines up WIDE on the outside of the field, and RECEIVES the ball when the Quarterback throws it.
  • Wide Receivers are typically tall and fast.

Running Back:

  • This player lines up in the BACK of the field, and RUNS with the ball when it’s handed off by the Quarterback.

There are 2 types of Running Backs:

  • The Halfback (sometimes called Tailback) uses speed and agility to allude defensive players.
  • The Fullback uses power and strength to burst through the defensive players.


RECAP: The Quarterback, protected by the Offensive Line (the Center, Guards, and Tackles), can either pass to a Wide Receiver, pass to the Tight End, or hand the ball to a Running Back.


Alright, Half Time!  Not so bad right?

Now let’s move on to DEFENSE.

Here is the chart again for you to reference.


Defensive Line:

  • The Defensive Line creates a wall to keep the Offense from moving the ball forward.
  • They must stop a Running Back carrying the ball, or get to the Quarterback before he passes the ball.
  • The Defensive Line consists of Defensive Tackles in the middle and Defensive Ends on the end.


  • These guys BACK up the Defensive LINE.
  • Middle Linebacker in the middle.
  • Outside Linebackers on the outside.
  • The Outside Linebackers have more speed to get to the Quarterback. When they go after the Quarterback full-speed, it’s known as The Blitz.

Defensive Backs, also known as The Secondary:

  • Defensive Backs are in the very BACK of the field.
  • They are responsible for covering passes and deep runs.

There are 2 types of Defensive Backs:

  • Cornerback covers a Wide Receiver and tries to intercept the ball.
  • Safety is the last line of defense. Sometimes this position can be further defined as Strong Safety (stronger) and Free Safety (faster). The Safety defends against deep passes and runs.


  • Place Kicker: Kicks the ball when it’s held in place by another player or holder.  ex. Field Goals and Kickoffs
  • Punter: Must drop the ball himself and kick it away, usually performed on 4th Downs. (For an explanation of Downs, click here.)


Extra Point:

  • The Defense can also score in Football. For instance, if the Cornerback breaks up the pass to a Wide Receiver and actually catches the ball himself, he can then run toward his own goal line. If he crosses into the End Zone, Touchdown!


Category: Football