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