FOOTBALL

101

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OFFENSE

[ PERSONNEL ]

AN NFL OFFENSE CONSISTS OF 11 PLAYERS WHO TRY TO MOVE THE FOOTBALL DOWN THE FIELD TO EITHER GET INTO ITS OPPONENT'S END ZONE OR GET CLOSE ENOUGH TO ATTEMPT TO LICK A FIELD GOAL. ON MOST PLAYS, THE OFFENSE HUDDLES FOR INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LINING UP IN THE RIGHT SPOT ON THE FIELD.

[ QUARTERBACK / QB ]

THE QUARTERBACK, MOST COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS THE "QB", LEADS THE OFFENSE AND CALLS THE PLAYS IN THE HUDDLE. THE QB ALSO WORKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR WHO COMMUNICATES WITH HIM VIA HEADSET DURING THE GAME.

[ PLAYS ]

THE QUARTERBACK STARTS THE PLAY WITH A VERBAL OR PHYSICAL MOTION SUCH AS HAND CLAPS, FOOT STOMPS ETC., WHICH CAUSES PLAYERS TO BEGIN MOVING THROUGHOUT THE FIELD OF PLAY. THIS MOVEMENT CAN INCLUDE THE QB AND CERTAIN OTHER PLAYERS RUNNING WITH THE BALL, THE QB HANDING OFF OR COMPLETING A FORWARD PASS TO CERTAIN OTHER PLAYERS CALLED ELIGIBLE RECEIVERS.

[ RUNNING BACK / RB ]

THE RUNNING BACK - ALSO CALLED A HALFBACK OR TAILBACK - IS TYPICALLY THE PRIMARY BALL CARRIER WHO RECIEVES THE BALL FROM THE QB. THE HALF/TAILBACK IS ALSO NORMALLY THE FASTER OF THE TWO BACKS LINED UP BEHIND THE QB IN A STANDARD FORMATION. ON OFFENSIVE PLAYS, HE EITHER RUNS WITH THE BALL OR TRIES TO CATCH A FORWARD PASS, OR HE REMAINS IN THE BACKFIELD (BEHIND THE LINEMEN) TO BLOCK FOR THE QUARTERBACK

[ FULLBACK ]

THE FULLBACK IS TYPICALLY THE LARGER OF THE TWO BACKS AND FREQUENTLY BLOCKS FOR THE RUNNING BACK OR QUARTERBACK. HE CAN ALSO RUN WITH THE BALL OR CATCH A FORWARD PASS. FULLBACKS USUALLY CARRY THE BALL WHEN A STRONG RUNNING STYLE IS NEEDED. EXAMPLES OF THIS WOULD BE WHEN THE OFFENSE ONLY NEEDS TO GAIN VERY SHORT YARDAGE FOR A FIRST DOWN OR TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN.

[ WIDE RECEIVERS / WR ]

WIDE RECEIVERS ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR SPEED AND ABILITY TO CATCH THE FOOTBALL. THE RECEIVERS LINE UP CLOSE TO THE SIDELINES AND RUN DOWNFIELD TO CATCH PASS FROM THE QUARTERBACK. A TYPICAL FORMATION USES TWO WIDE RECEIVERS. SOM OFFENSES USE UP TO FOUR WIDE RECEIVERS AT ONCE.

[ TIGHT END ]

THE TIGHT END LINES UP ON THE END OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE AND ACTS AS AN EXTRA BLOCKER ON RUNNING PLAYS OR BECOMES A RECEIVER IN PASSING PLAYS. A TYPICAL FORMATION USES ONE TIGHT END, BUT SOME OFFENSES UTILIZE TWO.

[ LINEMEN / CENTER, GUARD, TACKLE ]

THE LINEMEN ARE THE LARGEST MEN ON THE OFFENSE AND DO MOST OF THE BLOCKING. THE CENTER IS THE PLAYER THAT BEGINS THE PLAY BY SNAPPING (HANDING THROUGH HIS LEGS) THE BALL TO THE QUARTERBACK. THE OTHER LINEMAN PLAY SIGNIFICANT ROLES IN THE MOVEMENT AND PROTECTION OF CERTAIN PLAYERS IN THE OFFENSE.

[ CENTER ]

THE OFFENSIVE LINE IS ANCHORED BY THE CENTER, WHO LINES UP IN THE MIDDLE AND SNAPS THE FOOTBALL (HANDS IT TO QB BETWEEN HIS LEGS) TO THE QUARTERBACK TO START EACH OFFENSIVE PLAY. HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMMUNICATING THE BLOCKING SCHEME TO THE OTHER LINEMEN.

[ GUARD ]

TWO GUARDS LINE UP ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CENTER AND BLOCK ONCOMING DEFENDERS ON PASSING PLAYS OR TRY TO OPEN RUNNING LANES FOR THE RUNNING BACK ON RUSHING PLAYS.

[ TACKLES ]

TWO TACKLES LINE UP OUTSIDE THE GUARDS. THE GUARDS PRIMARY JOB IS ASSIST THE GUARDS WITH SOLIDIFYING THE FRONT LINE TO PROTECT THE QUARTERBACK, CREATE LANES FOR THE RUSHERS TO ACCESS AND DIRECT THE OVERALL DIRECTION OF THE PLAY.

[ ELIGIBLE RECEIVERS ]

ONLY PLAYERS WHO ARE "ELIGIBLE" MAY CATCH FORWARD PASSES. THE PERSONNELL CONSIDERED TO ELIGIBLE ARE: RUNNING BACK (RB), FULLBACK (FB), QUARTERBACK (QB) AND WIDE RECEIVERS (WR). ALL PLAYERS MUST START PLAY EITHER AT OR BEHIND THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE.

[ START OF PLAY FROM THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE ]

ONCE LINED UP, THE OFFENSE MUST ALL REMAIN SET FOR AT LEAST ONE FULL SECOND BEFORE SNAPPING THE BALL.

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