Lineman (football)

From Academic Kids

Missing image
A diagram of the linemen, with defensive linemen in red and offensive linemen in green.

Lineman is a position in American football. (See also American_and_Canadian_football_position_names.) Linemen are the frontline players of the offense or defense of any play during the game. Their job is to use brute force and quick reactions to get their jobs done.




The center is the player who puts the ball into of play. This unit is responsible for getting the ball into play on the right call, plus blocking his assigned man. If anyone on the field moves past the line of scrimmage before the center hikes the ball, they will be called on the foul. But if any offensive lineman flinches, they will be called on false start.


A guard is the man who is set next to the center. The guardís job is mainly speed blocking and pulling. When a guard pulls, he traps the man down on the other side of the line after the offensive lineman blocking him lets him through.


The tackles are the strong position on the line. They power their blocks with quick steps and maneuverability. The tackles are mostly in charge of the outside protection. No one should be able to get past the tackle. If the tight end goes out for a pass, the tackle must cover everyone that his guard isnít, plus what the tight end isnít covering in case his man comes in to make pressure.

Every lineman must cooperate with the play called by the quarterback. Each man has a different job on each play, and each play requires him to do his job correctly in order to be able to complete the play.


Nose guard

The nose guard is an extremely important player of the defense. The nose guard is usually the fastest defensive lineman. They have to be fast in order to shoot the gaps and squeeze their way through. On the other side, they also have to be strong, so that they can stand up their man and read the play.


The defensive tackle is a very valuable player on the team. He must sometime block for a blitzing linebacker, get in his gap, or post up his man and read block. Both nose guard and tackle must be very fast on the play, if a running back gets past a player, all units must be able to stop them on their pursuit angles.

Defensive Ends

The defensive end is like the tight end of the defense. The defensive endís job is to provide pressure on the quarterback and cause problems for the opposing offense. Defensive ends are usually extremely big and fast. They must be able to shed blockers like no other to get to the ball. Defensive ends may also sometimes switch jobs with the tackle on the snap of the ball, and catch the offensive lineman off guard and provide access for both the defensive end and the tackle to the quarterback.

Every defensive lineman has one job. To get in their gap, sit down in the hole, and watch for the play. If the quarterback looks as if he is going to throw, the lineman will pursue and try to sack him in the backfield. But if they are doing a running play, and the defense executed their play correctly, the play will go nowhere. The linebackers usually call the plays on defense to tell all the players where to go on the field. The lineman may shift on the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped as long as they donít cross. Defensive lineman may also double team a player to open up a gap for the linebacker to blitz on.


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