The Basics : The Players

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Your absolute basic guide to who is on the field

Offensive Players:

The Quarterback (QB): The guy who gets all the glory and all of the criticism, too. He orchestrates the Offense, throwing or handing the ball off to other members of the Offense in order to score points.

The Center (C): He’s the guy who snaps the ball to the quarterback. It’s important to know who he is because he handles the ball on every play and is usually a key to the whole Offensive system.

The Offensive Guards and Offensive Tackles (RT, LT, RG, LG): The four other guys who, along with the Center, comprise the Offensive Line and keep the Defense at bay. They’re often burly.

The Running Backs (RB): The Running Back lines up behind the QB. He receives a handoff, looks for holes in the Defense (“open lanes”), and tries to plow through for as many yards as possible. There are other varieties of this position – Fullbacks, Halfbacks, Tailbacks – but the one you’ll see most often is the Running Back.

The Tight Ends (TE): The tight end can either block the Defense or catch the ball. He’s all about versatility.

The Wide Receivers (WR): These are the guys who run down the field and make spectacular catches. They insight cheers and groans depending on which team you are rooting for.


Defensive Players:

The Defensive LineEnds and Tackles (DE, DT): These guys form the first line of protection, going head to head against the Offensive Line, which is lined up directly across from them. They can also be quite burly.

The Linebackers (LB): Linebackers defend against the pass but can also move up to the Defensive Line to protect against a running play.

The Cornerbacks (CB) and The Safeties (S): Commonly referred to as the “Secondary” or the Defensive Backs, these players cover passing plays and protect the end zone. They are also most often at the receiving end of a “pass interferencepenalty.


The Special Teams Unit:

The only player to know on this unit is the Kicker (K), who kicks field goals and extra points. Other than that, the Special Teams unit handles kickoffs and…well, that’s pretty much it. But it’s an important job, even if it isn’t the most lucrative, because a lot of crazy things can happen when Special Teams is on the field.