Football Quarterback

Chapter 8.3

Everyone knows the quarterback (QB). He's arguably the team's most valuable player and often the most expensive. Get ready to learn more about the quarterback, the leader of the offensive unit in football.

Meet The Quarterback (QB)

The quarterback is often a team's most valuable player. He is tasked with touching the ball on every play and gaining yards for his team.

Rookie Road Football Quarterback Image

The Offensive Backfield

The offensive backfield is an area on the field just behind the line of scrimmage.

Rookie Road Football Offensive Backfield Image

The quarterback is considered a back not just because of his name, but also because he is located in the offensive backfield.

Rookie Road Football Quarterback Image

Role In Scrimmage Downs

At the beginning of every scrimmage down, a player in the offensive line called the center will snap the ball to the quarterback to start the play.

Once the quarterback has ball he can do one of three things with it:

  1. Pass the ball.
  2. Hand the ball off to a running back .
  3. Run with the ball himself for a quarterback sneak

Passing Plays

On a passing play, the quarterback will scan the field for an eligible receiver that is open. He will then attempt a forward-pass. If the pass is caught, it is considered a completion. If the pass is dropped or thrown out-of-bounds it is an incompletion.

Learn more about how passing works in football here.

The Pocket

The quarterback stands in an enclosed area called the pocket shielded by players on the offensive line. The pocket is designed to give the quarterback enough time to scan the field to find a receiver to throw a pass to.

Running Plays

On a running play, the quarterback will hand the ball off to a running back to run with. It is then the job of the running back to carry the ball on the field for a gain of yards.

Learn more about how running the ball works in football here.


A quarterback sneak is a play where the quarterback runs with the ball himself on the field. Sometimes, a quarterback sneak is planned, other times it is out of desperation (i.e. no receivers are open for a pass).

Rookie Road Football Quarterback-Sneak Image

It is a risky play, because the quarterback is often a team's most valuable player and he can get injured on the play. On a quarterback sneak, the quarterback usually runs to the sides of the field.

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