What are Football Positions?
Football positions are used to define the role of each player on the field at a given time. Positions indicate approximately where each player should be lined up prior to the start of a play. Due to the responsibilities associated with each spot, skill sets and physical attributes vary across positions.
List of Positions
The offense's goal is to move the ball down the field by gaining yards and ultimately score a touchdown (worth 6 points) or field goal (worth 3 points). Each position within the offense is listed below:
- Quarterback (QB)
- Running Back (RB)
- Fullback (FB)
- Wide Receiver (WR)
- Tight End (TE)
- Left/Right Offensive Tackle (LT/RT)
- Left/Right Offensive Guard (LG/RG)
The defense is in charge of preventing the offense from scoring, either by stopping the offense from gaining yards and forcing a punt or by creating turnovers (interceptions and fumbles). Each position within the defense is listed below:
- Defensive Tackle (DT)
- Defensive End (DE)
- Middle Linebacker (MLB)
- Left/Right Outside Linebacker (LOLB/ROLB)
- Cornerback (CB)
- Free Safety (FS)
- Strong Safety (SS)
The special teams unit has a number of responsibilities. These include tacking on extra points following a touchdown (worth 1 point), scoring field goals (worth 3 points) and kicking the ball away to the opposing team on kickoffs and punts. Each position within the special teams unit is listed below.
Similar offensive and defensive positions are often grouped together to form a 'unit.' Positions that fall within the same unit tend to work together during practice, with a coach that specializes in each particular grouping overseeing the players. The three main defensive groupings are defensive line (DT's and DE's), linebackers (MLB's and OLB's) and secondary (CB's, Safeties). The offense is generally divided into four units: the offensive line, wide receivers and tight ends, quarterbacks and running backs. Grouping similar positions into one category helps teams stay organized when preparing for a game and allows players to seamlessly transition into a slightly different position if needed.