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Football Nose Tackle

Football Nose Tackle
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What is the Nose Tackle in Football?

In football, the nose tackle is a defensive lineman that lines up in the center of the defensive line. The nose tackle, also called the defensive tackle, is situated between the left and right ends on the defensive line and opposite the center on the offensive line. The nose tackle is often called the ‘anchor’ of the defense as they are the first line of defense on the defensive line.


The nose tackle’s primary goal is to collapse in on the offensive line and attack the quarterback and running back. They are called nose tackles because they are often “nose to nose” with the football. Nose tackles aim to jam up the offensive line so they cannot gain any yards down the field. Nose tackles rarely get sacks on the quarterback, but they are the primary run-stoppers of the defense. Most nose tackles lack statistical excellence as the position does not put them in a place to dominate statistically. However, it is an important position as the difference between a good and bad nose tackle is notable.

Notable Nose Tackles

  • Jerry Ball
  • Michael Carter
  • Terrence Cody
  • Curley Culp
  • Aubrayo Franklin
  • Greg Gaines
  • Antonio Garay
  • Kelly Gregg
  • Casey Hampton
  • Charlie Johnson
  • Sione Pouha
  • B.J. Raji
  • Jay Ratliff
  • Fred Smerlas
  • Grover Stewart
  • Phil Taylor
  • Henry Thomas
  • Vince Wilfork
  • Ted Washington
  • Vince Wilfork
  • Jamal Williams
  • Pat Williams
  • Bill Willis


What is a nose tackle in football?

The nose tackle in football is the defensive lineman who lines up in the middle of the defensive line. Nose tackles are typically employed in 3-4 or two-gap defensive schemes, in which they are responsible for guarding the two gaps between themselves and the defensive ends on either side of them. The nose tackle anchors the defense, playing directly opposite the center on offense.

What is the difference between a defensive tackle and nose tackle?

A nose tackle is a type of defensive tackle in a 3-4 scheme that is paired with two defensive ends on the defensive line. A defensive tackle is the overarching position that refers to the innermost players on the defensive line. Defensive tackles are flanked on either side by defensive ends.

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