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Football Offensive Backfield

Offensive Backfield

The offensive backfield in football is the area of the field behind the line of scrimmage on the side where the offense is. Any player not on the line of scrimmage is considered to be in the offensive backfield. Those players are generally the "backs" like the quarterback, running back, and the fullback. football offensive backfield


The quarterback stands behind the center and takes the snap to begin the play. The quarterback can either be underneath the center or several yards back (shotgun).

Running Back

The running back can either be positioned behind the quarterback or to the side. They receive the ball from the quarterback and then run with it.


Fullbacks are similar to running backs, they line up in the backfield either behind the quarterback or to the side as well. The difference is their primary purpose is to be a blocker.

Formations in the Offensive Backfield

The positions listed above line up in the offensive backfield, but their positioning changes from play to play. The following are commonly used formations within the offensive backfield.


The quarterback (QB) is directly behind the center (C) and there is one running back (RB) several yards behind them


Empty Backfield

The quarterback is the only offensive player in the backfield, the running backs are either lined up elsewhere or replaced for another position.


Instead of a normal shotgun, which is about seven yards, the quarterback is lined up four yards behind the line of scrimmage. Behind the quarterback is the running back, who is lined up another three yards behind.

I Formation

There are three members of the backfield, the quarterback lined up right behind the center, fullback (FB) directly behind the quarterback, and the running back directly behind the fullback.


The only position where the quarterback is not in the backfield. The running back takes the snap instead.

Pro Set

All three members are in the back field, the quarterback is in the shotgun with the fullback on one side and the running back on the other.