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Football Offensive Line

What is an offensive line? What are the positions of the offensive line in football? Get ready to learn all about football offensive lines.

Offensive Line

The offensive line in football is a group of five players on the offense:

football-offensive-line

The offensive line is positioned on the line of scrimmage at the start of every down.

The offensive line is responsible for:

Football Center

The center is a lineman in the middle of the offensive line. He stands opposite the nose tackle of the defensive line and is responsible for leading the defense, snapping the ball to the quarterback, and blocking.

football-center

PRO TIP: The center stands in an area of the field called the neutral zone. No player other than the center can enter the neutral zone before the snap or else it will result in a penalty called encroachment.

Football Left Guard

The left guard is the offensive lineman to left of the center. He stands opposite the right tackle of the defensive line. Offensive guards should be talented and strong blockers to hold their spots and clear routes for ball carriers.

Football Right Guard

The right guard is the offensive lineman to the right of the center. He stands opposite the left tackle of the defensive line. Offensive guards should be talented and strong blockers to hold their spots and clear routes for ball carriers.

Offensive Tackle

An offensive tackle is one of two linemen in the offensive line:

Football Left Tackle

The left tackle is the linemen on the left side of the offensive line. Tackles are generally the biggest and most athletic of linemen, allowing them to push away the best defenders on opposing teams.

IMPORTANT: There is also a left tackle position in the defensive line, but do not confuse the two.

Football Right Tackle

The right tackle is the linemen on the right side of the offensive line. Tackles are generally the biggest and most athletic of linemen, allowing them to push away the best defenders on opposing teams.

IMPORTANT: There is also a right tackle position in the defensive line, but do not confuse the two.

Football Pocket

The offensive line counters the defensive line and creates an enclosed area called the pocket for the quarterback to stand in. A strong offensive line shields the quarterback from being hit by defensive players, allowing the quarterback enough time to make a good pass.

False Start

A false start happens when a player crosses the line of scrimmage before the snap. Linemen must be careful not to step over the scrimmage line before the snap, or they will be called for a false start penalty resulting in a loss of 5 yards.

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