How quickly life distracts. The past few weeks have been INSANELY busy for me, but I’m ready to jump back into the matter at hand. I left you thinking about the quarterback and the center, one of which may not seem to be responsible for much. And we found out that things aren’t always as they seem.
Today I’m going to talk a little about guards and tackles, who along with the center, complete the offensive line (minus a tight end, who we’ll discuss later). These guys aren’t the most sculpted men on a football team. You might look at these guys and think they are not athletically inclined. However, it takes a big man with quick feet to protect the quarterback from pass rushers (defensive ends who seek to sack the quarterback or cause him to lose the football) or open running lanes for running backs to gain yardage.
Guards line up next to the center on the O-line. Tackles line up outside the guards. (I diagrammed an O-line in my last blog). Guards are generally responsible for blocking defensive players from making contact with the ball carrier, whether it be the Quarterback or a running back.
Tackles are huge men with a huge job. Because they line up on the ends of the offensive line, they are responsible for ensuring that defensive players do not come around the outside of the line (this is called “sealing off” the line) to sack the quarterback or another ball carrier. You may have seen or heard the story of the movie THE BLIND SIDE. The main character of this movie, Michael Oher, is a left tackle for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The left tackle is one of the best athletes on the field. Since most quarterbacks are right-handed, they have their back turned to the left side of the field as they prepare to run a play. It is the left tackle’s job to be sure the quarterback is not taken off guard by a pass rusher that the QB doesn’t see coming. As long as the tackle contains defensive players, he can open up the outer edge of the field for big plays. However, most running plays are drawn up to go inside the tackles. Plays that are drawn to send the runner to the outside of the tackle are usually sent to the “strong side,”–the side of the field where the tight end (basically another blocker on the offensive line) lines up.
I hope you guys are enjoying this football season. I’m always super excited when fall is in the air because football is in the air. See ya next time!!!