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The Offense

Consists of an offensive line, a backfield, and wide receivers. The offense works together to advance the ball toward the end zone.

Center - Lines up in the center between the guards. Snaps the ball between his legs to the quarterback and then "blocks" the defensive line.

Guards - Line up on either side of the center. They block on passing plays and try to push back the defensive line to open holes for the running backs.

Tackles - Positioned outside of the guards on the offensive line. Their main objective is to block on running plays, and protect the quarterback on passing plays.

Tight Ends - Fill out the end of the offensive line. They act as blockers and also as pass receivers.

Wide Receivers (or Wide-outs) - Usually the fastest players on the team, they line up wide of the offensive line toward the sidelines, and run patterns to catch passes from the quarterback.

Running Backs (Halfbacks and Fullbacks) - Positioned behind the quarterback in the offensive backfield. As the teams primary ball carriers, they use speed and strength to "rush" the ball downfield.

Quarterback - Stands directly behind the center. As the offensive leader on the field, he calls the plays, takes the snap, and then runs, passes, or hands off the football to a running back.

The Defense

Consists of a defensive line and a "secondary." Defenders try to prevent the offense from advancing the football toward their end zone.

Nose Guard - Plays directly opposite the offensive center. His primary job is to prevent runners from advancing through the middle of the defensive line.

Defensive Tackles - Line up on either side of the nose guard. They try to pressure and tackle the quarterback on pass plays and stop running plays up the middle.

Defensive Ends - Positioned on either side of the defensive tackles. Ends try to stop ball-carriers moving to the outside and also rush the quarterback on pass plays.

Linebackers - Play in the secondary behind the defensive line. Linebackers fill any holes that an advancing ball carrier might slip through and will also "blitz" the quarterback on some passing plays.

Defensive Backs (Deep backs, safeties, and cornerbacks) - Part of the defensive secondary. They are the last line of defense before the end zone and thus cover long running and pass plays