What Are the Offensive and Defensive Positions on a Football Team?

Offensive Positions

There are 11 player positions on a football team’s offense:

  • Quarterback: Receives the ball from the centre at the start of each play before either handing it to the running back, throwing it to a receiver or running with it himself. The quarterback is usually the player in charge of calling the offence on the field.
  • Halfback: Lines up in the backfield and generally is responsible for carrying the ball on run plays. A running back’s primary role is to run the football, he is also used as a receiver at times.
  • Fullback: Lines up in the offensive backfield and generally is responsible for run-blocking for the halfback and pass-blocking for the quarterback. Fullbacks are usually bigger than halfbacks, and also serve as short-yardage runners.
  • Wide receiver: Lines up on or near the line of scrimmage, but split to the outside. His primary job is to catch passes from the quarterback.
  • Tight end: Serves as a receiver and also a blocker. The tight end lines up beside the offensive tackle either to the right or to the left of the quarterback.
  • Offensive tackle: A member of the five-player offensive line. There are two tackles on every play, and they line up on the outside of the offensive guards.
  • The offensive guard is one of the five players on the offensive line. Every play has two guards, who line up on either side of the offensive centre.
  • At the outset of each play, the centre hikes (or snaps) the ball to the quarterback. The centre positions up between the offensive guards in the middle of the offensive line and frequently distributes play calls and offensive responsibilities to the other linemen.

Positions of Offense

On a football team’s defence, there are 11 player positions:

  • Defensive end: These two players are on the defensive line’s outside edges. Their job is to break through the offensive line and either target the quarterback or stop the running game.
  • Defensive tackle: These two players play on the defensive line’s inside and are meant to stop the offensive line from moving forward.
  • Linebacker: A backup linebacker is one of three or four players who line up behind the defensive line. There will be outside, interior, and middle linebackers depending on the play.
  • On offence, these two line up opposite the wide receiver to prevent runners from advancing and put pressure on the quarterback from the outside.
  • Safety: These players line up behind the linebackers and are tasked with stopping the long throw and the deep run.
  • Special Forces Units
  • A football team will include a few designated “special teams” players in addition to the offence and defence. During kickoffs, punt returns, and extra points, these players take the field.

Field goal and extra point kickers, as well as the starting kickoff, are all handled by the kicker.
Punter: A punter is the kicker’s counterpart who kicks the ball to the other team after his team has given up the ball on downs or scored.
Long snapper: This athlete snaps the ball to the punter and is maybe the most underappreciated position on the field.
Players who return punts and kicks are known as return specialists. Some players take on both responsibilities, while others just take on one.