Offensive tackle


Offensive tackle

In American and Canadian football, offensive tackles (OT, T) are a part of the offensive line. Like other offensive linemen, their job is to block: to physically keep defenders away from the offensive player who has the football.

A tackle is the strong position on the offensive line. They power their blocks with quick steps and maneuverability. The tackles are mostly in charge of the outside protection. If the tight end goes out for a pass, the tackle must cover everyone that his guard doesn’t, plus whoever the tight end isn’t covering. Usually they defend against defensive ends. In the NFL, offensive tackles often measure over 6’4” and 300 pounds.

Right tackle

The right tackle (RT) is usually the team's best run blocker. Most running plays are towards the strong side (the side with the tight end) of the offensive line. Consequently the right tackle will face the defending team's best run stoppers. He must be able to gain traction in his blocks so that the running back can find a hole to run through.Designated as the left and right tackles, they begin each play at the line of scrimmage, to the outside of the guards and to the inside of any tight ends or wide receivers that might be in the play. On running plays, they usually push defenders away to clear a path (or "hole") through which the running back can carry the ball. On passing plays, they usually obstruct onrushing defenders from reaching and sacking the quarterback. They are ineligible receivers, meaning they are not permitted to intentionally touch a forward pass in the air unless it has already been touched by an eligible receiver.

Left tackle

The left tackle (LT) is usually the team's best pass blocker. Of the two tackles, the left tackles will often have better footwork and agility than the right tackle in order to counter-act the pass rush of defensive ends. Most quarterbacks are right-handed and in order to throw, they stand with their left shoulders facing downfield, closer to the line of scrimmage. Thus, they turn their backs to defenders coming from the left side, creating a vulnerable blind spot that the left tackle must protect. Teams with left-handed quarterbacks tend to have their better pass blockers at right tackle for the same reason.

A 2006 book by Michael Lewis, "", sheds much light on the workings of the left tackle position. The book discusses how the annual salary of left tackles in the NFL skyrocketed in the mid-90's. Premier left tackles are now highly sought after commodities, and are often the second highest paid players on a roster after the quarterback.


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Look at other dictionaries:

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