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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The positioning of the offensive tackles in a formation.

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 ft 4 in (193 cm) and 300 pounds (140 kg).

In the current version of the A-11 offense, offensive tackles are known as "anchors," and have a significantly different role.[1]

According to Sports Illustrated football journalist Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman, Offensive Tackles consistently achieve the highest scores, relative to the other positional groups, on the Wonderlic Test, with an average of 26. The Wonderlic is taken before the draft to assess each player's aptitude for learning and problem solving; a score of 26 is estimated to correspond with an IQ of 112.

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.

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, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, 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; at least one left tackle is almost always picked with one of the first five positions in the NFL Draft.

Further reading

  1. ^ Bryan, Kurt (2009-08-23). ANCHORS are the NEW Position in Football. From the Desk of Kurt Bryan. Retrieved 2009-09-06.

Jeremy Mumford


Simple English

[[File:|thumb|250px|The positioning of the offensive tackles in a play.]] In American and Canadian football, offensive tackles (OT, T) are a part of the offensive line. As is other offensive linemen, their job is to block the players on the defense from getting to the offensive player who has the football.

Positions in American football and Canadian football
Offense Defense Special teams
Linemen Guard, Tackle, Center Linemen Tackle, End, Nose tackle Kicking players Placekicker, Punter, Kickoff specialist
Quarterback Linebackers Snapping Long snapper, Holder
Backs Halfback, Fullback, H-back Backs Cornerback, Safety Returning Punt returner, Kick returner
Receivers Wide receiver, Tight end, Slotback Nickelback, Dimeback Tackling Gunner
Formations - Nomenclature


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