The Icons In Their Game

By: Jim Brown

Sportsmen are highly admired for their talent and skills. These personalities create a certain impact on their fans and on society itself. They are looked up to as icons, as heroes and for some, as role models.

Football players in America are not an exception. Players in the football offence have so far gained the most popularity because of their contribution when it comes to scoring points, making them a crucial part of the football team.

A standard American football team consists of five players on the offensive side, a center player, two offensives and two guards, who each clears the runners' way through blocking the defensive team, thereby protecting the passer. Linemen on the offensive, except the center player, are not in-charge of the ball in most cases. When the game starts, the center player transfers the ball backwards and presses it between the legs. As a rule, the center player also advances the ball to the quarterback teammate.

Generally, the quarterback player receives the ball and then hands or tosses it unto teammates by running back possibly with the ball to himself or thrown to a teammate-receiver. American football's running backs situate themselves behind the quarterback. The running backs are considered the speediest runners. The running backs are also tops in blocking, rebound passing and passing the ball over to fellow teammates. The American football has running backs called halfbacks or tailbacks whose specialized skills are in catching passes and rebounding. They either play as the wide receivers who try to catch the passes. Like the linemen of the offensive side, each halfback or tailback basically protects quarterbacks or create spaces for their team's runners.

While the player types are considered the most usual set in football games, they are actually not strictly required for offensive plays. Football clubs apply certain modifications, such as the tight ends, the number of players who serve as running backs and the wide pitch receivers at one time.

The American football defensive line opposite the offensive team, meanwhile, is composed of three players to five, a defensive tackle or two and the rest a nose guard and defensive ends. The defensive line of players tries to stop and tackle the other team's running backs prior to getting other players or "yardage" to be able to make a pass.

There are at least four players who serve as defensive backs. Defensive backs' goal is to try to stop "pass completions" and cover the receivers. These players rush quarterbacks occasionally.

Still other players that make up the defensive line are technically called linebackers. The linebackers position themselves between the backs and defensive line. They also cover those who are more likely to receive the ball or rush quarterbacks. These players are best known for their skill in tackling or stopping rush plays within the game.

Linebackers are characterized into middle and outside linebackers. More on the dives and powers aspect of game play, the middle linebackers' position is almost always at middle while outside linebackers take charge of "misdirection runs" or simply "outside runs."

Besides the usual lineup of football players, there is a special football unit handling kicking plays. These special teams are made up of specialized players including the place kicker or simply the kicker who attempts to field goals and gain extra points and entrusted for various kicks off. The punter, meanwhile, is in charge of punts.

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