If you are new to football, or just new to the position, you may want to know how to play football as a tight end. The tight end position in football requires the player to be a good blocker and receiver, and to be a reliable target for the quarterback. Here are some tips for how to play the tight end position in football:
- Learn the playbook to know your routes and assignments. All football players have specific responsibilities on each play. The tight end can line up in different places: on either side of the offensive line, in the backfield or even standing up as a receiver. Playing such a versatile position means it is important to understand the tight end's role for each individual play.
- Develop blocking technique like a lineman. When the tight end blocks, typically he does so alongside the offensive line. For most running and for the occasional pass play, the tight end stays close to the line to block defenders. A good blocking tight end can be as effective as a sixth offense lineman, creating a significant advantage for the offense.
- Run precise routes. Good receiving tight ends follow their assigned routes, so the quarterback will know where they will be on the field. Being in the proper position on pass plays makes the tight end a consistent target on passing plays.
- Catch with good technique. Using your hands to snatch the ball from the air is more effective than trapping it against your body. Becoming proficient at catching with the hands helps a tight end catch a poorly-thrown football.
- Make adjustments to broken plays. The tight end is the main safety valve for the quarterback. If forced to scramble to avoid being sacked, the quarterback needs receivers to improvise and get open. When necessary, break off the assigned route, running the same direction as the quarterback, back towards the quarterback to give him a good target.
It is important to develop knowledge of all tight end skills, even if you are superior in other areas of the game.