NFL Football Positions
To play particular NFL football positions one must have a very specific and unique skill set. Athletes at this level are strong, fast, durable and are able to consistently outperform their opponent on the other side of the ball through either force or skill.
- Quarterback. This is the most well-known and important position on the field. The quarterback is the team’s offensive leader and must make multiple decisions on every play, from potentially calling an audible at the line of scrimmage to reading the defense to knowing where to throw the ball. Very few teams win without a good quarterback, the most important of NFL football positions.
- Center. The center is the anchor of the offensive line, one of the most demanding of NFL football positions. The center must read the defense and call out blocking assignments to his line mates. He is responsible for quickly and smoothly snapping the ball to the quarterback and either providing rock-steady pass protection, or efficient run blocking.
- Strong Safety. The strong safety is one of two safeties on the field, and is one of the last lines of defense. Unlike his partner, the free safety, the strong safety sometimes is asked to play close to the line of scrimmage and provide support against the run. At other times he is asked to cover a tight end or running back on pass routes. It’s one of the most challenging of NFL football positions.
- Outside Linebacker. The outside linebacker position has evolved to be a player who gets a lot of attention from rushing the passer, particularly in a 3-4 defense. This player must be strong and agile enough to either run through or around a typically massive offensive tackle and at other times he must drop back into coverage. Of all NFL football positions on defense, this may require the most athleticism.
- Running Back. The running back is often the “work horse” of the offense, carrying the ball into sometimes 20 to 30 times a game and giving his body up to a vicious beating. Establishing a good running game is important for offensives balance, and a quality running back who can avoid injury is invaluable. Of all NFL football positions, the running back is the one to wear out and break down most quickly.
- Nose Tackle. This player is right over the center in a 3-4 defense and he doesn’t get a lot of credit for doing his job well. He won’t rack up a lot of sacks, but a good nose tackle will occupy the center and maybe even a guard, helping to stuff the run and free up the linebackers behind him to flow to the ball quickly. Of all NFL football positions, it’s one of the least glamorous.