Guards in football are offensive players who protect the ball carrier from the opposing team’s defenders. Offensive guards are responsible for guarding the quarterback on passing plays as well as for protecting the halfback on running plays.
On any given play, there are two guards on the field, as they work on the interior of the offensive line.
Guards are also one of the few offensive positions that do not touch the ball.
Here are the main responsibilities of guards when they are on the field, as we discussed earlier.
In contrast to offensive tackles, guards are not evaluated primarily on their pass blocking abilities.
Running blocking is extremely important as a guard, since running backs typically run in the gaps created by the guards. Running between the tackles is the most common way to run a football. The halfback will either have a guard on his left or right side when he runs through a gap in the line if he goes between the tackles.
Also, with a running back running outside the tackle, it is common for the guard to become a lead blocker. In these plays, the guard “pulls” and runs out of his position.
Watching football, you will notice that most great rushing offenses have high-quality guards leading the charge.
On passing plays, guards are responsible for ensuring that no defensive players penetrate the inside of their line. Pass protection is not as scrutinized as tackles, but it is still a very important element of the game.
Guards have to deal with both blitzing defenders and defensive tackles, who are the largest and heaviest players in football.
When blocking especially skilled or strong defensive tackles, guards and centers often work together as a “double team.”
When it comes to pass protection, a guard often takes a few quick steps to take on an incoming pass rusher and this is one of the most important aspects of being a guard.
Guards are often assigned a certain area to block, so they may not know which player is on their assignment and will have to react quickly when the player is identified.
Guards are the most important position on the offensive line when it comes to running blocking. On these plays, guards’ quick feet allow them to beat the ball carrier to the second level of defense.
Blocking downfield effectively can lead to some huge offensive plays.
This is an obvious trait for any football player, but it is especially important for guards. They are typically tasked with blocking the largest players on the field, the defensive ends.
Additionally, on running plays guards may have to move these defensive linemen to open up a hole for the halfback in order to stop these players.
A guard’s grit is a very important aspect of his game. Guards play in one of the most grueling areas of the field. The battle between defensive linemen and offensive linemen is a difficult one, and guards must face it every day.
In addition, guards do not have the fanfare of offensive tackles and do not touch the ball every play.
You must have the grit to fight it out in the trenches without much appreciation to play the guard position in football.
In most cases, guards are slightly shorter than offensive tackles but overall have a very similar build to offensive tackles.
In order to compete with heavier defensive positions like tackles, they must maintain a large amount of weight. As guards must be able to maintain speed when blocking downfield or pulling, they are typically lighter than tackles and centers.
Guards are always positioned in the same position on the football field. There is always one left guard and one right guard.
Guards are lined up inside tackles and outside of the center, which means the left guard will be one position to the right of the left tackle, and the right guard will be one spot to the left of the right tackle.
Thanks for reading our guide to offensive guards in football. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us in the comments below.