In football, there are several defenders who have the sole purpose of tackling the quarterback before he throws the ball.
However, before reaching the quarterback, these defenders have to get past a number of players who are protecting him.
Among the players who protect the quarterback in football are defensive tackles, offensive guards, the center, tight ends, and running backs. Offensive linemen are mostly responsible for protecting the quarterback.
In football, the offensive players protect the quarterback by creating a “pocket” in the offensive backfield so that the quarterback can throw the ball.
For a quarterback to throw a downfield pass, the offensive line will form a semi-circle around him and physically block any defenders attempting to reach him.
In Football, Which Positions Protect the Quarterback?
A few skill positions may also chip in when protecting the quarterback, including the offensive line, which consists of three separate positions.
This position is arguably the most significant on the offensive line. Two offensive tackles will line up on either end. Their goal is to prevent outside rushers from getting around their semi-circle.
It will be impossible for a defender to reach the quarterback if he is able to get around the offensive tackle.
In addition, since outside edge defenders are on the outside of the offensive line, they have to protect the largest area of the field. Outside edge defenders can work their way inside or work their way around the outside of the tackle.
To hold these powerful defenders at a distance, tackles must be quick on their feet and possess long reach.
As a result of its importance, this position is usually the highest paid on offense.
There are two offensive guards on the offensive line, like offensive tackles, who protect the quarterback.
Between the offensive tackle and the center, this position lines up inside the offensive line.
As part of the offensive line, guards will line up inside the semicircle made to protect the quarterback.
Any player on the defense attempting to rush through this portion of the field will be stopped by the guards.
Because they are in the interior, they will typically be facing interior defensive linemen. These players on defense are incredibly strong and heavy, so guards need to be quite strong and heavy.
As you may have guessed, the center is the last position in the offensive line that protects the quarterback.
In this position, the center snaps the ball between his legs towards the quarterback, then stands up and blocks the defenders.
As the center is in the middle of the defensive line, they must take on an interior defensive lineman. Since these players are so strong, offensive guards and centers often work together to protect the quarterback.
If a defensive lineman poses a threat to the quarterback, the center and guard will often double-team him.
Tight ends are one of the few positions on the offensive line that protect the quarterback.
Tight ends can be considered a hybrid of wide receivers and offensive linemen. When protecting the quarterback, tight ends usually line up beside the offensive tackle.
In many cases, these players will assist the offensive tackle in blocking the outside pass rushers when the play begins.
It’s common for the outside pass rushers to be the most skilled players trying to rush the quarterback. Bringing in the tight end so the tackle doesn’t have to match up against the outside rusher can make life a lot easier for the offense.
The tight end may perform a chip block on an outside pass rusher before running down the field on a receiving route on occasion.
It won’t stop the pass rusher entirely, but it will help out the offensive tackle.
The running back is the last position that protects the quarterback.
Running backs are primarily known for their ability to catch passes and run with the ball.
It is possible that these players will be tasked with waiting in the backfield to assist the quarterback on passing plays.
Unlike quarterbacks, running backs will not line up in a semi-circle protecting the quarterback during the play. Instead, these players will wait in the backfield with the quarterback.
A defender who finds their way through the offensive line will find this running back waiting for them.
It is common for pass rushers to use low blocks in order to bring running backs down since they are generally larger.
We have concluded our guide on which players protect the quarterback in football.
Pass protection may also occasionally be provided by fullbacks and wide receivers.