Understanding American Football

Sometimes, understanding all of the football positions on offense and defense can get confusing for new football followers. By understanding the roles of each player on the football field, you will begin to gain a better understanding of the game itself.

In this article you will find the structure of an American Football team, and the description of each player position.

American Football Positions Explained

Organization of a Football Team

Football teams have 45 players in total, however, only 11 players are allowed on the field at any given time. So, you may wonder, why are there so many players running back and forth?

The reason is because the entire football team is divided in 3 different units: the defensive unit, the offensive unit and the special teams. Those three units switch, back and forth, depending on what is happening on the game.

Football Defensive Positions

The defensive unit on a football team consists of three core areas: the defensive line, the linebackers and the secondary—or defensive backfield. They are let by the Defensive Coordinator, along with the Head Coach.

Clearly –as the name suggests– their job is to “defend” their end zone. Players in the defensive unit must stop the opposing teams from advancing down the field and reach their goal line.

Defensive Positions Description

Linebacker in Football

The Linebackers set the standard for every defense by being able to get to the ball before anyone else. The middle linebacker generally makes the defensive calls. They must read plays
and quickly respond.

Linebackers they are normally perceived as leaders. They are tough, strong and speedy.

Cornerbacks in Football

Speed and athleticism are required for the cornerback position. The cornerback lines up across from offensive receivers and attempts to disrupt or intercept the passed ball.

The Cornerback also help by blocking/tackling players when the opposing team tries to get away with a rushing attack.

Safety in Football

They are considered the last life line! Safeties are furthest from the line of scrimmage and their job is to cover pass attacks.