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List of American Football Positions

American football positions are divided into two main categories: offense and defense. There are also special teams players, who are on the field during kickoffs, punts, field goals and extra points.


The offense is responsible for scoring points by moving the ball down the field and into the end zone. 


The quarterback is the leader of the offense and is responsible for calling plays and throwing the ball to wide receivers, tight ends, running backs, or running it himself.

Running back

Running backs are responsible for running with the ball and catching passes from the quarterback.

Wide receiver

Wide receivers are responsible for lining up on the outside of the field and catching passes from the quarterback.

Tight end

Tight ends are a hybrid between wide receivers and offensive linemen. They can line up next to the offensive line and block, or they can split out wide and catch passes.

Offensive lineman

Offensive linemen are responsible for blocking defenders so that the quarterback has time to throw the ball and the running back has room to run. There are five offensive linemen: the center, the left guard, the right guard, the left tackle, and the right tackle.


The defense is responsible for stopping the offense from scoring points. 

Defensive tackle 

Defensive tackles line up on the inside of the defensive line and are responsible for stopping the running back and putting pressure on the quarterback.

Defensive end 

Defensive ends line up on the outside of the defensive line and are responsible for stopping the running back, putting pressure on the quarterback, and dropping back into coverage to defend against passes.


Linebackers line up behind the defensive line and are responsible for stopping the running back, covering tight ends and running backs, and rushing the quarterback.

Defensive back 

Defensive backs are responsible for covering wide receivers and tight ends. There are two main types of defensive backs: cornerbacks and safeties. Cornerbacks typically cover wide receivers, while safeties cover tight ends and deep passes.

Special teams

Special teams players are responsible for kicking and field goals. 


Kickers are responsible for kicking field goals and extra points.


Punters are responsible for punting the ball away to the other team when the offense is unable to gain enough yards to move the ball down the field.

Long snapper

Long snappers are responsible for snapping the ball to the holder on punts and field goals.


Holders are responsible for holding the ball for the kicker on field goals.

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