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What you need to know about the football tight end?

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A football Tight End is an optional player that lines up on the offensive line of scrimmage. This player is positioned third from the Center and on either side of the offensive line. At times, offenses may implement the use of two Tight Ends, one on either side of the Center.

When playing this position you can either act as a down lineman, meaning that you get set in a three-point stand prior to the snap of the football in preparation to block, or stand straight up and prepare to go for a pass. In either position, you must stay completely still once you’re set prior to the snap of the football.

The size and shape of a typical football Tight End.

The football Tight End is normally a person who is large enough to effectively block a defensive lineman but also agile enough to effectively run a pass pattern and catch the football.

To play this position, you should have both strength and size for down field and offensive line blocking, particularly to defend against large defensive Linebackers.

Speed is not a critical factor to the success of a Tight End as he is primarily a blocker for the Running Backs and Wide Receivers. However, possessing some speed and reasonably good hands in an effort to become a potential target for short passes from the Quarterback is beneficial.

What you need to know about the football tight end?

Utilizing the football Tight End.

Teams utilize the football Tight End position in different ways depending on whether the team has someone that can both catch and block. If the team is fortunate enough to have someone that can do both they have a weapon that can be difficult to contain by the defense.

This individual can be used to either block or be an eligible receiver and run a pass pattern. The Tight End is the only down line man allowed 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage on a pass play.

In key situations where it is critical to get a small amount of yardage the coach may insert two blocking Tight Ends in the play at the same time. When the coach does this he is, more often than not, announcing that the play will be a run with heavy physical contact.

However, be cautious if playing on defense and you see this alignment … the opposition’s coach may just pop one of those Tight Ends over the LOS for a quick pass and catch … particularly when the opposition is near to scoring a touchdown!

The use of a football Tight End gives the quarterback up to 5 receivers to throw the ball to during a pass play. If you’re called upon to be a receiver while playing the Tight End position, you can disguise your intentions by delaying at the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped for a few seconds, acting as if you intend to block, before springing to an open spot on the field for a catch.

This action often gives you more of a chance to be open for the throw since the defensive players will have reacted to the other receivers, leaving an open area on the field for you to find.

Short passing game, then run like a Fullback.

The Tight End is rarely expected to race down the field for a long pass against the more agile and faster defensive backs. Normally the Tight End will only get involved in passing situations where there is the need for short yardage as typical pass plays to the Tight End tend to be more in the 3 to 7 yard range.

Chances are that if you’re a football Tight End you don’t possess the agility or speed to attempt moves to confuse the defenders. Likely, your game is more direct physical contact.

If you catch a pass as a Tight End, your behavior should be more like a Fullback rather than a Wide Receiver – putting your head down, clutching the football with both arms, and pounding your way through the tacklers.

The strong and weak sides of the offensive line.

The side of the offensive line that the football Tight End lines up on is called the “strong side”. This is because the addition of the Tight End to one side or the other offsets the balance of the offensive line.

For example, lining the Tight End up to the right of the Center would give you an offensive line made up of, from left to right, the Tackle, Guard, Center, Guard, Tackle and Tight End.

This is meaningful to both offensive and defensive players. Offensive plays are designed to run to either the strong or weak side. By having an additional player on the right hand side of the line, the defense may attempt to beef up that same side of the line. Or, they may call your bluff and rotate over to the weak side, gambling that you’re team is going to attempt a play to the weak side.

At this point the strategy is like a chess game and your Quarterback needs to take control, adjusting the offense based on the possible plan of attack by the defense. Is the defense going to come on an all-out blitz to the weak side of the line? Or, is the defense going to start the play straight up – only to rotate to the weak side upon the snap of the football?

These are just a few questions your Quarterback has to ask after you’ve declared which side of the offensive line your Tight End will occupy.

Numbers used by the football Tight End.

The jersey football numbers worn by a Tight End is slightly different depending on the level of competition.

In high school and college the numbers can range from 1-49 or 88-99, and in the professional ranks the numbers are normally 80-89 but if those are all taken on a team by other players the tight end could ware 20-49.

If a player is wearing a number that falls outside this numbering scheme wants to line up on the tight end position and be eligible to run a pass route he must first report to the referee before he approaches the line of scrimmage.

Once this player reports in the referee he then becomes a “tackle eligible” receiver.