Monday, December 7, 2009

Here ComeThe Defensive Linemen: The Paparazzi

So here we are...the Defense! We've learned all about the offense (if you missed any, click on the new links in the right hand column) and now we're ready to move on.

So we have to talk about Tom Brady again for a sec (bummer, i know) in order to truly understand the defensive line. Let's say that our QB Tom is a huge celebrity. Someone like, well, like Tom Brady. Or we can go with Robert Pattinson if you'd like. I'm sure he'd love that. Anyway, we've got our Golden Boy Tom in the center of the action--say he's trying to go get a latte on Robertson Blvd and get a little shopping done. Easy for a normal person. For Robert/Tom, not so much! First we have to equip him with a slew of bodyguards (except this time much bigger and beefier than Kevin Costner) who are his Offensive line (we remember this from our Offense discussion). They are his protectors--big burly guys who foam at the mouth. When the ball is snapped, Tom backs up and his offensive linemen (the ones right in front of him) basically form a protective semi-circle around him (also called the POCKET) to protect him from the big bad defensive linemen on the other side.

Strangely, in this case, the defensive linemen act offensively (in that they are headed straight for the QB and anyone else who tries to go through the "gaps" between them) and the offensive linemen act defensively (in that they are trying to protect, or defend, the QB at all costs). Are we getting it?

Don't worry too much about their individual jobs but here's a little rundown just for fun. The guy in the very middle is the NOSE TACKLE and no, he does not tackle noses. He basically shoves against the center on the other side until someone does something more exciting down field. On either side of him are the DEFENSIVE TACKLES. Their job is to close the "gaps" in the line (see illustration) and make sure no one with the ball gets through. They are known as the "run stoppers." Now, we know that the running backs RUN with the ball, so basically, the tackles are there to stop them. Out on the ends of the line are the DEFENSIVE ENDS. Makes sense, right? Their main job is to attack the QB and put him flat on his face. They are the meanest paparazzi with an agenda. They want Tom to go down. The ends are known as the "pass rushers" meaning that they "rush" (run towards) the guy who passes (throws) the ball.

Now, I don't know about you, but I get really confused by the term "pass." If I ask you to please pass me the sweet potatoes, I don't chuck the stuff at your face from across the room. I hand it to you. In football, "pass" means to throw and "hand off" means to pass. It's all very confusing. I digress.

But that's basically the gist of the defensive line. They want to stop any and all progress towards them and would absolutely love to smash the QB into the ground. If someone does manage to get by them, they have the DEFENSIVE LINEBACKERS to deal with...which we will be covering next!
Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...