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NFL – 1985 – NFL Films Special Feature – The Offensive Tackle – The Unknown Soldiers Of Pro Football


Tackle is a playing position in American and Canadian football. Historically, in the one-platoon system prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries….a tackle played on both offense and defense. In the modern system of specialized units….offensive tackle and defensive tackle are separate positions….and the stand-alone term “tackle” refers to the offensive tackle position only. The offensive tackle (OTT) is a position on the offensive line both on the left and right side. Like other offensive linemen….their job is to block….which is to physically keep defenders away from the offensive player who has the football….and enable him to advance the football….and eventually score a touchdown. 

The right tackle (RT) is usually the team’s best run blocker.….as most running plays are towards the strong side….which is the side with the tight end of the offensive line….therefore, the right tackle will face the defending team’s best run stoppers….and he must be able to gain traction in his blocks so that the running back can find a hole to run through.

The left tackle (LT) is usually the team’s best pass blocker…..and of the two tackles….the left tackles will often have better footwork and agility than the right tackle in order to counteract the pass rush of defensive ends. When a quarterback throws a forward pass….the quarterback’s shoulders are aligned roughly perpendicular to the line of scrimmage….with the non-dominant shoulder closer to downfield…. so, right-handed quarterbacks thus turn their backs to defenders coming from the left side….creating a vulnerable “blind side” that the left tackle must protect….conversely, teams with left-handed quarterbacks tend to have their better pass blockers at right tackle for the same reason.

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