6 Football Positions Every Beginner Should Know

When starting to play football, there are some things every beginner should know. One of these things is some basic football positions.


The quarterback is probably the most underappreciated position in football. Many people don’t realize how much they need to know about this position. They simply believe that they can “turn the ball over” and “sit back and watch the receivers go down the field.” Actually, the first thing you have to do is learn to read coverages and how to run your plays. Without that understanding, you can have a great performance and put up some points but it won’t matter much.

Full Back

The “full back” is a hybrid position that combines a tackle in the run and a blocker in the passing game. Typically, the full-back is lined up in the same area as the running back but not necessarily on the same level. At the snap, the blockers in front of the receiver will push the defenders away from the hole the running back is going to take advantage of. Then, either by getting pulled back or by cutting off the pursuit of the running back, the quarterback will have plenty of time to throw the ball.

man playing in their football positions

Slot Receiver

If there is one position on the offensive line that usually goes unnoticed but is crucial to the passing game’s success, it is the slot receiver. Slot receivers are typically lined up in the slot but can also run out wide or outside in a combination of passing and running skills. The inside receiver is usually lined up on the outside shoulder of the offensive line. He will run the same routes as his wide receiver counterpart but will do it in a different style. In a spread scheme, the slot receiver will run one route and then either go inside on the outside in the middle of the field and throw the ball on a cross pattern to the running back in the hole.

Defensive Tackle

The defensive tackle is the player who takes the majority of his team’s snaps. Because of his size (6-foot-5 and above), he is considered to be an interior player but understands the game and how to play the run well. He must be able to engage blockers and maintain control of the line of scrimmage to create a strong pass rush. The defensive tackles must be quick and strong enough to keep opposing runners from getting free inside the running lanes. For this reason, players in this position have to have highly developed football skills.

Tight End

Some offensive coaches may believe that the tight end position is strictly for big, bruising bodies with impressive physical gifts. While the tight end does play a critical part in the passing game, he is much more than that. A good tight end needs to be able to catch the football on the move and make plays with his arm after catching the pass. He must also be able to block effectively as a run blocker and as a pass protector.


As the name suggests the cornerbacks are the deep men in the offensive line. They typically line up in the slot and play the outside receiver role. Their primary responsibilities are to cover the slot receiver and to give help in the secondary. Cornerbacks can play safety in sub-packages as well. They generally start playing corner and eventually work their way into the starting lineup as the season progresses.

Left Tackle

If you’re looking for the most underappreciated position in football, it’s likely the right tackle. Football coaches are typically very conservative with the numbers they place on the offensive line, keeping young guys like tackles on the practice squad and relying heavily on the veteran veterans to anchor the line the entire game. In reality, the right tackle is the key to the success of the team and often the basis of the overall strategy of the offense. A strong, athletic, and intelligent right tackle is necessary to a team’s ability to generate a good running game and protect its young stars.

Middle Lineback

Generally speaking, the inside middle linebacker is another position that coaches overspend on. They typically play inside in a wide-nine alignment with three receivers or tight ends or even running backs. Their main responsibility is to make tackles, take down ball carriers, and generally stop the run.