Some plays are planned to take advantage of a tight end’s eligibility (i.e. that they may lawfully catch a forward-passed football). At times, the tight end will not be covered by the defense, a situation that rarely occurs with the regular receivers. The tight end is usually faster than the linebackers who cover him and often stronger than the cornerbacks and safeties who try to tackle him. However, tight ends are typically chosen for their speed and catching ability and therefore tend to have less size and blocking ability. Although contemporary tight ends are expected to catch acceptably, their multiple roles in blocking for the runner and blocking against the pass rush means they don’t often catch balls. Tight-ends can also be used on special teams for the “hands teams” which consist of the best receivers on the field.
In the National Football League (NFL), tight ends are usually larger and slower than a wide receiver, and therefore able to block more effectively. It is the job of the tight end, along with the fullback, to open up a hole in the defense for the tailback to run through. Tight ends can also be used along with the offensive linemen to protect the quarterback during passing plays. Often, tight ends are employed in a fullback position called “H-Back” in which he is still beside the tackle, however off the line of scrimmage. Tight Ends may also pass block like other offensive linemen. Some teams employ tight ends solely to block, however this position is sometimes filled by an offensive lineman who has reported to the referee that his number is now an eligible receiving number; this makes him “Tackle Eligible”.
Most modern offenses (due to the introduction of the West Coast Offense) now use Tight Ends more as receivers than blockers. Traditionally Tight Ends were just blockers eligible to catch passes; however, now Tight Ends are more like bigger and slower receivers who can also block more effectively than most Wide Receivers. Most Tight Ends are generally large in size which an average height of 6’3″ and a weight exceeding 240 lbs.
The origin of the two tight end set is unclear. The Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins have been credited with being the first teams to utilize two tight ends as part of their base offense. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick also claims to have developed the formation while he was an assistant coach of the Lions. Currently, the San Francisco 49ers, under Coach Mike Singletary and Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye II, use the formation extensively with Tight Ends Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker.
In collegiate and high school football, tight ends are restricted to numbers 1-49 and 80-99. In the NFL, numbering regulations state that tight ends must wear numbers 80-89, or when those are unavailable, 20-49.
Positions in American football and Canadian football
Tackle, End, Nose tackle
Placekicker, Punter, Kickoff specialist
Punt returner, Kick returner
Wide receiver, Tight end, Slotback
American Canadian (US-Canadian comparison) Arena Indoor 9-man 8-man 6-man Flag Touch Street/Backyard
High school College Sprint Women’s Professional
End zone Goal line Line of scrimmage Neutral zone Field goal range Out of bounds Sidelines
Football (ball) Helmet Winged helmet Shoulder pads Uniform number Penalty flag
Offense: Linemen Quarterback Running back Halfback Fullback H-back Wide receiver Tight end Slotback Guard Offensive tackle Center Eligible receiver
Defense: Linemen Linebacker Defensive tackle Defensive end Nose tackle Defensive back Cornerback Safety Nickelback Dimeback
Special Teams: Placekicker Punter Kickoff specialist Long snapper Holder Punt returner Kickoff returner Gunner
Other: Utility player Triple threat man
Offense: Rush Pass Incomplete pass Lateral Bootleg play Draw play End-around Flea flicker Flexbone formation Fourth down conversion Hail Mary pass Halfback option play Hook and lateral Kneel Motion Hurry-up offense Option run Option offense Play action pass Quarterback keeper Quarterback sneak Quick kick Reverse Scramble Screen pass Spike Statue of Liberty Sweep Trick play
Defense: Tackle Blitz Rush Sack Shooting the gap Stunt Zone blitz
Special Teams: Kickoff Kickoff return Punt Punt return Drop kick Fair catch Fair catch kick Icing the kicker Onside kick Squib kick Try
Touchdown Extra point Two-point conversion Field goal Safety Single (rouge)
Blocking below the waist Block in the back Chop block Clipping Delay of game Encroachment Equipment violations Face mask False start Horse-collar tackle Illegal contact Illegal formation Illegal forward kick Illegal forward pass Illegal hands to the face Illegal motion Illegal participation Illegal shift Illegal substitution Illegal touching Illegal touching of a free kick Illegal use of hands Ineligible receiver downfield Intentional grounding Holding Leaping Neutral Zone Infraction Offside Palpably unfair act Pass interference Personal Foul Roughing the kicker Roughing the passer Roughing the snapper Sideline infraction Spearing Tripping Unsportsmanlike conduct
Fumble Interception Muffed punt Turnover on downs
First down Three-and-out Fourth down conversion
Timeout Two-minute warning Running out the clock
Passer rating Reception Return yards Total offense Yards from scrimmage
Touchdown celebration Gatorade shower
Snap Dead ball Touchback Instant replay Coffin corner Glossary of American football Glossary of Canadian football Rules Rules in American football
Categories: American football positionsHidden categories: Articles needing cleanup from February 2009 | All pages needing cleanup