The 12 Posts of Playoffs : 11 Men

football, basics, playoffs, men

There are a whole mess of people on the sidelines of a football field, but too much of a good thing on the playing field will lead to a 5-yard penalty.

Each unit is allowed to have 11 players on the field. They can field less (if they want to find new and creative ways to lose), but they can’t field more. Too many men on the field is a 5-yard penalty.

Who are the 11 players on each unit? On offense, it’s usually five offensive linemen, one quarterback, and five offensive “skill” players – tight ends, runnings backs, and wide receivers. It looks something like this:

football, basics, offense

 

On defense, things are a little more flexible. A standard defense will usually be composed of three or four defensive linemen, three or four linebackers, and between four and six defensive backs (safeties and cornerbacks). It might look something like this:

defense

 

On special teams, the unit that comes out for kicking plays, different players come out for different types of plays. I don’t have a visual for that, but I do have this post.

A peek into the future: next season we’ll be doing a whole series on special teams because they’ve gotten the shaft for the past history of football two years here. Sorry, guys.

Final note: have you ever heard of the 12th man? The phenomenon in which the fans are so disruptive that it’s like their team has an extra player on the field? That expression exists because of the 11-men-per-unit rule.

(P.s. Happy New Year!!! Have a wonderful day, everyone!)

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  1. Surviving the Super Bowl : The Basics of Defense (2013 Edition) | Football for Normal GirlsFootball for Normal Girls - January 28, 2014

    […] taken off the field and an extra defensive back is put in (because there can only be 11 players on the field for each unit at all times, so they'd have to swap players in and out). In a dime package, […]

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