What are Offensive Tackles In American Football?
The offensive tackle is a crucial component of an American football team. Offensive tackles are a component of the offensive line, which guards the quarterback and makes passageways for the running back to manoeuvre through.
Here at Cleats Hub, we’ll talk about what offensive tackles are, how they play the game, and what abilities they need to be effective.
What are Offensive Tackles?
The two players positioned on the offensive line’s periphery are offensive tackles. They often make up the offensive line’s tallest and heaviest players.
Secondly, they are crucial in shielding the quarterback from approaching defensive players.
Moreover, offensive tackles are in charge of making openings in the defense for passing plays.
Role of Offensive Tackles
In American football, offensive linemen are essential members of the team because they protect the quarterback and open up lanes for the running back.
Protecting the Quarterback
The offensive tackle’s main responsibility is to defend the quarterback from the opposition. The offensive team’s quarterback is its most valued player, hence protecting him is of utmost importance.
It is worth noting here that the defensive end or outside linebacker, who is frequently the most athletic and quick defender on the opposing team, needs to be blocked by the offensive tackle.
In order to block the defense from getting close to the quarterback, offensive tackles use their size and muscle to form a barrier.
Creating Running Lanes
In addition to protecting the quarterback, the offensive tackle must also open up lanes for the running back.
In order to do this, they help to create openings in the defensive line so the running back has more room to advance the ball.
To create running opportunities for their team, offensive tackles block the defensive line using their technique and physicality.
Offensive tackles are also in charge of blocking linebackers at the second level after blocking at the line of scrimmage.
In order to block defenders who are not originally at the line of scrimmage, one must move downfield.
Moreover, second-level blocks are crucial for giving the running back more opportunities to run, increasing their chances of gaining additional yards and possibly scoring a touchdown.
Types of Offensive Tackles
Offensive tackles are essential players who guard the quarterback and prevent defenders from getting to the ball carrier.
They typically fall into one of two categories:
Left Tackle: Since they are in charge of guarding the quarterback’s blind side, the left tackle is ordinarily the most crucial member of the offensive line.
The blind side of the quarterback is the side opposite his throwing arm. Hence, the left tackle needs to be an expert pass blocker to stop the opposition.
Right Tackle: In general, the right tackle is less significant than the left tackle and is in charge of run blocking. The best pass rusher on the defense may occasionally need to be blocked.
Therefore, he still needs to be proficient at pass blocking.
It’s crucial to remember that offensive tackles frequently confront some of the most physically imposing players of the opposition. So, they must be big, powerful, and quick.
Also, they must have quick reflexes and be able to change their blocking tactics as needed in response to the call of the play and the defensive alignment.
Skills Necessary for Offensive Tackles
Players need to have a specific set of abilities to be good offensive tackles in their position.
The following are some of the fundamental abilities needed for offensive tackles:
- Size and Strength: The largest players on the field are usually the offensive tackles. They have the average NFL lineman standing over 6’5″ and weighing over 300 pounds. They need to be powerful enough to push other players aside and shield the quarterback.
- Footwork: To keep up with the pace of the game, offensive tackles need to have swift feet. To guard the quarterback’s blindside, they must be able to rapidly go to the side or backpedal.
- Technique: To efficiently block opponents, offensive tackles need to have strong blocking techniques. This entails proper foot placement, leverage, and hand placement.
- Vision: To properly block the defensive players, offensive tackles need to be able to swiftly recognize them and anticipate their moves.
- Intelligence: It’s essential for offensive tackles to have good football Intelligence and the quickness to read and respond to defensive actions. They must also have the flexibility to change their blocking tactics as the game goes on.
Offensive Tackle Training
To acquire the abilities required to excel at their job, offensive tackles receive extensive training.
Weightlifting, footwork drills, and blocking technique drills are all included in this workout in order to increase agility, speed, and strength.
In addition to physical conditioning, offensive tackles receive mental training to raise their football IQ.
Furthermore, they watch game films to analyze the tendencies of the opposition’s players and learn how to spot and respond to various defensive strategies.
Top NFL Offensive Tackles
There have been many legendary offensive tackles who have made a huge impact on the game in the NFL.
However, we’ll talk about the greatest five offensive tackles in American football history.
Most people agree that Anthony Munoz is the greatest offensive tackle in NFL history. He dedicated his career for the Cincinnati Bengals.
During his glittering career, he was chosen for the First Team All-Pro nine times and the Pro Bowl 11 times.
Moreover, Munoz was a powerful blocker who was renowned for his skill, power, and wit. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 and assisted in guiding the Bengals to two Super Bowl trips.
Over his career, Forrest Gregg played for both the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls and seven First-Team All-Pro teams.
In addition to that, he played a significant part in shielding quarterback Bart Starr and making room for running back Jim Taylor on the Packers’ championship teams of the 1960s.
In 1977, Gregg was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
One of the top offensive tackles of his time, Walter Jones played his whole career for the Seattle Seahawks. He was chosen for the First Team All-Pro nine times and the Pro Bowl nine times.
Moreover, Jones was a pass-and-run blocker who was well-known for his athleticism, agility, and strength. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014, he assisted in guiding the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in 2005.
One of the top offensive tackles of his time, Jonathan Ogden spent his whole career with the Baltimore Ravens. He was chosen for the First Team All-Pro four times and played in the Pro Bowl 11 times.
Ogden, who was renowned for his size, power, and quickness, was a great blocker.
Moreover, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013, he helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl in 2000.
Jim Parker spent his entire playing career with the Baltimore Colts, where he was chosen for eight Pro Bowls and seven First-Team All-Pro teams.
Secondly, he was an accomplished blocker who was renowned for his size, power, and skill. Parker is a 1973 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after helping the Colts win two NFL championships.
Thus, among the greatest offensive tackles in NFL history are Jim Parker, Walter Jones, Forrest Gregg, Jonathan Ogden, and Anthony Munoz. They are regarded as some of the finest players of all time thanks to their on-field accomplishments.
These legendary athletes will always be regarded as some of the finest players in the annals of American football.
To conclude, the ultimate bodyguards in American football are the OTs. This set of players are the ones who guard the quarterback against being sacked more quickly than a stack of pancakes.
On the football pitch, they are the ones that safeguard the most important player and make room for the running back to manoeuvre.
Give a shout-out to the offensive tackles the next time you’re watching a game. They might not receive as much attention as other players, but they are nonetheless equally significant.