Tackle (gridiron football position)
Tackle is a playing position in American and Canadian football. 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, the stand-alone term "tackle" refers to the offensive tackle position only; the offensive tackle is a position on the offensive line and right. Like other offensive linemen, their job is to block: to physically keep defenders away from the offensive player who has the football and enable him to advance the football and score a touchdown; the term "tackle" is a vestige of an earlier era of football in which the same players played both offense and defense. A tackle is the strong position on the offensive line, they power their blocks with quick steps and maneuverability. The tackles are in charge of the outside protection. If the tight end goes out for a pass, the tackle must cover everyone that his guard does not, plus whoever the tight end is not covering.
They defend against defensive ends. In the NFL, offensive tackles measure over 6 ft 4 in and 300 lb. According to Sports Illustrated football journalist Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman, offensive tackles achieve the highest scores, relative to the other positional groups, on the Wonderlic Test, with an average of 26; the Wonderlic is taken before the draft to assess each player's aptitude for learning and problem solving. The right tackle is the team's best run blocker. Most running plays are towards the strong side of the offensive line; the right tackle will face the defending team's best run stoppers. 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 is the team's best pass blocker. Of the two tackles, the left tackles will 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 perpendicular to the line of scrimmage, with the non-dominant shoulder closer to downfield.
Right-handed quarterbacks, the majority of players in the position, thus turn their backs to defenders coming from the left side, creating a vulnerable "blind side" that the left tackle must protect. A 2006 book by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, made into a 2009 motion picture, sheds much light on the workings of the left tackle position; the book and the film's introduction discuss how the annual salary of left tackles in the NFL skyrocketed in the mid-1990s. Premier left tackles are now sought after, are the second highest paid players on a roster after the quarterback. Recent examples include Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel, Lane Johnson, Matt Kalil, Trent Williams, Jake Long, Joe Thomas
Leander Jordan is a former American football offensive tackle. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft, he played college football at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Jacksonville Jaguars bio
Lineman (gridiron football)
In gridiron football, a lineman is a player who specializes in play at the line of scrimmage. The linemen of the team in possession of the ball are the offensive line, while linemen on the opposing team are the defensive line. A number of NFL rules address restrictions and requirements for the offensive line, whose job is to help protect the quarterback from getting sacked for a loss, or worse, fumbling; the defensive line is covered by the same rules. Linemen are the largest players on the field in both height and weight, since their positions require less running and more strength than skill positions; the offensive line consists of the center, responsible for snapping the ball into play, two guards who flank the center, two offensive tackles who flank the guards. In addition, a full offensive line may include a tight end outside one or both of the tackles. An offensive lineman's motion during a play is limited to just a few quick steps to establish position, followed by a wrestling match similar to sumo.
Offensive linemen thus tend to be the largest players on the field, with excellent agility and balance but limited straight-line running speed. On some running plays, an offensive lineman will pull by backing out of his initial position and running behind the other offensive linemen to engage a defensive player beyond the initial width of the offensive line; when an offensive lineman knocks a player down on a block, leaving the defensive player lying flat on his back, it is known as a pancake block. When an offensive line has an equal number of men on either side of the center, it is known as a balanced line; the interior offensive line guards. Offensive linemen are not eligible to catch forward passes, are not allowed to advance more than 2 yards past the line of scrimmage at the time a pass is thrown, whether they are engaged with a defensive player or not. However, ends are eligible to catch passes. On running plays, the primary job of the offensive line is to create space for the ball carrier to run, either by pushing all defensive players backwards past the line of scrimmage, or by pushing defensive players to the side to allow the ball carrier to run past them.
On passing plays, the offensive line is responsible for stopping defensive players from tackling the quarterback before he has thrown the ball. Stopping these players indefinitely is not possible, so the main objective of the offensive line is to slow them down, providing the quarterback with several seconds to identify an open receiver and throw the ball; the defensive line consists of one or two defensive tackles and two defensive ends who play outside the defensive tackles. The defensive line works with the linebackers to try to control the line of scrimmage; the 4-3 defensive formation, most used in the NFL, employs two defensive tackles, while the 3-4 formation uses just a single defensive tackle, called the nose tackle. However, defensive ends in a typical 3-4 have responsibilities more similar to a 4-3 defensive tackle than 4-3 defensive ends. On running plays, the goal is to tackle the ball carrier; the defensive line attempts to maintain their original formation, but to prevent any members of the opposing offensive line from engaging the linebackers, who chase down the ball carrier.
The defensive tackles are the most skilled run defenders on the team. On passing plays, the defensive line tries to reach the quarterback. Ideally, the defensive players are able to tackle the quarterback for a loss, but in practice the quarterback will manage to throw the ball before an actual tackle is made. Defensive ends are the most skilled pass rushers on the team. In order to increase the pressure on the quarterback, teams will have players other than the defensive line attempt to tackle the quarterback; because the defense does not know whether the offense is attempting to run a passing play or a running play, they must balance passing and running strategies: running around offensive linemen and avoiding contact may allow faster pressure on a quarterback, but it leaves a hole in the defensive line and frees an offensive lineman to engage a linebacker, enabling a big running play. Defensive linemen defensive ends, are called upon to do more running than offensive linemen, thus they tend to be somewhat lighter and faster
The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. The Dolphins compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference East division; the Dolphins play their home games at Hard Rock Stadium in the northern suburb of Miami Gardens and are headquartered in Davie, Florida. The Dolphins are Florida's oldest professional sports team. Of the four AFC East teams, they are the only team in the division, not a charter member of the American Football League; the Dolphins were founded by attorney-politician Joe actor-comedian Danny Thomas. They began play in the AFL in 1966; the region had not had a professional football team since the days of the Miami Seahawks, who played in the All-America Football Conference in 1946, before becoming the first incarnation of the Baltimore Colts. For the first few years, the Dolphins' full-time training camp and practice facilities were at Saint Andrew's School, a private boys boarding prep school in Boca Raton.
In the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, the Dolphins joined the NFL. The team made its first Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl VI, losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 24–3; the following year, the Dolphins completed the NFL's only perfect season, culminating in a Super Bowl win, winning all 14 of their regular season games, all three of their playoff games, including Super Bowl VII. They were the third NFL team to accomplish a perfect regular season; the next year, the Dolphins won Super Bowl VIII, becoming the first team to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls, the second team to win back-to-back championships. Miami appeared in Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XIX, losing both games. For most of their early history, the Dolphins were coached by Don Shula, the most successful head coach in professional football history in terms of total games won. Under Shula, the Dolphins posted losing records in only two of his 26 seasons as the head coach. During the period spanning 1983 to the end of 1999, quarterback Dan Marino became one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, breaking numerous league passing records.
Marino led the Dolphins to five division titles, 10 playoff appearances and Super Bowl XIX before retiring following the 1999 season. In 2008, the Dolphins became the first team in NFL history to win their division and make a playoff appearance following a league-worst 1–15 season; that same season, the Dolphins upset the 16–0 New England Patriots on the road during Week 3, handing the Patriots' their first regular season loss since December 10, 2006, in which coincidentally, they were beaten by the Dolphins. The Miami Dolphins joined the American Football League when an expansion franchise was awarded to lawyer Joseph Robbie and actor Danny Thomas in 1965 for $7.5 million, although Thomas would sell his stake in the team to Robbie. During the summer of 1966, the Dolphins' training camp was in St. Pete Beach with practices in August at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport; the Dolphins had a combined 15–39–2 record in their first four seasons under head coach George Wilson, before Don Shula was hired as head coach.
Shula was a Paul Brown disciple, lured from the Baltimore Colts, after losing Super Bowl III two seasons earlier to the AFL's New York Jets, finishing 8–5–1 the following season. Shula got his first NFL coaching job from then-Detroit Head Coach George Wilson, who hired him as the defensive coordinator; the AFL merged with the NFL in 1970, the Dolphins were assigned to the AFC East division in the NFL's new American Football Conference. For the rest of the 20th century, the Shula-led Dolphins emerged as one of the most dominant teams in the NFL with a strong running game and defense, with only two losing seasons between 1970 and 1999, they were successful in the 1970s, completing the first complete perfect season in NFL history by finishing with a 14–0 regular season record in 1972 and winning the Super Bowl that year. It was the first of one of three appearances in a row; the 1980s and 1990s were moderately successful. The early 80s teams made two Super Bowls despite losing both times, saw the emergence of future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, who went on to break numerous NFL passing records, holding many of them until the late 2000s.
After winning every game against the division rival Buffalo Bills in the 1970s, the two teams developed a competitive rivalry in the 80s and 90s competing for AFC supremacy when Jim Kelly emerged as the quarterback for the Bills. The Dolphins have maintained a strong rivalry with the New York Jets throughout much of their history. Following the retirements of Marino and Shula and the rise of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, the Dolphins suffered a decline in the 2000s, including a 1–15 season in 2007, the worst in franchise history, they only made the playoffs three times in that decade and were unable to find a consistent quarterback to replace Marino, shuffling 13 quarterbacks and five head coaches. However, the Dolphins have been competitive against the Patriots despite their decline, with notable wins coming in 2004, 2008, 2018. While quarterback Ryan Tannehill provided some stability at the position throughout most of the 2010s, the team has nonetheless been mediocre, only having made the playoffs once during the decade.
The Dolphins share intense rivalries with their three AFC East opponents, but have had historical or occasional rivalries with other teams such as their cross-state rivals Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their former divisional rivals Indianapolis Colts, the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, to a lesser extent, the Jacksonville Jaguars
American football positions
In American football each team has 11 players on the field at one time. The specific role that a player takes on the field is called their position. Under the modern rules of American football, teams are allowed unlimited substitutions; this has resulted in the development of three "platoons" of players: the offense, the defense, the special teams. Within those platoons, various specific positions exist depending on. In American football, the offense is the side, it is their job to advance the ball towards the opponent's end zone to score points. Broadly, the eleven players of the offense are broken into two groups: the five offensive linemen, whose primary job is to block, the six backs and receivers whose primary job is to advance the ball either running with the ball or passing it; the backs and receivers are commonly known as skill position players or as eligible receivers. Offensive linemen are not eligible to advance the ball past the line of scrimmage during a play; the organization of the offense is mandated by the rules.
The only players eligible to handle the ball during a normal play are the backs and the two players on the end of the line. The remaining players are "ineligible" to catch forward passes, so they only block. Within these strictures, creative coaches have developed a wide array of offensive formations to take advantage of different player skills and game situations; the following positions are standard in nearly every game, though different teams will use different arrangements of them. The offensive line is responsible for blocking. During normal play, offensive linemen do not handle the ball, unless the ball is fumbled by a ball carrier, a pass is deflected, or when a player, an offensive lineman takes a different position on the field; the offensive line consists of: Center The center is the player who begins the play from scrimmage by snapping the ball to the quarterback. As the name suggests, the center plays in the middle of the offensive line, though some teams may employ an unbalanced line where the center is offset to one side.
Like all offensive linemen, the center has the responsibility to block defensive players. The center also has the responsibility to call out blocking assignments and make last second adjustments depending on the defensive alignment. Offensive guard Two guards line up directly on either side of the center. Like all interior linemen, their function is to block on both passing plays. On some plays, rather than blocking straight ahead, a guard will "pull", whereby the guard comes out of their position in line to lead block for a ball carrier, on plays known as "traps", "sweeps", "screens". In such cases, the guard is referred to as a "pulling guard". Offensive tackle Two tackles play outside of the guards, their role is to block on both running and passing plays. The area from one tackle to the other is an area of "close line play" in which blocks from behind, which are prohibited elsewhere on the field, are allowed. For a right-handed quarterback, the left tackle is charged with protecting the quarterback from being hit from behind, this is the most skilled player on the offensive line.
Like a guard, the tackle may have to "pull", on a running play, when there is a tight end on their side. Tackles have a taller, longer build than interior offensive linemen, due to the need to keep separation from defensive linemen in pass blocking situations, they tend to have quick footwork skills as they engage against containing or rushing defensive ends. The six backs and receivers are those that line up behind the offensive line. There are four main positions in this set of players: Quarterback The quarterback is the player who receives the ball from the center to start the play; the most important position on the offensive side, the quarterback is responsible for receiving the play from the coaches on the sideline and communicating the play to the other offensive players in the huddle. The quarterback may need to make changes to the play at the line of scrimmage, depending on the defensive alignment. At the start of the play, the quarterback may be lined up in one of three positions. If they are positioned directly in contact with the center and receives the ball via the direct hand-to-hand pass, they are said to be "under center".
If they have lined up some distance behind the center, they are said to be in "shotgun formation". They can be in between; this is called a "pistol formation". Upon receiving the snap, the quarterback has three basic options, they may run the ball, they may hand it to another eligible ball carrier to run with it, or execute a forward pass to a player downfield. Running back Running backs are players who line up behind the offensive line, in a position to receive the ball from the quarterback and execute a rushing play. Anywhere from one to three running backs may be utilized on a play. Depending on where they line up, what role they have, running backs come in several varieties; the "tailback" (or so
History of the St. Louis Rams
The professional American football franchise now known as the Los Angeles Rams played in St. Louis, Missouri, as the St. Louis Rams from the 1995 through the 2015 seasons; the Rams franchise relocated from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995, without a National Football League team since the Cardinals moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1988; the team's primary stadium was The Dome at America's Center, known as the Trans World Dome and the Edward Jones Dome while utilized by the Rams. The Rams’ first home game in St. Louis was at Busch Memorial Stadium, where they played before the Dome was completed, in a 17-13 victory against the New Orleans Saints on September 10, 1995; that season, they played their first game at the newly-completed Dome on November 12 in a 28-17 victory against the Carolina Panthers. Their last game played in St. Louis was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 17, 2015, which they won, 31–23; the Rams’ last game as a St. Louis-based club was on January 3, 2016, against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium, where they lost in overtime 19–16.
Following the 2015 NFL season, the team returned to Los Angeles. During the Rams' tenure in St. Louis, the franchise won its first and, to date, only Super Bowl title during the 1999 season in XXXIV and made Super Bowl XXXVI two years but were upset by the New England Patriots in the game that began the Patriots dynasty. Assisted by the Greatest Show on Turf offense, the Rams enjoyed their greatest period of success from 1999 to 2006, but struggled throughout their remaining years in St. Louis. Upon their relocation back to Los Angeles, the Rams went 12 seasons without obtaining a winning record and 11 seasons without qualifying for the postseason. For 22 of their 28 years the St. Louis Cardinals called Busch Memorial Stadium home after it opened in 1966, after spending their first six seasons in St. Louis at Sportsman's Park. However, the overall mediocrity of the Cardinals, combined with stadium issues, caused game attendance to dwindle; the Bidwills, the family that owned the Cardinals, decided to move the team for a second time after having relocated the franchise from Chicago to St. Louis in 1960.
The cities the Bidwells considered included Baltimore, New York City, Jacksonville, whilst Columbus and Oakland made overtures without Bidwell considering them. Nonetheless, Cardinals fans were unhappy at losing their team, Bill Bidwill, fearing for his safety, stayed away from several of the 1987 home games; the Cardinals’ final home game in St. Louis was on December 13, 1987, which they won 27–24 over the New York Giants in front of 29,623 fans on a late Sunday afternoon. Not long after the 1987 season, Bidwill agreed to move to the Phoenix area on a handshake deal with state and local officials, the team became the Phoenix Cardinals, they planned to play at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe on a temporary basis while a new stadium was being built. For the Cardinals, the savings and loan crisis derailed financing for the stadium, forcing the Cardinals to play at Arizona State for 18 years. Prior to the Rams’ 1979 Super Bowl season, owner Carroll Rosenbloom drowned in an accident.
His widow, Georgia Frontiere, inherited 70% ownership of the team. Frontiere fired her step-son, Steve Rosenbloom, assumed total control of the franchise; as had been planned prior to Carroll Rosenbloom's death, the Rams moved from their longtime home at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to Anaheim Stadium in nearby Orange County in 1980. The move was necessitated in part by the fact that the Coliseum was difficult to sell out because of its abnormally large seating capacity, subjecting the team to the league's local-market TV blackout rule, whenever home games did not sell out. Southern California's population patterns were changing. A.'s a decline in the city of Los Angeles' citizenship and earning power. Anaheim Stadium was built in 1966 as the home of the California Angels Major League Baseball franchise. To accommodate the Rams’ move, the ballpark was reconfigured with luxury suites and enclosed to accommodate crowds of about 65,000 for football. In 1982 the Coliseum was occupied by the Los Angeles Raiders.
The combined effect of these two factors was to force the Rams’ traditional fan base to be split between two teams. Making matters worse, at this time the Rams were unsuccessful on the field, while the Raiders were thriving — winning Super Bowl XVIII in 1983. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers won championships in 1980 and 1982 en route to winning five titles in that decade, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 1981 and 1988, the Los Angeles Kings, buoyed by the acquisition of Wayne Gretzky in August 1988, advanced to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals. Although not apparent at the time, the Rams’ loss in the 1989 NFC Championship Game marked the end of an era; the Rams would not have another winning season in Los Angeles before relocation. The first half of the 1990s featured four straight 10-loss seasons, no playoff appearances and waning fan interest; the return of Chuck Knox as head coach after successful stints as head coach of the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks would not boost the Rams’ fortunes.
Knox's run-oriented offense brought about the end of offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese’s tenure in 1993. General manager John Shaw was perceived by some to continually squander NFL Draft picks on sub-standard talent; the offensive scheme was not only unspectacular to watch, but dull by 1990s standards, further alienating fans. One bright spot for the offense d
The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League, as a member club of the league's National Football Conference South division; the team is headquartered in Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte. They are one of the few NFL teams to own the stadium they play in, registered as Panthers Stadium, LLC; the Panthers are supported throughout the Carolinas. The team hosts its annual training camp at Wofford College in South Carolina; the head coach is Ron Rivera. The Panthers were announced as the league's 29th franchise in 1993, began play in 1995 under original owner and founder Jerry Richardson; the Panthers played well in their first two years, finishing 7–9 in 1995 and 12–4 the following year, winning the NFC West before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. They did not have another winning season until 2003, when they won the NFC Championship Game and reached Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing 32–29 to the New England Patriots.
After recording playoff appearances in 2005 and 2008, the team failed to record another playoff appearance until 2013, the first of three consecutive NFC South titles. After losing in the divisional round to the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, the Panthers returned to the Super Bowl in 2015, but lost to the Denver Broncos; the Panthers have reached the playoffs seven times, advancing to four NFC Championship Games and two Super Bowls. They have won one in the NFC West and five in the NFC South; the Carolina Panthers are registered as Panther Football, LLC. and are controlled by David Tepper, whose purchase of the team from founder Jerry Richardson was unanimously approved by league owners on May 22, 2018. The club is worth US$2.3 billion, according to Forbes. On December 15, 1987, entrepreneur Jerry Richardson announced his bid for an NFL expansion franchise in the Carolinas. A North Carolina native, Richardson was a former wide receiver on the Baltimore Colts who had used his 1959 league championship bonus to co-found the Hardee's restaurant chain becoming president and CEO of TW Services.
Richardson drew his inspiration to pursue an NFL franchise from George Shinn, who had made a successful bid for an expansion National Basketball Association team in Charlotte, the Charlotte Hornets. Richardson founded Richardson Sports, a partnership consisting of himself, his family, a number of businessmen from North and South Carolina were recruited to be limited partners. Richardson looked at four potential locations for a stadium choosing uptown Charlotte. To highlight the demand for professional football in the Carolinas, Richardson Sports held preseason games around the area from 1989 to 1991; the first two games were held at Carter–Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina, Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, while the third and final game was held at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. The matchups were between existing NFL teams. In 1991, the group formally filed an application for the open expansion spot, on October 26, 1993, the 28 NFL owners unanimously named the Carolina Panthers as the 29th member of the NFL.
The Panthers first competed in the 1995 NFL season. The Panthers were put in the NFC West to increase the size of that division to five teams. Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was named the first head coach; the team finished its inaugural season 7–9, the best performance from a first-year expansion team. They performed better in their second season, finishing with a 12–4 record and winning the NFC West division, as well as securing a first-round bye; the Panthers beat the defending Super Bowl champions Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round before losing the NFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers. The team managed only a 7–9 finish in 1997 and slipped to 4–12 in 1998, leading to Capers' dismissal as head coach; the Panthers hired former San Francisco 49ers head coach George Seifert to replace Capers, he led the team to an 8–8 record in 1999. The team finished 7–9 in 2000 and fell to 1–15 in 2001, winning their first game but losing their last 15.
This performance tied the NFL record for most losses in a single season and it broke the record held by the winless 1976 Buccaneers for most consecutive losses in a single season, leading the Panthers to fire Seifert. After the NFL's expansion to 32 teams in 2002, the Panthers were relocated from the NFC West to the newly created NFC South division; the Panthers' rivalries with the Falcons and Saints were maintained, they would be joined by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New York Giants defensive coordinator John Fox was hired to replace Seifert and led the team to a 7–9 finish in 2002. Although the team's defense gave up few yards, ranking the second-best in the NFL in yards conceded, they were hindered by an offense that ranked as the second-worst in the league in yards gained; the Panthers improved to 11–5 in the 2003 regular season, winning the NFC South and making it to Super Bowl XXXVIII before losing to the New England Patriots, 32–29, in what was immedia