Advertiser Disclosure: Rookie Draft earns commissions from qualifying purchases.

What is a Lineman in Football?

What is a Lineman in Football

Linemen are extremely hard working but uncelebrated players of the sport. They have a key role in the game and several onerous responsibilities that must be executed if their team is to win the game. Yet these unsung heroes are unable to attract the glamor and attention that other playing positions garner, like quarterbacks, for instance.


Let’s get to know all about them!


What is a Lineman in Football

Linemen hold the line and take the game to the opposition, as their name implies.


The offensive line opens up the field for key players like running backs and quarterbacks. That is, the offensive linemen of your team have a duty to block the defensive linemen of the opposition team so that running backs can evade the opposition defense.


It sounds simple, but there’s a lot more to it than one might think. For the opposition defensive line, they’ve got to thwart the offensive line of your team and their running backs. They’ll resort to tricks and sneaky tactics to thwart their offense.


Although your offensive line has a specific role in blocking the opposition, the ground reality is more profound. Blocking is just half the story. Mind games are the other half. Reading the mind of the opposition, deciphering their game plan, and thwarting them in perfect unison.


So your team linemen are more than just a “wall of meat” as they are unflatteringly referred to.


Granted, the quarterback and running backs have a glamorous and exciting role in the game. But for that to happen, they require top performance and gameplay from their linemen.


There are several things that linemen must take care of. They have to block passes of the opposition to foil their attack. They must also dodge and wrestle opposition linemen in such a way so that gaps are made in their defense – this is what your running backs need to live up to their name and make a run for it. Then they can venture deep into enemy territory without encountering much resistance along the way.


Qualities of Linemen

As mentioned above, mind games are half the game, despite the seemingly physical nature of the linemen’s job. Linemen need the presence of mind and sharp wits to win the mind game and thus the game itself. This entails, for instance, moving in such a way that the opposition linemen get distracted and momentarily break their formation – this will create enough time and space for your running backs to exploit the situation and make their move. All of this is happening at high speed.


All this being said, linemen have to be hefty and strong to fulfill their roles and responsibilities successfully. Hence, it is not surprising to find burly and brutally powerful linemen weighing 300 pounds. This has earned them a reputation for being a moving wall of meat, notwithstanding the mental facet of their role.


Linemen Positions

The offensive line includes five positions.


The Center – a prominent linesman who passes the ball back straight into the hands of the quarterback.


Left and Right  Guard – these are two staunch centre allies on either side. Together with the center, they control the middle of the gridiron.


Left and Right Tackle – 2 offensive linemen on either side of the guards.


Tight Ends – these players are lined up towards the sides of the tackles. The team may have two, one or none of these offensive linemen at any instant. It all depends on the rapidly changing game situation and the plan in store.


Tight ends can double as receivers and offensive linemen. Their main role is blocking. They frequently reach out for passes. Hence, tight ends should be fast, strong, and big. They must also be good at making passes.


The Importance of the Unassuming Lineman

The humble lineman may not have the swagger and bravado of running backs and quarterbacks. However, their hard work, sweat and tears are paramount for team success.


Sadly, the only time linemen get noticed is when they make a calamitous mistake that costs their team the game. Ironically, this shows how vital the lineman is for the team.


Few appreciate that hair raising passes and plays that elicit a deafening roar and cheer from the crowd are made possible by the excruciatingly agonizing toil of linemen.


Best Cleats for Linemen

Looking for the best cleats, go for Under Armour Men’s Spotlight Franchise RM Football Shoes (ASIN: B07W5JQNJB)


These are among the best football cleats for linemen because they are rugged, light and work as advertised. As a result of their superlative properties, they have overwhelmingly positive reviews.


These cleats are strong enough to last the entire season without tearing. The choice of synthetic material makes these cleats resilient to the most punishing conditions and rough use.


The height of the shoe is optimal so that you get a good mix of support and speed. The EVA midsole and cushion provide unmatched comfort that can help reduce fatigue during long hours of play and practice.


Rubber molded cleats are engineered to provide superior traction even on slippery surfaces so that you can execute swift game-winning maneuvers that can make a difference for your team.


Our Final Thoughts

As explained above, linemen have a very tough role and are yet underappreciated. These unsung heroes of the sport have to be on top of their game both mentally and physically if their team is to have a chance of succeeding.


Quarterbacks and running back undoubtedly attract a lot of attention due to their exciting roles. But even the best quarterbacks and running backs are helpless without adequate support from their humble linemen brethren.