T formation

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A standard T formation

The T-formation is an offense formation in American football .


The T-formation is a football attack formation that basically consists of five offensive linemen (two tackles, two guards and the center), two tight ends supporting the line , a quarterback and three running backs (two halfbacks, one fullback), who are side by side standing several yards behind the quarterback. Looking at the T-formation from the opposing end zone, these four backfield players together look like a "T". One of the three running backs is usually used as a man in motion .

The T-formation is a simple attack formation that favors the running game over the three running backs and enables the quarterback quick throws at the tight ends or the man in motion. Therefore this formation is popular in children and youth football. In professional sport, the classic T-formation is used for attacks shortly before the opposing end zone , where the running game achieves the same gain in space as a throw. In normal play, more complex attack formations are usually used. T. based on the T-formation.


Modern football, introduced in 1933, made throwing easier.

The T formation is one of the oldest football attack formations and was played as early as the 19th century. When the forward pass was legalized, other offensive tactics became popular, in particular the so-called single-wing formation (Eng .: "one-wing formation"). When modern NFL football was introduced in 1933 (21 inches in circumference, stitching and elliptical shape instead of 28 inches in circumference, smooth and melon-shaped), throwing became easier. When quarterbacks began to use long throws, the T-formation became popular again: the Chicago Bears under coach George Halas used one of the three running backs as a man in motion who ran into free space - and was thus the forerunner of the modern wide receiver . In College Football led Frank Leahy her by the University of Notre Dame and won with the Fighting Irish four college titles, and the Bears won with the Hall-of-Fame quarterback Sid Luckman from 1940 to 1946 four NFL titles. The T formation was the forerunner of the Pro set , which uses a similar basic formation with two wide receivers.


  • Leahy, Frank: Notre Dame Football: The "T" Formation , New York (1949), Prentice Hall

See also