Tight end

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A tight end in the I formation

The tight end ( TE ) in American football is a mixture of an offensive lineman and a wide receiver .

With running plays it is the task of the tight end, together with the tackles, guards and the center, to block the way for the running back . In passing trains, however, it runs just like the receiver its predetermined Pass Route to offer itself as a pass receiver and catch the ball, or it forms with the other offensive linemen the Pocket (pocket) for the quarterback and blocks the defenders. Usually the tight end is set up right next to the tackle before the start of the play (hence the name tight end because it is close to one of the ends of the offensive line), but it can also be moved further outwards as a slot receiver or to the rear act offset as a so-called H-back . The side of the offense on which the tight end is placed is referred to as the strong side , the opposite as the weak side . Often this then determines the assignment of the linebackers or the strong safety of the opposing defense.

A good tight end should be as big and strong as possible, but still have a certain basic speed and be able to catch very well, since it usually serves as a pass receiver for short passes and therefore does not have much time to prepare to catch the ball. The importance of the tight end differs from team to team and from system to system. In some teams the tight end catches more balls than the wide receivers, in others it is rarely - if at all - played. Since the tight end is not usually taken directly into man's mark on passing plays, it often acts as a safety option for the quarterback, who passes the ball to him at the last second at close range if the wide receivers are covered too closely by the defense and the Pressure on the quarterback becomes too great.

In the early days of football, the tight ends were mostly heavy, powerful players who were used as additional blockers for the offensive line . In the 1960s, Hall of Fame players such as Mike Ditka , Jackie Smith and John Mackey were added, who also had great catch security. With Kellen Winslow and Shannon Sharpe , fast, athletic tight ends became increasingly established, which distinguished themselves above all through their offensive qualities. Since the 2000s, more and more college-level basketball players have been playing, such as the Pro Bowl tight ends Tony Gonzalez , Antonio Gates , Julius Thomas and Jimmy Graham . They appreciate the ability to get a pass like a rebound out of the air despite close cover . Examples of “classic” tight ends are currently the Pro Bowl players Rob Gronkowski and Jason Witten .

Similar to the wide receiver, the tight end has a number between 1–49 and 80–99, as the numbers 50–79 are not allowed to catch any forward passes.


  1. ^ New breed of tight ends with basketball backgrounds are changing pro football , Fox Sports