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American College Football FAQs
American College Football Rules
Football Jersey Numbers
Professional Football
Football Terminology
Football Penalties
Football Equipment
Strategy and Preparation
About the Players
Rules of the Game
History of Football
Different Rules of Playing Football

Official NFL Rules

Backward Pass
Ball Specifications
Calling a Safety
Coin Toss
Double Foul
Emergencies & Unfair Acts
Fair Catch
Fair Catch Kicks
Field Goal
Field Specifications
Forward Pass
Foul on Last Play
Game Official Responsibilities
Glossary of Terms
Kicks from Scrimmage
Pass Interference
Penalty Enforced
Player Substitutions
Position of Players at Snap
Protection of a Quarterback
Spot of Enforcement
Sudden Death
Timing (Final 2 Minutes)
Use of Hands Arms & Body

Football Tips and Resources

Defensive Backfield
Defensive Line Essentials
Defensive Line Play vs. Pass
Defensive Line Stance
Learning How to Punt & Kick
Offensive Line Center Snap
Quarterback Basics
Quarterback Basic Training
Quarterback Ball Grip
Tight End - Characteristics
Wide Receiver
Wide Receiver - Characteristics

Special Teams Strategy
Defensive Strategy
Specific Offensive Strategies
Special Offensive Plays
Passing Plays
Running Plays
Offensive Formations
Offensive Players
Offensive Strategy
Intro to Football Strategy



Special Teams Strategy

Special teams is the term used to describe the specialized group of players who take the field during kickoffs, free kicks, punts, and field goal attempts. Most football teamsí special teams include one or more kickers, a long snapper (who specializes in accurate snaps over long distances), kick returners who catch and carry the ball after it is kicked by the opposing team, and blockers who defend during kicks and returns.

Some players may take the field as members of the offense or defense as well as the special teams; one notable example is Steven Smith, wide receiver for the NFLís Carolina Panthers, who also played as a kick returner during the 2005 NFL season.

Although these are risky, there are a variety of strategic plays which can be attempted during kickoffs, punts, and field goals which can be used to surprise the opposition and (hopefully) score points.

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Defensive Strategy

The general goal of defensive strategy is to prevent the opposing teamís offense from scoring. While doing so, the defensive players may also attempt to gain control of the football and score points themselves. There are many different defensive strategies.


The 3-4 defense declined in popularity over the years, but has found renewed use by modern professional and college football teams. The 3-4 defense is so named because it involves 3 down linemen and 4 linebackers. There are usually 4 defensive backs.

The 3 down linemen attempt to break into the backfield in order to sack or rush the quarterback or to stop running backs and other players behind the line of scrimmage. The defensive line is made up of a nose tackle (NT), who lines up in front of the opposing teamís center and two defensive ends (DEs), who flank the nose tackle on both sides. Linemen in 3-4 schemes tend to be more massive than their 4-3 counterparts to take up more space and guard more territory along the defensive front.

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