THIS aero-view portrays all the defensive players, in proper position and using their hands to keep free from the opposing players.
The offense are attempting to flank the defensive left end, who can he seen in foreground with his right hand on an interfere's head. He has successfully met the shock of the other interferer, as he is still on his feet and in a strong position. The defensive left tackle is foiling the attempt of the offensive right end to "box" him by the use of his left hand. The two guards on his right are in strong position had the play been directed against them, while the right tackle and end have crossed the line of scrimmage and are ready for any reverse or criss-cross play. (Contrast this plate with Plate IXa.) The center and halfback the second line of defense are moving laterally with the runner and are b interference.
Note the illegal use of arms by several of the offense. The Umpire (in white shirt) has detected it and is in the act of blowing his horn to signify that holding has taken place. Although the runner was thrown for only a small loss the ensuing penalty cost fifteen yards.
Centre College vs. Harvard 1901.
"I have it," you say, in faked calmness. "Even if I fail in my rush, the enemy will be compelled to punt from an awkward position, and we can make a fair catch and then tie the score by kicking a goal from placement."
"Well, as long as you have decided on a rush, which one are you going to use? Go ahead and do something quickly, or the referee will penalize you two yards for delaying the game, and finally remember that of the three arms of attack, only one can be used in this last remaining try; therefore, theoretically, the odds are two to one against your successfully accomplishing whatever you attempt. Good luck to you!"
THE offense in close formation are able to attack by rushing all points on the primary line of defense. For this reason the latter, unless they anticipate a forward pass, usually place seven men on the line of scrimmage to combat the weight of the impending attack upon it.
A player of rugged build is stationed from three to four yards back of the first line of defense, opposite the apex of the offensive formation. This player, known as a rush line halfback, supports the line from tackle to tackle and constitutes the second line of defense. The other halfbacks (usually termed wingbacks) are forced to take position sufficiently removed to be on equal terms with possible receivers of the forward pass.
Owing to the predominating running strength of the offense on their left side, the defensive right wingback is called upon to support his end on all plays run in his direction. He, therefore, plays somewhat nearer the scrimmage line than the left wingback, whose main duty is to watch for a forward pass until he is certain that it is not forthcoming, after which he should assist his second line in preventing gains by rushing. The wing halfbacks are known as the third line of defense.
The remaining player, the fourth line of defense, is placed from twenty to thirty yards in the rear to cope with a possible quick kick or any pass or rush that reaches his territory.
THE open formation is used primarily for kicking (the diagram is drawn for a left-footed kicker). From it, however, are run plunges, slants and sweeps, the last type being so formidable as to cause a widening of the defense rush line. Forward passes of various kinds are also used, so that the defensive center is forced to fill the gap. left vacant by the necessary changes in the backfield, caused by the threatened kick.
Versus this open formation the defense is thus stretched in width and depth. If too far in either direction, the offense at once takes advantage of the weak spot. Both the offense and defense vary considerably from the diagram in accordance with the immediate circumstances.
THE offense have loosened the distribution of their team laterally in an attempt to flank the defensive right tackle. By this arrangement also they have so grouped their baekfield as to enable them the more easily to wend their way through the opposing line in order to receive forward passes.
For this reason the defense, although sacrificing material strength on the primary line, are forced to withdraw their center rush who is thus able to assist his backfield not only against plays of this nature but also to lend much-needed support to the weakened scrimmage line.
The third and fourth lines of defense remain un-changed.
THE offense have now assumed a formation in which there remains so little rushing strength of a plunging nature, that the defense leave only the two guards and two tackles to combat with it. The rest of the team is so placed as to best cope with forward passes or wide runs.
On account of the width of the offensive formation it is so difficult for the defensive backfield to cover laterally their respective zones, that the defensive ends are called upon not only to protect the flanks against sweeps, but also to guard flat zones on or about the extended line of scrimmage, into which the offense are apt to make a forward pass.
To adequately accomplish these two important duties, they are compelled to take station some five yards back of the scrimmage line.
The backfield are thus allowed to maintain the same relative positions as shown in Diagram III.