When a wedge is formed in the line on a scrimmage the guards and center must be sure to get low, or they will be carried along before it. The point of the wedge must be held in check. In resisting the attack of a revolving wedge the guards should separate slightly from the center and join with the tackle in trying to penetrate the mass to secure the runner. This should be done in such a way that the defense shall not be weakened. Care should also be taken by the side of the line away from which the wedge revolves not to add impetus to it by pushing too far.

The position of the guard varies slightly in defense and offense. In offense the first thought must be to protect the quarter-back until he has passed the ball; his next to block his man long enough to prevent him from reaching the runner. His third thought, which may also influence the way he stands while he attends to the former work, is to make the opening if the play is in his quarter. His fourth thought, which will be influenced by his first and second, is to get in his interference ahead of the runner when practicable, or follow him as closely as possible and do what he can to assist. In fulfilling all these duties he will be limited in his freedom of movement. He cannot stand too far from the center rusher, and he may be compelled to stand shoulder to shoulder with him.

Further, he will have to assume a position which best enables him to carry out his duties.' It may be well for him to stand with both feet on a line, or it may be better to have one or the other foot behind, according to his purpose. It is nearly always better for him to bend forward, or even to get down very low if his opponent tries to get under him. The bent-over position is better for meeting attacks, because the weight is well forward and low down and the body is better braced and not 'so much exposed to effective handling. In this position, also, one can move forward better for making an opening.

In blocking the legs should usually be spread widely apart. They should not be spread so much, however, that the guard will not be able to move quickly whenever his opponent shifts his position. In blocking, as in breaking through the line, the guard should try hard to get his power into action before his opponent. This can be best done by a shoulder check.

The general position of the guard must be determined by the play in hand and the way the opponent stands. He may be forced to move out a little because his opponent does so, but he must be careful that the opening between him and the center is not occupied by the quarterback or some other free player, in which case the tackle will sometimes be obliged to step in and take the opposing guard. Neither the guard nor any other rusher except the center should ever take a fixed position in standing.

On the defensive much depends on strong blocking by the guards, for weak blocking is fatal at the center of the line. The quarter-back, being so near to the guards, is in imminent danger in case of weak blocking, and he can little afford the loss of a fraction of a second in handling the ball, much less a fumble. Under these circumstances, if a fumble occurs, the quarter-back must always fall on the ball and not run any risks of losing it. Furthermore, in weak blocking the runner has little chance on a dash into the line, for in place of an opening he finds an opponent. " Block hard " has come to be one of the axioms of the game. Blocking for a kick is treated fully in the chapter on team play.

The guard has an advantage over the center in making an opening for the runner in only one particular, and that is that he is freer to move in his position. The center rusher is largely dependent on the position which his opponent takes in standing to help him out in this matter, since he cannot move his relative position from the opposing center more than the latter allows; but he can often 3 influence that position to suit his own purpose. By clever generalship and strategy he may be able to induce his opponent to do the very thing he needs to help him out in his play. Some of the ways of handling an opponent are given in the description of the duties of the center rusher.

When the guard is going to run with the ball he should take a position which will enable him to get away from his opponent quickly, but he should not make his intentions evident. For this reason it is better for the guard, as well as for the tackle, not to take a set position until the signal is given; but if one is taken, let it be such that it would not make it necessary to change in order to run with the ball. The one who is to run with the ball should seek in every way to conceal the purpose of the play.

The guard is in the most difficult position from which to get under headway in order to run with the ball. As commonly played, the guard swings round the quarterback and dives into an opening between the tackle and guard on the other side of the center. The very beginning of his run is the most difficult part. He cannot run fast from his position, for he has only a step or two to make before he must turn sharply around the quarterback and run in almost an opposite direction. If he runs back too far he will be tackled before he reaches the line, and if he turns in closely, he is likely to run against his own men as they are struggling with their opponents. It needs, therefore, careful judgment and a great deal of practice to be able to run well from this position.

Long-legged guards, as a rule, find it easier to take a long step backward with the foot next the center, and use that as a purchase from which to circle around the quarterback.. Some guards prefer to take three or four short, quick steps in making the turn around the quarter-back. Any way which will enable the guard to get under headway most quickly is the method which should be used. It will be easy for the quarter-back to place the ball in the guard's hands, and it will probably be better for him to carry it under the arm away from the center.

When the guard runs around to interfere, he should place himself so that he can get away quickly and not " give the play away." If the guard is to run around in order to interfere by getting ahead of the runners, the quickest possible start is necessary. There must be no delay whatever, even when the guard is a fast runner, or else the runner with the ball will have to slow up so much that he cannot make the play. Whenever the guard runs around to interfere or to run with the ball, the tackle should keep the opposing guard from following him. The guard can sometimes do this himself by pushing his opponent back just as he starts, but it must be done in such a way that it will not delay him.