What Are The Big Uglies In Football?

In the game of football, there are many terms that can leave fans scratching their heads. One of the terms that football fans are often wondering about is big uglies.

The term big uglies in football refers to players that play on the offensive and defensive line. In order to play this position effectively, these players need to carry a large amount of body fat. This excess weight earned them the nickname the big uglies.

It is quite common for offensive and defensive linemen to lose a large amount of weight immediately after retiring from football.

Keeping on a large amount of weight while practising and playing football is a fairly difficult task. The players referred to as the big uglies need to eat a massive amount of food to keep this excess weight on throughout the season.

Once retired the players simply cut back on their eating habits and tend to lose a lot weight very quickly.

Why Do Linemen Need To Be So Heavy?

So we know that linemen need to be heavy in order to play their position effectively but why is that the case. Below we will break down some of the key reasons that these players need to weigh a lot to perform well.

Pass Protection

Pass protection refers to the assignment of protecting the quarterback and is done by an offensive lineman.

On these plays, the offensive line will make a half wall around the quarterback in order to keep defenders away.

If these offensive linemen were not carrying extra weight the ability to hold this half wall together would be noticeably harder.

Defensive players would be able to use their strength in order to move the offensive lineman out of the way.

The extra weight on lineman allows them to hold their ground. This keeps them in between the defensive player and the quarterback. This is one of the main reasons you will find that offensive linemen are so heavy.

Plugging Holes

Another reason why linemen are referred to as the big uglies is that they carry extra weight on the defensive side of the ball as well.

Defensive linemen, especially defensive tackles tend to be one of the heaviest players on the field in order to plug holes in the running game.

On a rushing play, the offense is going to attempt to generate a hole in the defensive line that the ball carrier can run through.

As a defensive tackle your job is to not allow the offense to generate this hole. This means if you are the defender in the hole you are going to have to hold your ground.

With an offensive lineman attempting to push you out of the way holding your ground is going to be quite difficult.

By carrying a lot of extra weight offensive lineman are going to have a lot harder time clearing the space for their running back.

They Compete Against One Another

Ironically the main reason that both the offensive line and the defensive line are so large is that they have to face off against one another.

If you watch old-timey football games you will notice the lineman on both sides of the ball is much smaller.

When both linemen are small the ability to play the position at a lightweight is totally possible. But once one side of the line becomes heavier they will be much more successful.

In order to move large offensive linemen, you need to be huge. And in order to move large defensive tackles on rushing plays, you are going to need a ton of weight.

This ultimately ended up in all linemen becoming incredibly heavy in order to deal with one another effectively.

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