What are weapons in football?

Weapons in football refer to offensive players that make the quarterback’s job easier. A team with a number of talented wide receivers would be an example of a team with great weapons.

When playing the game of football the quarterback is the most important position but he cannot do it all himself.

In order for the quarterback to complete passes and throw touchdowns, he is going to need someone to catch the ball.

The term weapons is a catch-all term that represents all the skill positions a quarterback can throw to.

When a team has great weapons its receivers will be able to generate separation and will make it easy for the quarterback to complete throws.

If a team’s weapons are poor then the quarterback will have trouble finding open players to throw to.

Having weapons on the offense also means that players are more likely to create big plays once the ball is in their hands. Having players that are dynamic after the catch can make things much easier on the quarterback.

Which players are considered weapons on an offense?

Typically when using the term weapons in football, writers and football fans are referring to players that the quarterback throws to. Below we will break down the top positions that are often considered weapons when talking about football.

Wide receivers

Wide receivers are the main position considered when talking about weapons in football. When judging a team’s weapons the first place someone would look is the wide receiver room.

If a team has a great number one receiver and quality players in the second wide receiver position and slot receiver then they are in good shape.

Teams with quality players throughout their receiver core are almost always going to be considered good weapons even if their tight ends and running backs aren’t great.

Even if a team has an elite wide receiver duo this is often enough for a competent quarterback to make it work.

On the other end if a team fails to have wide receivers that can generate separation then life is going to be very hard for the quarterback.

Running the passing offense through tight ends and running backs is often not going to be enough for most teams.

This is why teams will prioritize getting quality weapons at the wide receiver position especially if they already have a franchise quarterback.

Tight Ends

Though they are not the first position considered tight ends are also in the conversation when it comes to weapons for a quarterback.

This position has taken a large jump in production as the amount of passing in football has increased. Some teams have even gone as far as to have a tight end as their top receiver in terms of yards.

That being said this is not usually the case. Most teams will look to have a quality pass catcher at the tight end but it isn’t a prerequisite to having good weapons on your team.

Many teams can get by using an average tight end and still have several weapons at the quarterback’s disposal.

Though other offensive strategies include bringing incredibly athletic tight ends which can create mismatches against linebackers in pass coverage.

These sorts of players can be extremely helpful for the quarterback, especially in the red zone.


Runningbacks are the final position that is taken into account when evaluating a quarterback’s weapons. In this context running backs are measured for their ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

For some teams, the running back can be one of the team’s top receivers and can also work as a great safety valve if the quarterback’s other options are covered.

For this reason, a good receiving back can be a great addition to a team’s arsenal.

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