The term OT in football refers to the position of offensive tackle. Offensive tackles are primarily responsible for stopping the opposing team’s defenders from getting to the quarterback.
There are always going to be two offensive tackles on the field for the offense. The two offensive tackles will line end on either end of the offensive line.
OTs are typically the largest players on the offensive in terms of height and weight. Their long arms allow them to win hand fights while their weight ensures they are not pushed around.
Due to their importance in protecting the quarterback offensive tackles are one of the highest-paid players on the offense.
What Does An OT Do In Football?
Now that you know OT in football stands for offensive lineman you may be wondering what exactly these players do on the football field.
Below we will cover some of the main responsibilities offensive tackles have on the offense.
Protecting The Quarterback
The main responsibility of the offensive tackle is to protect the quarterback. Since these players line up on the edge of the formation they are likely going to face off against the defense’s top pass rushers.
These pass rushers must be neutralized by the tackles one on one as the center and the guards will be focused on the defensive tackles.
The left tackle typically has the most important job in this assignment as he usually protects a quarterbacks blindside. The blindside is the side of the defensive line the quarterback can’t see as his body will be turned towards his throwing hand.
Quarterbacks that throw with their left hand have their blind side on the right making the right tackle more valuable to their offense.
Though OTs are most highly valued for their ability to protect the quarterback they also play a large role in run blocking.
On rushing plays, the offense will have a predetermined hole they want the running back to go through. Once the play starts the offensive line will move the defensive lineman in order to create the hole for the running back.
If the play is going to be run towards either of the tackles they are going to have to effectively block their assignment.
In most cases, OTs are going to block defensive ends or linebackers on rushing plays.
On top of blocking around the line of scrimmage, tackles can be asked to block downfield on some occasions.
On these plays, another offensive lineman will block the defender in front of the tackle and the tackle will begin to move downfield.
The intention is that the offensive tackle will remain in front of the ball carrier downfield. This will allow the OT to layout blocks on players at the second and third levels in order to create more room for the ball carrier.
In many cases, this sort of downfield blocking will take place on screen passes. Though offensive tackles must be careful to wait for the forward pass to be completed before they go downfield in order to avoid an illegal lineman downfield penalty.