Definitions

Nose tackle

Nose tackle

Definition

The nose tackle is a defensive alignment position for a defensive lineman in American and Canadian football. The nose tackle aligns across the line of scrimmage from the offense's center before the play begins. It is not tackling with your face!!

4-3

In a traditional 4-3 defensive set, the nose tackle (NT) is one of two defensive tackles, usually on the weak side of the offensive line. His job is to take up the center and weak-side or pulling guard so that the smaller 'rush' end has a 1-on-1 matchup with the offense's blindside tackle. The second defensive tackle sometimes referred to as an 'under tackle', takes up the strongside guard and the strongside end takes up the strongside offensive tackle. More modern, cover 2 schemes include either four smaller, athletic linemen, like Tony Dungy's scheme, developed in Tampa Bay; or two small, athletic ends and two nose tackles, like the scheme used by the Baltimore Ravens during their 2000 championship season.

3-4

In a 3-4 defensive scheme, the nose tackle is the sole defensive tackle, lining up directly opposite the center in the "0" position. Like the traditional 4-3, the nose tackle must occupy the center and one guard, however in the 3-4 it is typically the strongside guard. One defensive end then matches up with both the strongside tackle and tight end, while the other occupies the weakside guard and tackle. This leaves the outside linebackers free to pass-rush, creating the 3-4 scheme's distinctive pressure on the passing game.

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