Are you tired of being confused watching NFL and when commentator says 'fullback' and you have no idea what they're talking about?
Do you constantly mix up halfbacks and fullbacks and end up looking like a complete buffoon in front of your friends?
Fear not, my confused football fan, for we are here to clear up the age-old mystery of the difference between a fullback (FB) and a halfback (HB) in the NFL!
So what is the difference between fullback and halfback in American football?
Fullback is mainly used for blocking tasks and the halfback is the main ball carrier (runner). In the standard offensive formation, the fullback is placed directly behind the quarterback, while the halfback is positioned behind the fullback. Halfback is the main ball carrier, while fullback is blocking.
Now that we defined the main difference, let's have a closer look at each football position.
Main responsibilities of fullback
There are a couple of main and secondary responsibilities when it comes to fullbacks in American football.
Some of them include:
- Blocking - Fullbacks are often used as lead blockers, paving the way for the halfback or tailback to run through. They are also utilized as pass blockers, helping to protect the quarterback from oncoming defensive linemen.
- Power Running - Fullbacks are also utilized as short-yardage runners, often used in goal-line or short-yardage situations.
- Pass catching - Though less common, Fullbacks are also used as a receiver, catching passes out of the backfield.
- Special Teams - Some fullbacks also play on special teams, particularly on the kickoff and punt teams.
- Adaptability - Fullbacks are frequently required to undertake various assignments depending on the team's strategy and the particular play in action. They are well-known for their adaptability and proficiency in executing diverse roles.
It is also worth to note a few ways they differentiate from hallfbacks.
Fullbacks usually have a more substantial build than halfbacks. In offensive plays, fullbacks are tasked with multiple roles like running with power, catching passes, and protecting both the quarterback and other running backs by blocking.
Interesting: Hey pssst! Do you want to hear something interesting? Fullbacks are used much less frequently in recent years in NFL.
Main responsibilities of halfback
To recognise halfback in American football, there are a few main responsibilities that they must do:
- Running the ball - The halfback is the primary ball carrier in the offensive backfield, responsible for carrying the ball on running plays.
- Exploiting holes in the defense - Halfbacks are typically smaller and faster than fullbacks, and are used to exploit holes in the defense created by the offensive line and fullback.
- Pass catching - Halfbacks are also used in the passing game, catching passes out of the backfield and as receivers.
- Pass protection - Halfbacks are also responsible for protecting the quarterback by blocking on passing plays
As I described before, halfbacks tend to be smaller and much quicker than fullbacks. They are more agile, so they are able to run through even smallest spaces. That's why some of the best halfbacks have a good instinct. They see a small hole and they exploit it!
Interesting: Are you wondering if American football is popular in Europe? Read here!
Conclusion - Summary
That was pretty informative article huh? 🙂
Just to give you a small summary in case you are in hurry:
- Fullbacks are mainly used for blocking tasks and the halfback is the main ball carrier (runner).
- In the standard offensive formation, the fullback is placed directly behind the quarterback, while the halfback is positioned behind the fullback.
- Fullbacks tend to have a more substantial build and are more versatile in their roles.
- Halfbacks are smaller and quicker, with a good instinct to exploit small holes in the defense.