Jason Kelce probably wouldn’t be a perennial All-Pro and the NFL’s arguable best center blocking for an ascending Jalen Hurts if he didn’t know the ins and outs of football terminology.
Unlike other positions on the offensive line, a center must understand their responsibilities and what everyone else is accounting for on every play. Like their peers, they also have to be prepared for what the giant defensive lineman in front of them might be trying to accomplish. Even something as simple as alignment could tip off plans.
In the very first episode of their new podcast New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce, the two eponymous brothers — respective offensive stars with the Eagles and Chiefs — discussed defensive line alignments. And when Jason went on a short tangent about the nitty-gritty of the different techniques, he seemed to confuse Travis and himself:
Thank you, Jason Kelce, for asking a question I’ve always wanted the answer to but was too afraid to ask pic.twitter.com/ecyigcslEw
— David Helman (@davidhelman_) September 22, 2022
You might be asking yourself right now, “uh, what?” after hearing Jason Kelce’s “random” about defensive line alignments.
That’s why I’m here! Because I’m an encyclopedia of football knowledge, and so everyone knows, here’s what Jason means. The numbers are essentially shorthand for where a defensive lineman positions themselves pre-snap, and it goes in sequence:
A “0” technique is lined up right on top of a center. They’re directly in line with them.
A “1” will be on either shoulder of the center.
A “2” will be straight up on a guard, a “2I” will be on the inside shoulder of a guard, and a “3” will be on the outside shoulder.
A “4” will be head up on a tackle, a “4I” will be on the inside shoulder, and a “5” will be on the outside shoulder.
There is no “5I” (I don’t know why, and the NFL superstars don’t seem to either).
Finally, a “6” will be head up on a tight end, and a “9” will be all the way outside of them.
Why there’s no “8” or this knowledge seems to skip a few numbers, who knows! If you’re still confused, I get it. Take solace that the Kelces don’t seem to completely understand it themselves.
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