What Is A Nose Tackle In Football?

Nose tackle football: A defensive tackle utilized in a 3-4 scheme in football is known as a nose tackle. What is a nose tackle in football? How to play? Keep reading our article to learn all about the definition and how to play this position!

What Is A Nose Tackle In Football?

A defensive lineman who lines up in the middle of the defensive line is known as the nose tackle in football. The NT, also known as the defensive tackle, stands across from the middle on the offensive line and between the left and right edges of the defensive line. Given that they constitute the first defense line on the back line, nose tackles are frequently referred to as the defense’s “anchor.”

What Is A Nose Tackle In Football?

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This position is responsible for leveraging, locating the ball, and filling gaps.


The coaching staff evokes in players the idea that “low man wins” from youth football through the NFL. For nose guards, in particular, this is a football-related lesson in leverage.

The nose guard attempts to get his shoulder pads under those of his rival in order to prevent the opposition from consistently circulating the ball in the center of the line. This gives him the chance to push back while interfering with and obstructing the running lanes that the defensive players are attempting to establish. An excellent nose guard will constantly attempt to play his role with leverage.

Locating The Ball

Finding the ball carrier before making a move is among the most challenging and underappreciated responsibilities of the nose guard position. When you take a three- or four-point position directly across from the middle, you are likely to be low to the ground and may find it challenging to look into the backfield. 

However, you need to identify the ball carrier from the configuration your team is in and break through the line to tackle him before he can gain a lot of ground and make a huge play. Knowing your opponent’s habits, being able to overcome blocks, and having the agility to cut through and strike the ball carrier all involve watching the film to succeed at this.

Filling Gaps

The most crucial duty is to patch up the offensive line’s holes. The running will always have a precise gap to run through on any particular play. The nose tackle will need to find and close this hole since he is the sole defensive lineman on the field.

With his substantial stature, the NT must prevent the opposition players from removing him from the hole once he has occupied it. The rushing back will be compelled to select a different offensive line gap. As a result, it provides the other defenders a chance to rush the ball carrier.

How To Play Nose Tackle In American Football?

Military press and squat repetitions are the finest exercises to do to get in shape to be a nose tackle. For the best performance in this posture, you’ll need strong shoulders and legs. 

Rush into the middle of the field upon the ball’s snap, then grasp his shoulder pads. Try to sway him in one direction or the other. Try to push him up so you can get below him and then smash through him. If he attempts to block you right or left, fight through the barrier with your forearm before shivering your hand. Maintain your position at all costs. Make an effort to separate any double team if you see them. Whatever you can do, muck up their blocking strategy.

Famous Nose Tackle Players in American Football

Curley Culp​

  • Full name: Curley Culp
  • Date of birth: March 10, 1946 
  • Date of death: November 27, 2021
  • Nationality: American
  • Height: 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)

Curley Culp, who led the Kansas City Chiefs to triumph in Super Bowl IV within only his second season, went on to play in every season of the league and significantly contributed to some of the best defensive groups in the league. In addition to winning the Super Bowl, Culp is renowned for winning the Defensive Player of the Year award in 1975, being named to the First Team All-Pro, and playing in six Pro Bowls.

Ted Washington

  • Full name: Theodore Bernard Washington
  • Date of birth: February 16, 1948 
  • Age: 54
  • Nationality: American
  • Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)

In his seven seasons playing in the NFL, Ted Washington was a defensive standout for all seven of the squads he was a part of. His best years were in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when he was chosen for four Pro Bowls in 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2001 and was nominated to the First Team All-Pro in 2001. During his career, he recorded 603 total tackles, 34.5 sacks, plus 2 interceptions.


This article should have covered all the information you required to understand the nose tackle football position. To sum up, these players are the only defensive tackle in a 3-4 system, setting them apart from a defensive tackle. An NT, then, lines up in the center of the formation as the lone defensive tackle on the field. 

If you want to find out more interesting posts like this or learn about American football, don’t forget to keep checking back to our American Football Terms website!

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