What is the difference between a nose guard and a nose tackle on defense in football?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nose guard, or NT, is a defensive position in American football. In five-lineman situations, such as a goal-line formation, the nose guard is the innermost lineman, flanked on either side by a defensive tackle. More often, the nose guard will be employed as the interior defender in the 3-4 defense. The nose guard lines up directly opposite the offensive center, or over the center's "nose". Nose guards tend to be shorter than most other defensive linemen. They are very strong, but usually not very fast and are therefore used to stop runs down the middle and draw double teams.

    Extremely quick nose guards are sometimes used to shoot through the offensive line before it can react. They then sack the quarterback or make a tackle shortly after a hand off. However, this is rare because most defensive linemen are not quick enough to consistently shoot the gaps between the individual offensive linemen.

    Current nose guards of note include Ted Washington (6'-4" 365 lb) of the Cleveland Browns and Casey Hampton (6'-1" 338 lb) of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    "Nose guard" is often a term incorrectly applied to the defensive tackle in a 3-4 defensive scheme. This position is known as a nose tackle. Nose guards are sometimes also referred to as middle guards.



    The nose tackle is an extremely important player of the 3-4 defense in American Football. He lines up over the center. The nose tackle is usually the largest defensive lineman, as he must cover an area usually covered by two tackles in the traditional 4-3 defense. He is the anchor of the line, ideally immovable, and usually weighing in excess of 320 pounds, but usually not taller than 6'4 in order to get leverage. He has to be strong, so that he can stand up his man and read the play. In the 3-4 defense, pass rushing is usually left to the other members of the front 7, be they the defensive ends or the linebackers (especially the outside linebackers), who are given better angles to rush off the ends. A Nose Tackle must also have the mind-set that he must take up at least 2 offensive players, and also 2 gaps. This could quite possibly be the most important player on the field.

    [edit] 4-3

    In a traditional 4-3 defensive set, known as a two-gap defensive set, the nose tackle 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 has no real designation, but takes up the strongside guard and the strongside end takes up the strongside offensive tackle. A 1-gap scheme relies on an athletic defensive line rather than a large one and does not include a nose 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.


  • 1 decade ago

    A nose guard is usually used in a 5-2, 3-4, or a 46 defense, and a nose tackle is used more in a 4-4 or a 4-3. They usually have the same kind of build though. A nose guard is usually lined up in front of the center or off to the right or left of the center, but nose tackles are usually lined up between the guard and the tackle depending on the defensive line formation (wide gaps, slant left, or slant right).

  • 1 decade ago

    Nose Tackle lines up right across from the Center, whereas the Nose Guard is the player on defense to the right and left of the Nose Tackle....

    In a 3 - 4 set...

    And not every defense has nose tackles and nose guards...

    Like in tonight's game ... The Bengals have Sam Adams as their Nose Tackle...he's HUGE

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

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    What is the difference between a nose guard and a nose tackle on defense in football?

    Source(s): difference nose guard nose tackle defense football: https://knowledge.im/?s=difference+nose+guard+nose...
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  • Andy T
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    According to Wiki (I checked because I had assumed them to be the same) a NT is the DT of a 3-4, while the NG is the middle lineman on a 5-lineman scheme, with a DT on each side (though the player there is usually the NT of the team)

    NT/NG can also be used to refer to the DT of a 4-3 who lines up next to the RE (who usually is covered more in terms of pass-rush) to give him a better advantage <---------that's what Wiki says, but I will say that I have always heard is as the DT who lines next to the LE (ie: on the Vikings, Pat Williams the left DT is fatter and shorter (like a NT) than the right DT Kevin Williams)

  • 5 years ago

    they are the same and if they are really different then we are splitting hairs. most 3-4 schemes have 5 guys down on the line anyway the two ends just dont always blitz

  • 1 decade ago

    They're the same position. So named because they line up on the "nose" of the center.

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