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Naperville Saints Lineman: Leading from the Front

As a member of the Bill George Youth Football League, our Naperville Saints football players have a unique opportunity to flourish as offense and defensive lineman. In our program, players GET the opportunity to be a lineman. Read more below!

Big Upsides of Playing Lineman

Lineman do battle in the trenches on every single play. Some players may not have contact with their opponent in each play, but lineman do as they compete man-to-man, moving another player off the ball. They must be strong, fast off the ball and have an intelligent mind for the game as they execute plays. Naperville Saints lineman learn many technical skills including blocking, pass rushing, down-blocks, pulls and downfield blocks. 

The gaps a running back burst through happen because an offensive lineman created it. The quarterback has time to throw downfield because of the lineman. Quarterbacks get sacked because of lineman. We could go on and on.

Better fit than Flag Football

Flag football is rising in popularity, but some larger players might find it less satisfying due to its emphasis on speed and agility over raw strength and physicality. If you’re craving the adrenaline rush of full-contact football, then lineman positions are where you belong!

Lineman and “Stripers”

The Naperville Saints belong to the Bill George Youth Football League (BGYFL) who have long implemented weight restrictions by player age. The restriction is a safety and even-competition measure. Those players above a certain weight in their age group are deemed “stripers” and are only allowed to play on the offensive and defensive line. You will see players with a distinct stripe decal down the middle of their helmet, examples in the pics below. They are the stripers. See the table in the images below for striper weights, and reference the BGYFL website for the official table, link HERE.

Note that many Naperville Saints lineman are NOT stripers. We have some of our fastest and strongest players on the line who are under the weight limit.

Hear what our lineman have to say about their crucial roles


offensive lineman

  1. Team Foundation: As an offensive lineman, you are an essential part of the team's foundation. Your role is crucial for creating space and protecting the quarterback, contributing directly to the success of offensive plays.

  2. Skill Development: Playing as an offensive lineman helps develop specific skills such as blocking techniques, footwork, and hand placement. These skills can translate into improved overall athleticism and coordination.

  3. Leadership Opportunities: Offensive linemen often play a leadership role in the team, guiding communication and coordination among the members of the offensive line. This experience can foster leadership skills that extend beyond the football field.

  4. Understanding of Strategy: Offensive linemen need a deep understanding of the team's offensive strategy, including different plays, formations, and defensive schemes. This knowledge can enhance your overall football IQ.

  5. Physical Strength and Toughness: The position requires physical strength and toughness, as offensive linemen engage in intense battles with defensive linemen. This can lead to improved overall physical fitness and mental resilience.

defensive lineman

  1. Disruptive Force: Defensive linemen have the opportunity to disrupt the opposing team's offensive plays by penetrating the offensive line, tackling ball carriers, or pressuring the quarterback. This disruptive force can be a game-changer.

  2. Pass Rush Skills: Defensive linemen often develop effective pass rush techniques, learning how to shed blockers and reach the quarterback quickly. These skills are valuable in both football and other athletic endeavors.

  3. Instinct and Reaction Time: Reacting quickly to offensive movements and making split-second decisions are critical skills for defensive linemen. This improves overall instinct and reaction time, which can be advantageous in various aspects of life.

  4. Teamwork and Coordination: Like offensive linemen, defensive linemen need to work together effectively. Learning how to coordinate stunts, twists, and other maneuvers with fellow linemen builds a strong sense of teamwork.

  5. Versatility: Defensive linemen may be required to play different positions within the defensive line, such as defensive end or defensive tackle. This versatility can contribute to a well-rounded understanding of the game and enhance adaptability on the field.

A primer on the crucial roles of offensive and defensive lineman


There are five offensive linemen (OL) in most offensive formations: one center, two guards, and two tackles. Their primary function is to block for the player with the ball.

Offensive linemen are the biggest, strongest guys on the field, and their work can win or lose a game.

  • The primary job of the offensive line is to block opposing players. They do not typically touch the ball as part of the game plan, and there are even rules preventing them from doing so at certain times.
  • They need to be particularly good blockers in both running and passing situations.
  • They must have the strength to overpower opponents, the speed to get out in front of running backs, and the quickness to block smaller, faster defensive players.


As with offense, this is where the play starts. The defensive linemen (DL) are the first stage of the defense, and the first men the offense must account for in their blocking schemes. 

  • Defensive linemen are strong, rivaled on the field only by the offensive linemen. However, some physical characteristics are more desirable for specific positions.
  • Defensive tackles are often the biggest players on defense.
  • Defensive ends tend to be slightly smaller, quicker players and built for pass rushing.

Lineman on both sides have unique responsibilities on every play, it’s not always just bull-rush ahead. Quick, athletic feet are required to push defenders down the line, to open gaps, to “pull” and run behind the line to meet a defender. Defensive lineman must be agile and strong, getting past the offensive lineman to close gaps and pressure the quarterback.

our newest sled - we love our lineman!

check-out this lineman clip of the week!