What is a Running Back and What Do They Do in Football?

If you’ve ever watched a football game, the running back is essential to any team. They are responsible for gaining yardage on the ground, making key blocks, and scoring touchdowns to help their teams move the ball downfield. Learn more about this important position in football and how they help their teams succeed.

What is a Running Back?

A running back, sometimes called a halfback, is an offensive position in football. They are typically the minor players on their team, and their primary role is to run with the ball in hand down the field for yardage and touchdowns. Additionally, they can help their teams move forward by making key blocks to protect their quarterbacks and receivers and providing receiving options when needed.

The Responsibilities of a Running Back

The running back’s primary mission is to advance the ball by running, but it also requires many other skills. A good running back must be able to scan the defense and respond accordingly to take advantage of any openings or gaps. Running backs must also have powerful legs and bodies to break tackles or run through blockers while keeping their balance. Finally, they must possess top-notch ball control, so they don’t fumble or lose possession at crucial moments.

Traits of a Good Running Back.

Good running backs possess several qualities that set them apart from other players. They must possess great agility with impeccable balance and reflexes to move laterally, change direction quickly and avoid tacklers in all directions. Good vision is also essential, as they must be able to scan the field and find the right places to run to gain the most yards possible. Additionally, good running backs know when to lower their center of gravity and use their strength to plow through opponents or go around them for open space.

Strategy for Running Backs

Good running backs must also understand and use the strategy to their advantage. This involves understanding the coaching staff’s offensive plays and any unexpected defensive adjustments to counter them. They must anticipate what the defense will do and make changes on the fly to take advantage of their opponent’s weaknesses. Additionally, good running backs need to be constantly aware of their surroundings and teammates; this allows them to work together strategically for more significant gains in yardage.

How a Running Back Helps Score Points

Running backs are mainly instrumental in scoring points during football games. After a team gains possession of the ball, they typically send their running back to advance it downfield. The running back’s primary task is to break through defensive lines and gain yardage for their team. Depending on how much yardage is gained, a touchdown can be scored. Additionally, if the offense does not get a first down in passing situations, they may rely on the running back to punch in tough yards and regain possession of the ball.


The running back is a vital football position responsible for running the ball and catching passes. Their speed, agility, and versatility make them valuable weapons on offense, and a solid running game can be the key to success in many games. Whether you’re a football fan or just curious about the game, understanding the role of a running back is essential to appreciate the sport.

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