Getting to the bottom of under tackle

There has been some confusion among less-informed sources about how the Bills designate their defensive tackles, and how they line up. We're here today to clear up that confusion for you.

On most depth charts, even the team's official depth charts, you'll see the big guys in the middle of the line listed as left tackles and right tackles. On the field, however, the Bills don't play them on one side or the other. And on the chalkboard in the meeting room, the team calls them nose tackles and under tackles.

One possible source of confusion is that because the Bills no longer play a 3-4 defense, they don't use a traditional two-gap nose tackle (think of Ted Washington or Fred Smerlas) playing directly in the center's face and controlling the gap on either side of him.

We felt we knew where the nose tackle and under tackle lined up, but we asked defensive line coach John Levra to confirm our thinking.

He said, "The nose tackle is shaded on the center's outside shoulder on the weak side. The under tackle is usually to the strong side, on the guard's outside shoulder."

And who are these people?

"Pat Williams, Ron Edwards and Demetrious Maxie play just nose tackle. Leif Larsen plays there some, and Tyrone Robertson, and Justin Bannan some." When DeVonte Peterson returns from the NFL Europe League, he would play under tackle. In addition, if the Bills re-sign Shawn Price, he would return to under tackle, where he first played for them in 1998.


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