A running back (RB) is a gridiron football position who is typically lined up in the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback (HB for short, in certain contexts also referred to as a tailback) or a fullback (FB). The halfback or tailback position is recognized as one of the more glamorous positions on the field, as it is often integral in both the passing and running attack. He is responsible for carrying the ball on the majority of running plays, and may frequently be used as a receiver on short passing plays. In today's game, an effective halfback must have a superior blend of both quickness and agility as a runner, as well as sure hands and shrewd vision upfield as a receiver.
Contributions by Groupthink, Sampo Torgo, and 126.96.36.199.