From scoring touchdowns to throwing big blocks, the running back can be the most important part of a football team's offense. Kidzworld takes a closer look at some of the NFL's best rushers.
Running Backs - Speed, Power, Strength
Running backs are one of the most important players on a football team. They carry the ball forward towards the defence or catch short passes from the quarterback. A good running back needs to have speed, quickness and strength to get around defenders and gain yards. Running backs come in two types - halfbacks and fullbacks. Halfbacks are fast and quick and rely on speed and fancy footwork to fool defences, while fullbacks are bigger and stronger and simply power themselves forward. Halfbacks, like Shaun Alexander of the Seahawks, tend to create a lot of big plays and make it on the Sports Center highlights, while fullbacks mostly help the offensive line block or are used to get short yardage.
Running Backs - NFL's Best
Shaun Alexander - There's a good reason Alexander is on the cover of Madden NFL 07. The 2005 NFL MVP is a nearly unstoppable force for the Seattle Seahawks. Alexander led the NFL in rushing in 2005 with 1,880 yards and an NFL-record 28 touchdowns.
Tiki Barber - The New York Giants back is a running machine who has great speed and power. Barber but can break through defences for big gains but is also reliable for using his power to gain short yardage when necessary.
Larry Johnson - Johnson is a big powerhouse runner who has great hands and can also play as a receiver. The Chiefs' running back gets bonus points for having sweet, Jay-Z-inspired TD dances.
LaDainian Tomlinson - If you're in any sort of football fantasy league - Tomlinson is a great player to have on your team. The Chargers' star runs for big yards each week and never seems to get hurt even though he gets hammered by defenders every game.
Running Backs - Facts and Records
The number a football player wears on their jersey depends upon the position he plays. Running backs in the NFL always wear between 20 and 49.
Emmitt Smith is the NFL's all time leading rusher. He rushed for 18,355 yards during his 15 seasons in the National Football League.
In 2003, Jamal Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens set an NFL record by rushing for 295 yards in a game against the Cleveland Browns.