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  • An H-back is an offensive position in American football. The H-back lines up similarly to a tight end, but is "set back" from the line of scrimmage, and is thus counted as one of the four "backs" in the offensive formation. The position was made notable in the National Football League by the Washington Redskins under head coach Joe Gibbs, who ran a two tight end system. The position was named F-Back when used later in Norv Turner's offensive system. The position is similar to that of a slotback. The name H-back can be confusing, because the H-back rarely carries the ball as running backs do; instead, the H-back plays a position similar to a tight end. The name stems from the playbook notation in use at the time the position was developed. Under the system used by Joe Gibbs, the standard set of eligible ball carriers consisted of three receivers and three backs. The three receivers, the split end, tight end, and flanker, were labeled "X", "Y", and "Z" on play diagrams. The three backs, quarterback, halfback, and fullback, were labeled "Q", "H", and "F". Gibbs' innovation was to move one of the backs up near the line of scrimmage, to act as an extra tight end.

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