Glossary

 

Football Terminology: Click any link for an expanded definition.

 

#’s

-110: A gambling term that signifies that you have to lay/bet  $110.00 to win $100.00 if your bet  is correct.

+165: A gambling term that signifies if you bet  $100.00 and your bet is correct you will win $165.00.

1/4 Coverage: Another name for Cover 4

1 Back Set: Offensive formation with one running back.

1st & 10: Numerical reference to First and Ten.a ga

1st Down: The first of four downs that the offense has to reach 10 yards to earn a first down and a new set of downs.

2-Digit Personnel Grouping Chart: The combination of players made of RB/TE/WR on offense shown in the 2-digit personnel grouping chart.

  • 00 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  0 RB and  0 TE and 5 WR
  • 01 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  0 RB and  1 TE and 4 WR
  • 02 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  0 RB and  2 TE and 3 WR
  • 03 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  0 RB and 3 TE and 2 WR
  • 04 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  0 RB and 4 TE and 1 WR
  • 05 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  0 RB and 5 TE
  • 10 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  1 RB and 0 TE and 4 WR
  • 11 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  1 RB and 1 TE and 3 WR
  • 12 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  1 RB and 2 TE and 2 WR
  • 13 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  1 RB and 3 TE and 1 WR
  • 14 Set:  An offensive personnel grouping with  1 RB and 4 TE
  • 20 Set:  An offensive personnel grouping with  2 RB and 0 TE and 3 WR.
  • 21 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  2 RB and 1 TE and 2 WR
  • 22 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  2 RB and 2 TE and 1 WR
  • 23 Set: An offensive personnel grouping with  2 RB and 3  TE
  • 30 SetAn offensive personnel grouping with  3 RB and 0 TE and 2 WR.
  • 31 SetAn offensive personnel grouping with  3 RB and 1 TE and 1 WR.
  • 32 SetAn offensive personnel grouping with  3 RB and 2 TE.

2nd Down: The second of four downs that the offense has to reach 10 yards to earn a first down and a new set of downs.

3rd Down: The third of four downs that the offense has to reach 10 yards to earn a first down and a new set of downs.

4 Wide Receiver Sets: An offensive formation where four wide receivers are lined up as receivers.

4 Wide Sets: Offensive formations with 4 receivers, can be 4 wide receivers, or a combination of Tight ends and/or running backs.

4th Down: The fourth of four downs that the offense has to reach 10 yards to earn a first down and a new set of downs.

5 Man Protections: The number of men protecting the QB when all 5 eligible receivers go out for passing routes.

5 Wide Receiver Sets: An offensive formation where five wide receivers are lined up as receivers.

5 Wide Sets: Offensive formations with 5 receivers, can be 5 wide receivers, or a combination of Tight ends and/or running backs, but a pure 5-wide receiver set is 5 wide receivers.

6 Man Protections: A pass protection where one of the eligible receivers stays into pass protect(usually a TE or RB).

7 Man Protections: Another name for Max Protection where 7 men (5 OL and 2 of the eligible receivers stay into block).

9 Route: Another name for a Go Route

52 is the Mike: A call made by the C or QB to let the offensive line know who is the center of the defense so they can apply their rules/assignments accordingly.

90 Man Roster: A team’s training camp roster.

A

Ace Set: Offensive formation with one running back.

ACL: Acronym for anterior cruciate ligament.

Air Coryell: An offensive scheme/concept/system created by San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell, who is the father of the modern passing attack.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of a pair of cruciate ligaments (the other being the posterior cruciate ligament) in the knee.

Audible: The name of the action when a Quarterback calls an alternative play at the line of scrimmage.

B

Back Shoulder Fade: A passing route that is generally utilized in the defense where route is run and broken off towards the back corner of the end zone with the  QB throwing to the receivers back shoulder where he uses his body to shield the DB from the ball.

Bad Field Position: A position on the field that is unfavorable, often on the deep in a team’s own territory with their back against their goal line.

Balanced Line: When there is a guard and a tackle on each side of the center.

Blitz: A play/call/scheme where the defense brings an additional man or men to rush the QB.

Block & Release: A concept that occurs for the TE and at times the RB where they block a defender then release for a passing route.

Boot: A shortened term for the term bootleg.

Boot Action: Another term for bootleg in the passing game

Bootleg: a) Running play where the QB keeps the ball and runs around the end of the LOS.  b) A maneuver in the passing game where the QB rolls out to buy time/read the defense moving towards the sideline.

Boundary: Another term for sideline.

Bread-basket: The location in between the running backs arms as he takes a handoff from the Quarterback.

Breaking The Pocket: Offensively) when the QB leaves the pocket to explore running the ball or trying to buy time to find an open receiver. Defensively when a defender breaks/busts through the pocket disputing the QB while he is passing.

Broken Pocket: When a defender brakes/busts through the pocket disrupting the QB while he is passing.

Bump & Run: A defensive coverage/technique where the DB makes contact with the WR within 5 yards and turns and runs down field with him.

Bubble Screen: A quick hitting screen to the WR behind the LOS that can make an aggressive defense pay.

Bunch Sets: A passing formation with 3 or more receivers “bunched together” .

Busted Pocket: When a defender breaks/busts through the pocket disrupting the QB while he is passing.

C

Cadence:  The spoken words, numbers and phrases by a QB as the offense sets for the snap.

Center:  The offensive lineman that snaps the ball to the QB and normally  is the one assigned with making protection calls for the other offensive lineman.

Centerfield:  A term borrowed from baseball of how the Free Safety plays a deep zone in Cover 1.

Chip Block: A block that usually comes from a TE/RB before they release to go out on a route.

Collapsed Pocket: When multiple defenders bust/break through the pocket.

Comeback Route: A passing route where the receiver runs straight down the field like a Go Route, stops/plants and turns back towards the sideline expecting the ball from the QB. It can be run at various lengths.

Corner Blitz: A play when the CB abandons his regular assignemtn and rushes the QB.

Corner Route: A passing route that starts out as a Go route and the receiver breaks to the corner of the endzone after 12-15 yards.

Cover 0: A defensive call/scheme where the eligible receivers are covered by man coverage, whether it’s 5 DB’s from a Nickel defense or whether it’s 4 DB’s and a LB from a base set.

Cover 1:  A defensive call/scheme where the Free Safety has a deep zone with other defenders playing Man coverage(the majority of the time).

Cover 2: A defensive call/scheme where the pair of safeties divide the deep portion of the field into two deep zones.  The LBs and Corners can play man or have shorter zones of their own.

Cover 3: A defensive call or scheme that is a zone defense that has the two corners and the Free Safety dividing the deep part of the field into Deep 1/3rds. The linebackers and Strong Safety have their own Zone responsibilities as well leaving the following four players to generate a rush.

Cover 4: A zone defense that has the 2CB and 2 safeties playing deep 1/4’s  It’s sometimes called the 1/4 coverage or Quarter Coverage.

Cover 5: Another name for the Nickel Defense.

Cover 6: A zone defense that combines concepts of Cover 2 & over 4.

Cover the Spread: A gambling term, if Denver is favored to win by 7 it shows up as -7 in the betting  sheets.  If Denver wins by  8 points or more they have covered the spread.

Crossing Pattern:  A passing route where the receiver goes across the field as he is gaining depth.

Curl/Flat:  A  short to middle zone concept in various defensive schemes.

D

D-Slant: A variation of the Slant route where the WR runs the route to the sideline and at a lesser 30° angle

Deep 1/4th: Deep part of the field divided into 4 deep zones in a Cover 4 defense.

Deep 1/3rd: Deep part of the field divided into 3 deep zones in a Cover 3 defense.

Deep 1/2:Deep part of the field divided into 2deep zones in a Cover 2 defense.

Deep Comeback: A deeper/longer version of the comeback route where the WR runs 18-20 yards before planting and coming back to the sideline.

Deep Crossing Pattern: A passing route where the receiver goes across the field as he is gaining depth.

Deep Hitch: A deeper/longer version of the Hitch route where the WR runs 18-20 yards before planting and coming back to the the middle of the field .

Deep In: A deeper/longer version of the In route where the WR runs 15-20+ yards before making his 90° angle cut in towards the middle of the field.

Deep Out: A deeper/longer version of the Out route where the WR runs 15-20+ yards before making his 90° angle cut out to the sideline.

Deep Slant Route: A deeper/longer version of the slant route where the WR runs 7-8+ yards before making his 45° angle cut.

Defensive Line Gaps: The assignment of letters  for the gaps in between offensive lineman.

  • A Gap Between Center/Guards
  • B Gap Between Guards/Tackles
  • C Gap Between Tackles/Tight Ends
  • D Gap outside of the Tight End

Defensive Zones:  A review of various zones on the field from a defensive perspective.

Delay: A rushing play that is based off the offense selling the pass as the  running back delays his movement until getting the ball from the Quarterback.

Direct Snap: A concept where there is a shotgun snap to another member of the offense other than the QB.

Dog Blitz: What Wade Phillips calls a play where 5 rush the QB and 6 cover.

Double A Gap Blitz:  A defensive play/concept where the DC brings 2 LBs on blitzes through both A gaps.

Double Moves:  An offensive route concept that piggybacks a 2nd route onto the first route.

Drag Route: A passing route where the receiver goes across the field as he is gaining depth.

Draw:  A rushing play that is based off the offense selling the pass as the  running back delays his movement until getting the ball from the Quarterback.

Dummy Audible: When the Quarterback makes it look like he’s changing the play at the line of scrimmage.

E

Edge rusher: A member of the defense that specializes in rushing the passer more than other duties. Von Miller is an example of an edge rusher. Normally a DE or OLB.

Empty Sets: An offensive formation where the only player in the backfield is the Quarterback. Nobody is lined up behind him.

End Zone: The 10 yard area behind the goal line.

Escape the Pocket: A term for when the QB leaves the pocket because it’s breaking down or he’s feeling pressure.

F

Fade Route: A word that is at times used for a Go route. But is also used  to describe a red zone passing route to the deep corner of the end zone.

Fake Handoff: When a QB sticks the ball into the RB’s arms but pulls it out so that he can in most cases move on to a play-action pass.

Fake Pump Fake:  A gesture a QB makes after handing the ball off to the RB to help sell the fake that it is still a passing play.

Favorite: A gambling term that signifies which team is favored to win the ball game.  If Denver is favored to win by 7 it shows up as -7 in the betting  sheets.

Field Goal: The act of kicking the ball through the goal posts where the team receive 3 points. It is not to be confused with a PAT/Point After Touchdown.

Field Goal Range: The limit that the team feels a kicker can successfully and consistently kick Field Goals.

Field Position: Where on the field the team is at any moment.

First & 10: The normal down & distance that the offense starts out with on first down.

First Count: A snap count where the QB goes through a cadence which is usually  a color  followed by a # and then a “hut”, “Blue 18, Blue 18, set “hut” . Sometimes the word “go” is used.

First Down: The first of four attempts the offense has of gaining 10 yards to achieve another set of downs.

First sound:  A snap count that after the QB calls the play in the huddle, the team goes the line of scrimmage and the ball is snapped on the QB’s first word, usually “hut” or “go”.

Flag Route: Another name for a corner route.

Flea-Flicker: A trick play where a RB  takes the handoff and turns and pitches it back to the QB who is looking for a big strike downfield.

Flexbone:  An offensive formation that is generally found in NCAA and High School football.  The QB lines up under center. A FB is behind him, and 2 Wingbacks are lined up in the wing position either off the edge of the  T or TE. It contains a lot of motion, option plays and misdirection.

Fly Route: Another name for a Go Route.

Fullback: In the modern NFL it is defined as the back closest to the QB in the eye formation who is mainly used for blocking. In the 50’s-70’s at times it was used as another name for a running back. Jim Brown was listed as a Fullback.

Full House Backfield: A name for offensive formations that contain 3 backs behind the QB. The Wishbone, T, and Power I are examples.

G

Gadget Play:  Another name for a trick play.

Go Route: A passing route where the receiver runs straight down the field using his speed to beat the DB.

Goal Line: The yard line that separates the playing field and the Endzone.

Good Field Position: A position on the field that is favorable, often on the opponent’s side of the 50 yard line.

Green Zone: Tom Couhglin’s term for “Red Zone” because he felt that is where players made the money.

Gunners: Outside men on Kickoff and Punt teams that track directly to the ball.

H

Halfback Pass: A pass play where the RB usually takes a toss from the QB and  fakes running a sweep but pulls up looking to throw the ball down field.

HB Pass:  A shortened name for Halfback Pass.

Heavy Set: Another name for a Jumbo Set

Hitch & Go: A passing route that is a double move where the receiver runs a Hitch route at a certain length and then plants and turns up field into a go route.

Hitch Route: A passing route where the receiver runs straight down the field like a Go Route, stops/plants and turns back towards the middle of the field expecting the ball from the QB. It can be run at various lengths.

Hybrid WCO: A name given to modern versions of the West Coast Offense since they have evolved so much from the original Bill Walsh version.

I

I Formation: An offensive formation where the QB is under center, the FB lines up behind him, and the TB is behind the FB.

In route:  A passing route where the receivers runs a route at various depths before making his 90° angle cut in towards the middle of the field.

IG: Acronym for Intentional Grounding.

IR: Acronym for Injured Reserve

IR-RD: Acronym for Injured Reserve Designated to Return

Injured Reserve: A list for players that are injured and are out for the season.

Injured Reserve Designated to Return: A in-season visit to the IR, where the player misses at six weeks and cannot practice. Two players can now have this designation.

Inside Isolation: another name for an Isolation play that is run between the G-C-G.

Intentional Grounding: An offensive foul committed by the passer when he throws a pass to avoid getting sacked without an eligible receiver around.

Iso: A shortened term for an Isolation running play.

Isolation Play: A running play where the Fullback leads the Tailback through the hole.

J

Jumbo Sets: An offensive formation when extra lineman or Tight Ends are added to beef up the offensive line in short yardage/goal line situations

K

Kickoff: A special teams that has the ball kicked from the 35 yard line to the opponents to start the game and after most scoring plays, with the safety being the exception.

Kickoff Team: Special team unit that kicks the ball off to start the game and after most scoring plays, with the safety being the exception.

Kings: A trio of wide receivers stacked on top of each other.

L

Lead Play: Another word for an isolation running play.

Levels: A passing game concept where a group of (usually 3) wide receivers run the same route (usually an In or an Out) at various depths on the same side of the field.

Line of Scrimmage: Where the ball is snapped from on any given play.

Line to Gain: The yardline an offense needs to achieve to gain a first down.

Live Color: An action that signifies the  QB is changing a play. It is normally followed by a # or a play name. If the QB calls out another color, it’s a dummy color or non-live color.

Lone Back Set: Offensive formation with one running back.

Long Count: A snap count where the QB yells multiple words usually either “hut, hut, hut”, or “go, go go”.

LOS: Acronym for Line of Scrimmage

Loss of Down: A portion of an offensive penalty where the offense is punished by losing yardage and the down that was just played.

M

Man Coverage: When a defensive player is locked in on a defender. He follows the receiver/back/tight end wherever his route takes him.

Man Free: Another name for Cover 1 where the Free Safety has a deep zone with other defenders playing Man coverage (the majority of the time).

Man to Man: Another name for Man coverage.

Man Under: Another name for Cover 1 where the Free Safety has a deep zone with other defenders playing Man coverage (the majority of the time).

Max Pro:  A shortened version of Max Protection.

Max Protection: An offensive concept when only 3 eligible receivers go out on routes with two of them staying in to block.

Middle/Hook: A short to middle zone concept found in some defensive concepts.

Mike: A nickname for the Middle Linebacker.

Mike Blitz:  A play in which the Mike Linebacker abandons his regular assignment to rush the QB.

Money down: Another term for 3rd down.

Moneyline: A gambling term where there is no point spread you are betting on the winner/loser of the game without any points involved.

Moving the Chains: A term that is used when a team gets a first down or multiple first downs.

 

N

Naked Bootleg: A running play where the QB keeps the ball and runs around the end of the LOS without any blockers in front of him.

NFIL: An acronym for Non Football Injury List

NFL Commissioner’s List: A list a player is put on if he is dealing with off the field legal troubles.

Nickel Defense: A defensive scheme where one member of the base defense either a lineman or linebacker leaves the field and is replaced by a cornerback, giving the team 5 defensive backs on the field.

Non Football Injury List:  Players that cannot participate in Training Camp and/or the regular season due to a non-football-injury.

 

O

Offensive Back Numbering System: The concept of numbering the backs in the backfield to simplify play calls.

  • The 10 series are Quarterback runs
  • The 20 series are Tailback runs
  • The 30 series are Fullback runs
  • The 40 series are runs from the 4th back whether RB or FB.

Offensive Guards: A pair of positions on the offensive line , which are generally positioned in between the center and tackles. Big, mauling road-graders, but can be quick, to pull and lead  a back around the end.

Offensive Hole Numbering System: The concept of numbering holes so the RB’s know where to run and the OL knows where the playing being run.

  • 0/1 are off the centers hips
  • 2/3 are off the outside hip of the guard
  • 4/5 are off the outside hip of the tackles
  • 6/7 are off the outside hip of the tight ends
  • 8/9 are off the outside hip of the wing/imaginary wing.

Offensive Pass Interference: A foul committed by the offense in the passing game that prevented the defender from making a play on the ball.

Offensive Tackles:  A pair of positions on the offensive line, which are generally positioned outside the guards. Usually the biggest and most athletic members of the offensive line and keys to protecting the edge.

Off Tackle Play: A running play where the RB runs the ball off the outside hip of the Tackle.

OPI: An Acronym for Offensive Pass Interference.

Option Routes:  A passing route concept that gives the receiver 2-3 possible routes from the play-call based on what he reads from the coverage he sees as he’s headed down field. He chooses which route to proceed with based on the coverage he’s reading/receiving.

Out of Bounds: When a player is pushed, tackled or leaves the field of play.

Out of Bounds Line: the white border that encompasses the field of play .

Out Route:  A passing route where the receivers runs a route at various depths before making his  90° angle cut out to the sideline.

Outside Isolation: Another name for an Isolation running play that occurs between the G-T.

Over: A gambling term in which you are betting on the number of points scored by both teams in a game. if the Over/Under is 45 and you bet the Over,  then a 24-20 game loses, a 24-21  game pushes and a 25-21 game wins.

Overload: When the defense overloads one side of the offensive line with more defenders than lineman.

P

PAP: An acronym for Play-Action Pass

PAT: An acronym for Point After Touchdown.

Pass/Run Option: A concept where the QB can either run the ball or throw to a receiver based on what he is seeing in front of him.

Pass Rush: The amount of pressure applied to the QB from the front 3 or 4 of the defense.

Personnel Groupings: The combination of players made of RB/TE/WR on offense shown in the 2-digit personnel grouping chart.

Pick Play: An offensive concept where 2 receivers cross paths down field in an attempt to get free of the man covering them. If the WR/Offensive player makes contact he will most likely be flagged for Offensive Pass Interference/OPI.

Pistol: An offensive formation where the QB stands 3-4 yards from the center, with a RB generally behind him. He takes the snap from the center similar to the shot gun. It’s a hybrid offspring when you mix the shotgun and Ace Sets.

Play-Action Fake: The fake hand off portion from the QB to the RB in the act of running a Play-Action Pass.

Play-Action Pass: A pass play where the QB/RB fake an exchange/running play with the RB carrying out the RB to sell the fake, as the QB keeps the ball and scans the field and hits an open receiver.

Pocket: The  term of the ideal barrier created by the OL when the QB is passing.

Pocket Presence: The ability for a QB to sense danger from within and outside of the pocket. He can sense the movement and adjust to make a clean throw or escape the pocket to flee the defense.

Point After Touchdown: The extra point kick following a touchdown.

Point Spread: A gambling term where one team is favored by x and one team is the underdog by x. If Denver is -7 over the Chargers, they are the favorite by 7. The point spread in this example is 7 points. It means the Chargers are +7.

Pole Route:   A route that is similar to a Go route, but the TE/WR runs directly from his pre-snap stance to the goal post. If he’s split out wide, the angle is different than if he’s in tight. It is also a stem for other routes.

Post Route: A passing route where the receiver starts off with a Go route and cuts to the goal posts after 12-15 yards.

Post-Corner Route: A passing route that is a double move where the receiver runs a post and then breaks into a corner route.

Press Coverage: Another name for Bump & Run Coverage

Pull & Fill: A blocking concept where a lineman pulls and fills into a slot vacated by another pulling lineman who is likely leading the play around the end of the LOS.

Pull & Lead: A blocking concept where a lineman pulls and leads the RB around the playside end of the LOS.

Pump Fake: A gesture made by the QB with the ball in his hand to show a motion like he is throwing the ball to get a defender on a route. WHen running the double move called a “slant & go”, the QB can pump fake on the slant and then unload on the go route.

Punt: The act of kicking the ball to the other team usually on 4th down.

Punt team: A special steams unit that kicks the ball to the opponents on 4th down.

PUP: An Acronym for Physically Unable to Perform.

Push: A gambling term that signifies there is no winner or loser of a bet.  If Denver is favored to win by 7 and wins the ball game 28-21 it is a push because they did not cover the -7 point spread.

Physically Unable to Perform List: A list a player is placed on if he is unable to participate in training camp.

Q

QB Draw: A rushing play that is based off the offense selling the pass as the  Quarterback takes the snap from the center (mostly in shotgun) and picks a pot to run behind his offensive line.

QB Power: A rushing play where the QB takes a shotgun/pistol snap and picks a spot to run behind the offensive line.

QB Sneak: A shortened name for Quarterback Sneak.

QB Throwback: A shortened name for Quarterback Throwback.

Quads: 4 wide receivers on one side of the ball.

Quarterback Sneak: A rushing play where the QB takes the snap from under center and runs forward trying to pick up yardage in short yardage situations.

Quarterback Throwback: A pass play where the QB has handed the ball off to another member of the offense and has drifted down field to catch a pass.

Quarters Coverage: Another name for Cover 4.

Queens: Stacked wide receivers.

Quick Comeback: A shorter version of the Comeback route where the WR runs 5-8 yards before planting and coming back to the sideline.

Quick Hitch:  A shorter version of the Hitch route where the WR runs 5-8 yards before planting and coming back to the the middle of the field at.

Quick In: A shorter version of the In route where the WR runs 3-5 yards before making his 90° angle cut in towards the middle of the field.

Quick Out:  A shorter version of the Out route where the WR runs 3-5 yards before making his 90° angle cut out to the sideline.

Quick Slant: Another name for the slant route.

R

Read-Option: A shotgun/pistol concept where the QB can hand to the RB, but can keep it as he reads what the defense is doing. He can then keep the ball himself, and or pass out if.

Red Zone: The 20 yard area outside of the opponents goal line.

Route Stem:  The first part of a route before the  WR/TE/RB makes his break.

Route Tree: A passing offensive concept where the passing routes are drawn out and assigned names/numbers  to help making play calling easier for the offense to understand.

Rub Route: An offensive passing concept where two receivers work off of each other’s route at the LOS trying to get free for a passing route.

Rule Blocking: An offensive line blocking scheme based on specific assignments to block certain men or technique numbers.

Run/Pass Option: A concept where the QB can either run the ball or throw the ball based on what he is seeing in front of him.

Running Back Route Tree: A group of routes that are run from the RB position that offer some similar and different routes to those run by the TEs and or WR/Slots.

  • Angle — It is shown being run off the sit route (see below), but can be run off of either the wide/tight stem.  It’s similar to a slant
  • Flat –A route where he looks as if he’s headed down field but peals off into the flat towards the sideline/boundary.
  • Flat & UP — A double move off of the Flat route.
  • Seam  –This route is the RB version of the Go route which is straight down field.
  • Settle — This is a popular route when the back has run one of many forms of a play-action fake, they come through the LOS and turn and settle into a spot.
  • Sit — It is a flair out that is not quite in the flat, but they sit at the LOS and is another safety valve.
  • Sting— It’s similar to a standing still slant. The RB bursts out at a 45° angle .
  • Swing — A quick little loop off to either side of the offense. One of the most popular RB routes as a safety valve if nothing is open downfield.
  • Wheel — The same concept as the Swing but the RB turns and heads up field. A RB can sneak downfield and get a big play if nobody is paying any attention to him.
  • Wide/Tight — You can see the path out of the back field on the comeback and the corner route are similar but further apart. The initial part of passing the LOS can be referred to as the stem of the route, before the WR makes a move or a break. The Comeback is the tight path, the corner is the wide, and most of the interior type routes can be run off of the tight or wide stem.

S

Safety Blitz: A play when a safety abandons his normal play responsibilities to rush the QB.

Safety High: When the free safety has deep zone responsibility.

Sam: A Nickname for the Strong side linebacker.

Sam Blitz:  A play in which the Sam Linebacker abandons his regular assignment to rush the QB.

Seam Route: A route that is similar to a Go route, but the TE releases wider, usually side stepping a DE/OLB, and runs straight down the field.  It is also a stem for secondary routes.

Selling The Fake: An offensive concept that can mean different things for various positions but in general it is to make a play to look like something it’s not.

Set of Downs:  A group of four downs that the offense has to gain 10 yards to earn another set of downs.

Scoring Position: A position on the field where the team might feel they are in field goal range.

Shallow Crossing Pattern: A passing route where the receiver goes across the field as he is gaining depth. These are generally from 8-10 yards or so.

Shovel Pass: An unconventional forward pass where the QB flicks/pushes the ball forward to the WR/TE/RB that is crossing through the pocket.

Shuffle Pass: Misusage of the term Shovel Pass.

Sideline: The white border surrounding the side of the field that marks the out of bounds line.

Shotgun: Offensive formation where the QB lines up 5-7 yards behind the center.

Single Back Set: Offensive formation with one running back.

Skinny Post: A post route that is shorter in distant and the angle to the post is usually less as well.

Slant Route:  A short/quick hitting passing route where  the WR runs 2-3 yards of his route before cutting at a 45° angle toward the center of the field.

Slant & Corner Route: A double move where the WR runs a Slant to start with and turns it into a corner route.

Slant & Go Route: A double move where the WR runs a Slant to start with and turns it up field into a go route.

Slip Screen: A quick hitting screen to the WR behind the LOS that can make an aggressive defense pay.

Sluggo Route: Another name for a Slant & Go

Snap Count:  The word the QB says to signal the center to snap the ball. Usually a form of “hut” or “go”.

Split Back Veer: An offensive formation that is generally found in NCAA and High School football. The QB is under center and 2 RB’s line up over the guards behind the QB.  It’s an option based offense with a lot of misdirection a deception.

Spot Foul: An offensive penalty where the penalty yardage is the spot where the offending foul occurred rather than 5/10/15 yards from the previous spot.

Spy: When a defensive player abandons the normal play calls a specific defense might call for his position to spy/mirror/trail an offensive player across the field.

Stalk Block: A blocking concept where the WR blocks/shields the CB and doesn’t let him pursue the ball.

Stem:  The first part of a route before the  WR/TE/RB makes his break.

Step Up Into The Pocket: A term for the QB moving up into the pocket to prevent deep/outside pressure so he can throw the ball  cleanly.

Streak: Another word for a Go Route.

Strong Side: A word with a dual meaning, one for offense (TE side or side of the O with the most receivers) one for D ( that is depended on the same concept and/or the  wide side of the field).

T

T Formation: An offensive formation that is generally found in NCAA and High School football.  The QB lines up under center, with the FB behind him, and two RB on either side of the FB to form a  T. It is a full house backfield.

Tackle Box: The area that spans from the outside hip of the left tackle to the outside hip of the right tackle, and runs the from the line of scrimmage to the end zone behind the offense.

Tampa 2: A variation of the Cover 2 that Chuck Noll created and Tony DUngy popularized in Tampa Bay where the MLB drops into a Deep 1/3rd zone.

Tailback: Another name for the main running back (ace sets), or the deeper of the two backs in the I formation.

Technique Numbers: A numbering system created by O.A. “Bum” Phillips where a number is assigned to the alignment of the defensive lineman and linebackers.  It was set up to help communication.

  • 0 The Nose Tackle is head up on the Center
  • 0 Shade (not pictured above) but the NT shades the Center to the strong side or the weak side of the defense depending on the strength call.
  • 1  Inside eye/shoulder of the Guard.  (some coaches put this technique in the middle of the A gap)
  • 2 Head up on the Guard.
  • 3 Outside eye/shoulder of the Guard. (some coaches put this technique in the middle of the B gap)
  • 4 Head up on the Tackle
  • 4I Inside eye/shoulder on the Tackle
  • 5 Outside eye/shoulder of the Tackle.
  • 7 Inside eye/shoulder on the Tight End (some coaches put this technique in the middle of the C gap)
  • 6 Head up on the Tight End
  • 8 Outside eye/shoulder of the Tight end (some coaches put this technique in the middle of the D gap/Outside TE)
  • 9 Off the edge of the TE/line up on a wing, further out than the 8 technique, looking for an angle on rushing the passer.

Tight Coverage: Another name for Press and Bump & Run Coverage.

Tight End Route Tree: A group of routes that are run from the TE position that offer some similar and different routes to those run by the RB and or WR/Slots.

  • Dart — A similar route to the Sting/Arrow where the route loops out into the flat.
  • Deep Cross — Similar to a Drag, but run further down field.
  • Pop/Hot — Short/quick straight  burst into the middle of the field.
  • Settle — Similar to a Sting/Arrow but run to the middle of the field and the receiver settles in a spot.
  • Sting/Arrow — It’s similar to a standing still slant. The RB bursts out at a 45° angle .
  • Stutter — Similar to a comeback route, rather than stopping in a spot he loops back under and runs an out route.
  • TE Screen — Similar to a WR screen where he comes off the ball, loops back and sets up for a pass. If he catches it he then follows his blockers down the field.
  • Under Stop — Starts off as a drag but the receivers stops and settles toward the middle of the field.

Timing Route: A passing route where the QB makes a throw dependent on a receiver being at a certain point at a certain time.  At times the throw can be made before the receiver makes his cut.

Trick Play: A designed offensive play that is designed to trick the defense with extreme deception.

Trips: Three wide receivers grouped together on one side of the ball.

Twins: Two  wide receivers grouped together on one side of the ball.

U

Unbalanced Line: When either the guard or tackle from one side lineup on the other side of the center.

Under: A gambling term in which you are betting on the number of points scored by both teams in a game. If the Over/Under is 45  and you select the Under Then a 24-20 game wins, a 24-21  game pushes and a 25-21 game loses..

Under Center: An offensive term of how the QB takes a snap from the I Formation, the Ace Set and various other offensive schemes and formations.

Underdog: A gambling term in which the team that is predicted to lose. They are shown in betting lines as +7, meaning they are getting 7 points in a point spread bet.

V

Vanilla Offense: A dialed back or bare bones version of the offensive scheme a team runs. Often found in pre-season games.

Vanilla Defense: A dialed back or bare bones version of the defensive scheme a team runs. Often found in pre-season games.

Vertical Route: Another word for a Go route, but can describe deeper routes.

W

Waggle: A name for a play-action pass concept where the QB fakes the run play to one side and rolls back to the opposite side to throw the ball.

WCO: An acronym for West Coast Offense.

Weak Side: A word with a dual meaning, one for offense (Side without a TE or side of the O with the least receivers) one for D ( that is depended on the same concept and/or the short side of the field).

West Coast Offense: An offensive scheme/concept/system created by Paul Brown and refined by Bill Walsh that utilizes short dink and dunk passes.

Wildcat Formation: It’s a gadget formation where the QB splits out wide, a RB takes the snap and generally has a man in motion moving towards the snap. It involves deception.

Will: A nickname for the Weak side linebacker.

Will Blitz: A play in which the Will Linebacker abandons his regular assignment to rush the QB.

Wing T:  An offensive formation that is generally found in NCAA and High School football.  It has a lot of option/misdirection plays in it.

Wishbone: An offensive formation that is generally found in NCAA and High School football. It’s an option based offense and is a full-house backfield with 3 backs behind the QB.

WR Route Tree:  A group of routes that are run from the WR position.

  • Go Route, some call it a streak, a fly, some playbooks name it the “9”. It is normally a straight down the field route.
  • Corner  It’s normally a deeper route the receiver begins to break it off anywhere from 12-18 yards. He breaks at an angle that leads him to the corner of the end-zone.
  • Post  It is very similar to the corner route, but instead of breaking to the corner of the end-zone, the receiver breaks towards the goal post/middle of the field.  It too, is generally a deeper route.
  • Comeback  The comeback route is a generally a deeper route and the cut back to the outside can happen at various spots but is usually 12-15 yards down the field. It’s typically close to the sideline so the WR can get out of bounds quickly to stop the clock. They’re thrown into a narrow window. If it’s thrown father away and the WR has space, he can turn and motor as far as he can, turning it into a go route.
  • Out/In/Dig These three are basically the same route, it’s just the receiver cuts out towards the sideline, or into the middle. They usually settle into a spot.  They can come in various  lengths and for the out route the deeper the pass, the harder it is to make. For the comeback and out route, it’s a timing pass that must have the WR hit his mark exactly. There’s no room for error, especially on a comeback because if the WR is off or the QB, that ball, if intercepted, often ends up a pick six because there’s no one between him and the end zone. In the very least, the WR needs to be in a position to break up a miss timed or miss-communicated pass.
  • Quick out/Flat  It’s the same concept, but is generally a 5 yard pattern. These are a favorite of offenses in crunch time when it needs to get out of bounds to stop the clock.
  • Slant This is a bread and butter route in a lot of playbooks. It’s quick and fast hitting and receivers can really make a defense pay with it. Straight off the ball for 3-4 yards and a 45 degree angle cut and you are looking for the ball.
  • Crossing Pattern/Drag It’s a pretty simple release and the receiver gets depth as he goes. From a time perspective, it’s the anti-slant, because it’s usually further down in the QB’s progressions, the receiver is often on the other side of the field, though he can be hit over the middle with them as well.

WR Screen: A quick hitting screen to the WR behind the LOS that can make an aggressive defense pay.

Wrinkles: New concepts that are added to a game plan in any given week.

Z

ZBS: An Acronym for Zone Blocking System.

Zone Blitz : A blitz where a LB rushes the QB but a DL drops into a short zone.

Zone Blocking System: An offensive line blocking scheme installed by Mike Shanahan & Alex Gibbs.

Zone Coverage: When a defensive player is assigned a parcel/section of the field to cover and be responsible for.

358 7.30.17

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