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Ball Watchers Anonymous

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Common Terminology

    A
    AFL
    An acronym for either the Arena Football League or the American Football League.
    Also Known As: Arena Football League, American Football League
    The AFL (Arena Football League) is similar to the NFL, but is played indoors on a smaller field. The old American Football League merged with the NFL in 1970, creating an expanded NFL made up of two conferences, the AFC and NFC.

    Assistant Coach
    The coaches that specialize in specific areas of the team and are directly under the supervision of the head coach.
    Also Known As: coordinator
    Each NFL team generally has assistant coaches for offense and defense, as well more specialized areas like quarterbacks and linebackers.

    Artificial/Astroturf
    A synthetic surface used in place of grass on some football fields.
    Also Known As: Astroturf
    Because of a lack of sunlight, domed stadiums use artificial turf in place of grass on the football field.

    Audible
    Changing a play at the line of scrimmage by calling out predetermined set of signals.
    Pronunciation: ô'de-bul
    Also Known As: check off, automatic
    An audible is often called by the quarterback when he doesn't like the play call after getting a look at the defensive formation.

    Automatic
    Changing a play at the line of scrimmage by calling out predetermined set of signals.
    Also Known As: audible, check off
    An automatic is often called by the quarterback when he doesn't like the play call after getting a look at the defensive formation.
     
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    B
    Back
    An offensive player whose primary job is to run with the football.
    Also Known As: halfback, fullback, tailback, running back
    A back generally lines up in the offensive backfield, but will occasionally split out as a receiver.

    Back Judge
    The official who sets up 20 yards deep in the defensive backfield on the wide receiver side of the field. His duties include:
    • Make sure the defensive team has no more than 11 players on the field
    • Watch all eligible receivers on his side of the field
    • Watch the area between the umpire and field judge
    • Rule on the legality of catches and pass interference penalties
    • Watch for clipping on kick returns
    • On field goals, stand under the goalpost and rule on whether the kick is good
    Backfield
    1. The group of offensive players who line up behind the line of scrimmage.
    2. The area behind the offensive linemen.
    The quarterback and running backs line up in the backfield.

    Balanced Line
    A formation that consists of an equal number of linemen on either side of the center.
    On offensive line consisting of a center with one guard and one tackle lined up on each side of him is considered a balanced line.

    Ball Carrier
    Any player who has possession of the ball.
    A ball carrier is generally a running back, wide receiver, or quarterback, but can include any player that happens to end up with the football in his hands.

    Ball Watcher
    Any player who Shammy deems he knows more than.

    Blackout
    Not allowing a football game to be seen on television in the same local market that it is being played.
    A blackout is imposed in the NFL when a regional television affiliate is forbidden from showing a local game because it is not sold out.

    Blind Side
    The side opposite the direction a player is facing.
    When a right-handed quarterback sets up for a pass, the left tackle is responsible for protecting his blind side.

    Blitz
    A defensive strategy in which a linebacker or defensive back vacates his normal responsibilities in order to pressure the quarterback. The object of a blitz is to tackle the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage or force the quarterback to hurry his pass.
    Pronunciation: Blits
    When a defensive line is having trouble putting pressure on the quarterback, the defensive coordinator may decide to help them out by sending one or more linebackers or defensive backs on a blitz.

    Block
    Engaging an opponent in an effort to keep him from getting to a specific part of the field or player.

    Bomb
    A long pass play in which the passer throws the ball to a receiver deep down the field.
    Also Known As: Going Deep
    The bomb is a low-percentage pass, but can swing the momentum of a game when it is successful.

    Bootleg
    An offensive play where the quarterback fakes a hand-off to a running back going one direction while he goes the opposite direction to run or pass.
    A bootleg is often used against a defense that is overpursuing the ball carrier.

    Bump or Bump and Run
    A technique used by defensive backs to slow down a receiver's ability to get off the line of scrimmage. The defender bumps the receiver at the start of the play and attempts to throw him off his route by keeping contact over the first five yards.
    Cornerbacks often use bump-and-run coverage to slow a receiver coming off the line of scrimmage.

    Buttonhook
    A pass route in which the receiver heads downfield, then quickly turns back toward the line of scrimmage.
    For a buttonhook to be effective, the receiver must convince the defensive back covering him that he is going to continue his pattern downfield.
     
  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    C
    Carry
    The act of running with the ball. In a game's box score, a runner's rushing attempts are listed as carries.
    Also Known As: rush, rushing attempt
    Many teams use a short-yardage back to carry the ball in goal-line situations.

    Center
    1. The offensive lineman who hikes (or snaps) the ball to the quarterback at the start of each play. 2. The act of hiking (or snapping) the football.
    After snapping the football, the center must be ready to block the defensive linemen.

    Chek Off
    Changing a play at the line of scrimmage by calling out a predetermined set of signals.
    Also Known As: audible, automatic
    A check off is often called by the quarterback when he doesn't like the play call after getting a look at the defensive formation.

    Chop Block
    A block below the knees.
    Offensive linemen often try to cut defensive linemen by using chop blocks. (see Denver Broncos)

    Chipping
    An illegal block in which a player hits an opponent from behind, typically at leg level.
    Clipping is a foul that results in a 15-yard penalty.


    Clothesline
    An illegal play in which a player strikes an opponent across the face or neck with an extended arm.
    The penalty for a clothesline is 15 yards. (see WWE)

    Coffin Corner
    The corners of the football field located between the end zone and the five-yard line at each end of the field.
    A punter often tries to kick the ball out of bounds near a coffin corner to stop the other team from returning the ball and to pin them back near their goal line.

    Completion
    A forward pass that is caught by an eligible receiver.
    Also Known As: Catch, Completed Pass
    To be a completion, a receiver has to have possession and control of the football with both feet in bounds.

    Conference
    Groups into which teams are divided.
    In the NFL, teams are divided into the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.

    Controlling the Clock
    Keeping possession of the football for long periods of time, giving the other team's offense less time to operate with the ball.
    Controlling the clock also helps a team's defense by allowing them to rest for longer periods before having to go back out on the field.

    Cornerbacks
    A defensive player who generally lines up on the outside of the formation and is usually assigned to cover a wide receiver.
    Also Known As: corner, defensive back
    A good cornerback can usually be counted on to stay with a receiver in one-on-one coverage.

    Count
    The numbers that a quarterback shouts loudly while waiting for the ball to be snapped.
    Also Known As: Snap Count
    The quarterback sometimes uses a long count to try to draw the defense offsides.

    Counter
    A running play designed to get the defense going in one direction while the running back goes back against the intended pursuit of the defense.
    The counter is a good play to call when the defense is over-pursuing on a consistent basis.

    Cover
    To defend a position, player, or location on the field.
    Each defender is usually assigned a player or area of the field to cover on each play.

    Coverage
    A defensive scheme designed to stop the pass, or a special teams scheme designed to limit the kick return.
    The pass coverage on a particular play is generally determined in the huddle before the play.


    Crackback
    An illegal block by an offensive player who is usually spread out away from the main body of the formation and runs back in towards the ball at the snap, blocking an opponent below the waist or in the back with the force of the block back toward the original position of the ball at the snap.
    An illegal crackback block is penalized 15 yards against the offending team.

    Curl
    A pass route where the receiver runs downfield before turning back to run towards the line of scrimmage.

    Cut
    1. To suddenly change direction while running. 2. To drop a prospective player from the team roster.

    Cut Back
    A sudden change in direction.
    Cut backs are often designed into running plays to take advantage of the direction of pursuit by the defense. (see LT)
     
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    D
    Dead Ball
    The period of time between plays when the ball is no longer in play, which is determined by the officials signaling the play to be over.

    Defense
    The unit that is responsible for keeping the opposition out of their end zone.
    The defense is the unit that does not have possession of the football.

    Defensive Back
    A member of the defensive secondary. Defensive backs generally try to keep receivers from making catches. Safeties, cornerbacks, nickel backs, and dime backs are considered to be defensive backs.
    A good group of defensive backs can shut down an opponents passing game.

    Defensive Backfield
    1. The area of the field behind the defensive linemen that is defended by the defensive backs.
    2. Refers to the defensive backs themselves.

    Defensive End
    A defensive player who lines up at the end of the defensive line.
    The job of the defensive end is to contain the running back on running plays to the outside, and rush the quarterback on passing plays.

    Defensive Holding
    Use of the hands to hold or push an offensive receiver or back on a passing play beyond the first five yards past the line of scrimmage.
    Also Known As: Illegal Use of Hands
    Inside the five yard chuck zone, the defense may jam the receiver, but after that a penalty is called. Defensive holding results in a five-yard penalty on the offending team and an automatic first down.

    Defensive Line
    The defensive players who line up on the line of scrimmage opposite the offensive linemen. A team's first line of defense.
    The defensive line is usually made up of the biggest defensive players, including defensive ends and tackles.

    Defensive Lineman
    The players who line up on the defensive line and are responsible for stopping the run on running plays and rushing the quarterback on passing plays.
    The defensive line is comprised of a combination of defensive tackles or nose tackles, and defensive ends.

    Defensive Tackle
    A defensive player who lines up on the interior of the defensive line.
    The duties of a defensive tackle include stopping the running back on running plays, getting pressure up the middle on passing plays, and occupying blockers so the linebackers can roam free.

    Delay of Game
    A penalty called on a team for either letting the play clock expire before snapping the ball, having too many players on the field, or calling a time out after having already used all they were allotted by rule.
    A delay of game infraction results in a five-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Dime Back
    The sixth defensive back used in dime coverage.
    Teams normally use four defensive backs. When a fifth defensive back comes in the game, he is referred to as the nickel back. When the sixth defensive back comes in, he is referred to as the dime back.

    Dime Coverage
    A pass coverage scheme that involves the use of six defensive backs.
    Dime coverage is generally used only in obvious passing situations.

    Dime Package
    The use of six defensive backs in a defensive formation.
    The dime package is generally used in obvious passing situations.

    Division
    A sub-group within a conference.
    The NFL is divided into eight division; four in each conference.

    Double Coverage / Team
    A defensive strategy where two players cover one of the opposition's receivers at the same time. Playing two defensive players against one offensive player in order to prevent him from making a play.
    Generally, a team's best wide receiver will face double coverage at times.

    Double Foul
    A situation in which each team commits a foul during the same play.
    A double foul usually results in offsetting penalties that negate the result of the play.

    Down
    Playing two defensive players against one offensive player in order to prevent him from making a play.


    Down and In
    Playing two defensive players against one offensive player in order to prevent him from making a play.

    Down and Out
    Playing two defensive players against one offensive player in order to prevent him from making a play.

    Down Box
    A metal rod with a box on top that contains four cards, numbered one through four, that is used to keep track of the number of the down being played.
    An assistant to the officials generally holds the down box in the general area of the first down marker.

    Down Lineman
    A defensive lineman, including defensive tackles and defensive ends.
    EG: Defensive Lineman, Defensive Tackle, Defensive End
    The opposition's running game was shut down by the defenses down linemen.

    Draft
    The selecting of collegiate players for entrance into the National Football League.
    The team with the worst record in the NFL over the previous season is allowed to select the first player in the draft.

    Draw
    A disguised run that initially looks like a pass play. The offensive linemen fake like they are going to pass-block, the quarterback drops back like he is going to throw a pass, but instead turns and hands the ball to a running back.
    The draw is a great play to call when the defense is applying a heavy pass rush.

    Drive
    The series of plays that begins at the time an offense takes possession of the ball until the point where they either score or turn the ball over to the other team.

    Drop Back
    An action by a quarterback, after taking the snap, where he takes a few steps backward into the pocket to set up for a pass.
    Quarterbacks generally have a set number of steps they drop back on certain plays before setting up to throw the ball.

    Drop Kick
    An action by a quarterback, after taking the snap, where he takes a few steps backward into the pocket to set up for a pass.
    Quarterbacks generally have a set number of steps they drop back on certain plays before setting up to throw the ball.
     
  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    E
    Eligible Receiver
    An offensive player who can legally catch a forward pass.
    Most of the time, an offensive lineman is not an eligible receiver, but a tackle can be eligible if he reports to the referee before the play.

    Encroachment
    An offensive player who can legally catch a forward pass.
    Most of the time, an offensive lineman is not an eligible receiver, but a tackle can be eligible if he reports to the referee before the play.

    End
    1. An offensive player who lines up on the very end of the line of scrimmage.
    2. A defensive player who lines up on either end of the defensive line.
    The end on the right side of an offense (for teams with right-handed quarterbacks) is referred to as a tight end, as he lines up close to the offensive linemen. The end on the opposite side is spread out toward the sideline, and is called a wide receiver.

    End Line
    The very end of the field, at either end.
    The end line is located at the very back of the end zone on either end of the field.

    End Zone
    A 10-yard section stretching the width of the field at both ends of the playing field.
    A player in possession of the football scores a touchdown when the ball crosses the goal line and enters the end zone.

    Excessive Timeouts
    Calling a time out after having used the three allowed per half.
    The penalty for excessive time outs is five yards against the offending team and the clock is restarted.

    Extra Point
    After a touchdown, the scoring team is allowed to add another point by kicking the football through the uprights of the goalpost.
    Also Known As: Point after touchdown, PAT
    On an attempted extra point, the ball is placed on the 2-yard line in the NFL, or the 3-yard line in college or high school and is generally kicked from inside the ten-yard line.
     
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  6. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan

    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Won't have that to worry about this season! :abq2:
     
  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    F
    Face Mask
    1. The bars attached to a football helmet that cover a players face.
    2. A foul for grabbing an opponent's face mask.
    There are two levels of severity for face mask penalties. One results from incidental grabbing of a face mask where it is immediately released, and results in a five-yard penalty. A major face mask foul usually results from a player grabbing an opponent by the face mask and using it to pull the player down or twist his head around and results in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.

    Fair Catch
    When the player returning a punt signals by waving his extended arm from side to side over his head, making it illegal for the opposition to tackle him.
    After a player signals for a fair catch, he cannot run with the ball, and those attempting to tackle him can't touch him.

    Fair Catch Interference
    A player may not interfere with a punt returner’s opportunity to catch the football after having signaled for a fair catch.
    The penalty for fair catch interference is 15 yards against the offending team.

    Faking a Roughing
    An illegal act by a quarterback, kicker, or punter in which they fake being roughed by the opposition in the hopes of drawing a roughing penalty.
    This foul is rarely called in the NFL, but when it is, it results in a 15-yard penalty against the offending team.

    False Start
    An infraction in which an offensive player moves before the ball is snapped.
    A false start results in a five-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Field Goal
    A scoring play worth three points that involves a place-kicker kicking the ball through the uprights of the goalpost in the opponent's end zone from anywhere on the field.
    Generally, teams will attempt field goals on fourth down when they feel they are within reasonable distance of the goalpost in the opponent's end zone.

    Field Judge
    The official that lines up 25 yards deep in the defensive backfield on the tight end side of the field. His duties include:
    • Keep track of the play clock and call delay of game if it expires
    • Make sure the defensive team has no more than 11 players on the field
    • Rule on plays that cross the defense's goal line
    • Watch all eligible receivers on his side of the field
    • Rule on the legality of catches and pass interference penalties on the strong side of the field
    • Mark the spot where a play goes out of bounds on his side of the field
    • Watch for illegal use of hands by the receivers and defensive backs

    Field of Play
    The area of the field between the goal lines and the end lines.
    The field of play includes anywhere in bounds.

    Field Position
    The ball's location on the field.
    Field position is a very important aspect of the game of football. Teams starting with poor field position have a tougher time scoring because they must move the ball farther to get into scoring position.

    First and Ten
    Refers to a situation where a team has a first down with ten yards to go to get another first down.

    First Down
    The first play of every series.
    The offense must gain 10 yards or more in four downs to be awarded another first down.

    Flanker
    A player who catches passes. In an offensive formation, he usually lines up outside the tight end, off the line of scrimmage.
    Also Known As: receiver

    Flat
    The area of the field between the hash marks and the sideline near the line of scrimmage.
    Running backs make a lot of their receptions in the flat on screen plays and swing passes.

    Flood
    A strategy used by offenses where they send more players to a particular area of the field than the opposition can effectively cover.
    Against zone defenses, an offense will flood a zone, forcing a defender to have to cover more than one player.

    Formation
    A predetermined alignment that the offense or defense uses.
    The formations used in football often vary depending on the situation.

    Forward Pass
    Throwing the ball so that it ends up further downfield than it started.
    A forward pass does not necessarily have to be thrown in the direction of the opponent's goal, but it must advance the ball at least slightly down the field.

    Forward Progress
    Throwing the ball so that it ends up further downfield than it started.
    A forward pass does not necessarily have to be thrown in the direction of the opponent's goal, but it must advance the ball at least slightly down the field.

    Foul
    Any violation of a playing rule.
    An offensive tackle is guilty of a foul if he is caught holding a defensive player.

    Franchise
    The legal arrangement that establishes ownership of a team.
    In the NFL, there are 32 different franchises (teams).

    Franchise Player
    1. A designation given to a player by his team to keep him from leaving via free agency. According to the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, the player must be paid the average salary of the top five players at his position.
    2. A term used to refer to a superstar player who is invaluable to his team.
    1. A team can use the franchise tag to keep one of their more valuable free agents from leaving the team. 2. The Cincinnati Bengals made Carson Palmer the first overall pick in the NFL Draft because the felt he had the ability to be a franchise player.

    Free Agency
    An open signing period during which an NFL team can sign any unrestricted player who is without a contract.
    Many players change teams during free agency.

    Free Agent
    A professional football player who is not currently under contract with any football team.
    A free agent may sign with any team he chooses.

    Free Kick
    Either a kickoff or a punt following a safety.
    After being tackled in their own end zone for a safety, a team must kick the ball to the opposition via a free kick.

    Free Safety
    A defensive player who lines up the deepest in the secondary and defends the deep middle of the field against the pass.
    A free safety's primary responsibility is to defend the pass.

    Freeze, (the clock)
    Attempting to keep possession of the football for a long time without scoring or attempting to score.
    As the end of a game approaches, the team with the lead may attempt to freeze the football.

    Front Four
    The defensive linemen in a formation that includes two ends and two tackles.
    Also Known As: defensive line

    Front Seven
    The front line of defense that generally includes the linemen and linebackers.

    Full Back
    An offensive player who lines up in the offensive backfield and generally is responsible for blocking for the running back and also pass-blocking for the quarterback.
    Fullbacks are usually bigger than running backs, and also serve as short-yardage runners.

    Fumble
    An offensive player who lines up in the offensive backfield and generally is responsible for blocking for the running back and also pass-blocking for the quarterback.
    Fullbacks are usually bigger than running backs, and also serve as short-yardage runners.
     
  8. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    G
    Game Ball
    An informal award, consisting of a ball used in the game, normally given to a winning team's player or coach considered to have most contributed to the win.
    Game balls are usually given out by the head coach in the locker room after the game.

    Gap
    The open space between players along the line of scrimmage when they are aligned.
    Each gap along the line of scrimmage usually has a number assigned to it, and running plays are usually designed to go through a specific gap.

    Goal Line
    The line on each end of the field that separates the end zone from the rest of the playing field.
    To score a touchdown, the football must break the plane of the opposition's goal line while a player has possession.

    Goal Line Stand
    The line on each end of the field that separates the end zone from the rest of the playing field.
    To score a touchdown, the football must break the plane of the opposition's goal line while a player has possession.

    Goal Post
    The line on each end of the field that separates the end zone from the rest of the playing field.
    To score a touchdown, the football must break the plane of the opposition's goal line while a player has possession.

    Gridiron
    The football field.

    Guard
    A member of the offensive line. There are two guards on every play, and they line up on either side of the offensive center.
    A good offensive guard is key to a potent running game.

    Gunner
    The members of the special teams who specialize in racing downfield to tackle the kick or punt returner.
    The gunners usually line up to the outside of the offensive line and are often double teamed by blockers.
     
  9. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    H
    Hail Marry
    The members of the special teams who specialize in racing downfield to tackle the kick or punt returner.
    The gunners usually line up to the outside of the offensive line and are often double teamed by blockers.

    Halfback
    An offensive player who lines up in the backfield and generally is responsible for carrying the ball on run plays.
    Also Known As: running back, tailback
    Although a running back's primary role is to run with the football, he is also used as a receiver at times.

    Handoff
    The act of giving the ball to another player.
    A handoff generally refers to an act between the quarterback and running back, but can actually be performed by any two members of a team.

    Hands Team
    A team of sure-handed players that specializes in recovering onside kicks.
    During an onside kick, both teams put in their hands teams so they have the players on the field with the best ball-handling skills.

    Hang Time
    The amount of time in which a punted ball remains in the air.
    A ball punted 40 yards downfield with a hang time of 4.4 seconds is considered a good punt.

    Hash Marks
    The two rows of lines near the center of the field marked off in one-yard increments.
    On an NFL football field, the hash marks are 4 inches wide and located 70 feet, 9 inches from the sidelines.

    Head Coach
    The member of the coaching staff that is responsible for all aspects of the team, and is in charge of all other coaches.
    The head coach is basically in charge of the team itself.

    Head Linesman
    The head linesman is the official that sets up straddling the line of scrimmage on the sideline designated by the referee. His duties include:
    • Watch for line of scrimmage violations like offsides and encroachment
    • Rule on all out-of-bounds plays on his side of the field
    • Keep tabs on the chain crew
    • Mark the chain to a yard marker on the field as a reference point for a measurement on the field
    • Mark a players forward progress after a play is whistled dead
    • Keep track of all eligible receivers
    • Watch for illegal motion, illegal shifts, illegal use of hands, illegal men downfield

    Helping the Runner
    Another player cannot assist the ball carrier by pushing or pulling them forward.
    The penalty for helping the runner is 10 yards against the offending team.

    Hitch and Go
    A pass pattern where a receiver goes downfield to catch a pass, fakes a quick turn inside or outside, then continues downfield for a deeper pass.

    Holder
    The player who catches the snap from the center and places it down for the placekicker to attempt to kick it through the uprights of the goalpost.
    On an attempted field goal, the holder must catch the ball and put it into a good kicking position, ideally with the laces facing away from the kicker.

    Hole Number
    A number assigned to each gap or space between the five offensive linemen and the tight end.

    Hook and Ladder
    A pass play in which the receiver catches a pass facing toward the line of scrimmage, then laterals the ball to another offensive player who is racing toward the opponent's end zone.
    The hook and ladder is considered a trick play by most coaches and is rarely used in the NFL.

    Hot Receiver
    A pass play in which the receiver catches a pass facing toward the line of scrimmage, then laterals the ball to another offensive player who is racing toward the opponent's end zone.
    The hook and ladder is considered a trick play by most coaches and is rarely used in the NFL.

    Huddle
    When the 11 players on the field from one team form a group to discuss the upcoming play.
    Between plays, the players on each side of the ball huddle to discuss strategy.

    Hurry up (offense)
    An offensive strategy designed to gain as much yardage as possible while running as little time off the clock as possible.
    Also Known As: two-minute offense
    A team operating out of a hurry-up offense hurries back to the line of scrimmage as quickly as possible instead of huddling between plays.
     
  10. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I
    I Formation
    An offensive formation that looks like an I because the two running backs line up directly behind the quarterback.
    On short yardage plays, teams often run out of the I-formation.

    Illegal Formation
    An offensive formation in which not enough players are on the line of scrimmage.
    By rule, an NFL team must have seven men lined up on the line of scrimmage to begin every offensive play. Failure to do so is an illegal formation and a five-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Illegal Motion
    An illegal movement where two offensive players are in motion at the same time when the ball is snapped.
    Illegal motion results in a five yard penalty against the offending team.

    Illegal Procedure
    A penalty that includes movement by an offensive player before the snap.
    The penalty for illegal procedure is five yards against the offending team.

    Illegal Shift
    A foul by the offense where a player fails to reset for at least one second after two players shift position at the same time.
    The penalty for an illegal shift is five yards against the offending team.

    In Bounds
    The region of the field that is considered in play.
    The area that is in bounds includes anything inside the sidelines and end lines.

    Incomplete Pass
    A forward pass that touches the ground before being caught or that is caught while the player is out of bounds.
    After an incomplete pass, the football is spotted back at the previous line of scrimmage.


    Intentional Grounding
    The quarterback, while he is still in the area between the tackles, purposely throwing the ball out of bounds or into the ground to avoid taking a sack.
    Intentional grounding results in a ten-yard penalty and loss of down for the offending team.

    Interception
    A pass that is caught by a defensive player, giving his team possession of the ball.
    Also Known As: pick off, pick
    After an interception, the player that caught the ball can then advance it toward the opponent's end zone.

    Interference
    Definition: 1. Illegally hampering a player's opportunity to catch a pass.
    2. Blocking for another player carrying the football.
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    K
    Key
    A specific player, formation, or a shift in formation that serves as a clue as to the play the opposition is going to run.
    The tight end in motion on a play might be a key that the offense is going to run a play in that particular direction.

    Kick
    This term is used to refer to a placekicker's attempt to kick a field goal, extra point, or kickoff. Also refers to the act of kicking by either the placekicker of punter.

    Kick Off
    A free kick that puts the ball into play at the start of the first and third periods and after every touchdown and field goal.
    A football game always starts with a kickoff.

    Kick Returner
    A special teams player who specializes in returning kickoffs.
    A kick returner is usually one of the faster players on the team, often a reserve wide receiver.
     
  12. Shamrock

    Shamrock New Member

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  13. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    L
    Lateral
    A sideways or backwards pass thrown from one player to another.
    Since it is not a forward pass, a lateral can be executed beyond the line of scrimmage.

    Linebacker
    A defensive player who lines up behind the defensive linemen and in front of the defensive backfield. The linebackers are a team's second line of defense.
    Most teams employ defenses that use either three or four linebackers.

    Line Judge
    The official who lines up on the opposite side of the field from the head linesman. His duties include:
    • Assist the head linesman on in making illegal motion, illegal shifts, offside and encroachment calls
    • Assist the umpire with illegal use of the hands and holding calls
    • Assist the referee on false start calls
    • Make sure the quarterback does not cross the line of scrimmage before throwing the ball
    • Watch for offensive lineman going downfield too early on punts
    • Supervise the timing of the game
    • Supervise substitutions by the team on his side of the field

    Lineman
    An offensive or defensive player who starts each play lined up on the line of scrimmage.
    A lineman can be a tackle, guard, or center on offense, or a tackle or end on defense.

    Line of Scrimmage
    An imaginary line stretching the width of the field that separates the two teams prior to the snap of the ball.
    The line of scrimmage is determined by the points of the football with the width of the football representing the neutral zone.

    Live Ball
    A ball that is in play while a play is in progress

    Long Snapper
    The center who specializes in snapping the ball for punts and field goal attempts.

    Loose Ball
    A ball that is not in possession of either team.
    A ball that is lying, or rolling around on the ground after a fumble is considered a loose ball.
     
  14. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    M
    Man in Motion
    An offensive player who runs behind the line of scrimmage and parallel to it, as the quarterback calls the signals.
    Usually running backs, tight ends and wide receivers are sent in motion. A man in motion is used to give the player a running start or to move him to another position in the formation.

    Man to Man Coverage
    Pass coverage in which every defensive back is assigned to a particular receiver.
    A defensive back must be careful not to let the receiver get by him in man-to-man coverage because he does not have any other defenders assigned to help him with that particular receiver.


    Middle Guard
    The defensive tackle who lines up opposite the offensive center.
    Also Known As: nose guard, nose tackle
    A middle guard is generally big and strong enough to take on double teams on a consistent basis.

    Motion
    When an offensive player begins to move laterally behind the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped.
    An offense often tries to confuse the defense by sending a receiver or running back in motion.
     
  15. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    N
    Neutral Zone
    The area between the two lines of scrimmage, stretching from sideline to sideline.
    The width of the neutral zone is defined by length of the football.

    Nickel Back
    An extra defensive back who is used mostly in obvious passing situations.
    A defensive back is referred to as a nickel back when he is the fifth defensive back on the field.

    Nickel Defense
    A defensive formation that utilizes five defensive backs.
    Teams usually switch to a nickel defense when the opposition's offense is in obvious passing situations.

    Nose Guard/Tackle
    The defensive tackle who lines up opposite the offensive center.
    Also Known As: nose tackle, middle guard
    A nose guard is generally big and strong enough to take on double teams on a consistent basis.
     
  16. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    O
    Offence
    The team that has possession of the football and attempts to advance it toward the defense's goal line.
    The main goal of an offense is to pass or run the football into the opposing team's goal for a touchdown. The offense plays against the other team's defense.

    Offensive Backfield
    The area of the field or the players lined up behind the offensive linemen.
    The offensive backfield normally consists of a quarterback and at least one running back. Wide receivers sometimes line up in the offensive backfield.

    Offensive Holding
    A foul in which an offensive player keeps a defender from advancing by grasping him with his hands or arms. Offensive linemen are allowed to use their hands as long as they keep them to the inside of a defenders body, but if they get to the outside of the defender's body, it is a penalty.
    Offensive holding results in a 10-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Offensive Line
    The five offensive players that line up on the line of scrimmage and block for the quarterback and ball carriers.
    Every offensive line consists of a center, two offensive guards, and two offensive tackles.

    Offensive Pass Interference
    A penalty in which an offensive player significantly hinders a defensive player's opportunity to intercept a forward pass or pushes off of the defender to give himself an advantage.
    Offensive pass interference results in a 10-yard penalty on the offending team.

    Officials
    The men in the striped shirts who officiate the game.
    The crew of officials consists of a referee, umpire, head linesman, line judge, back judge, field judge, and side judge.

    Offsides
    A penalty that occurs when any part of a defender's body is beyond his line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
    An offside infraction results in a five-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Off Tackle
    A running play designed to go to the strong side and take advantage of the hole supplied by the tackle, the tight end, and the full back.
    When running off-tackle, a running back can take the ball either outside the tackle or around the tight end. The fullback's duty is to block the outside linebacker, giving the ball carrier room to run.

    Onside Kick
    An attempt by the kicking team to recover the ball by kicking it a short distance down the field.
    An onside kick must travel at least 10 yards before the kicking team can legally touch it, however, the ball does not have to be touched by a defender before the kicking team attempts to recover it.

    Open Receiver
    Any potential receiver that breaks away from pass coverage.
    A good quarterback has a knack for finding the open receiver.

    Option
    An offensive play in which the quarterback has the choice (option) of either passing, running, or pitching the ball to a running back.
    The option is commonly used in high school and college football, but is rarely used in the NFL.

    Out of Bounds
    The area touching or outside the sidelines and end line.
    A player is considered out of bounds if they are touching or beyond the sidelines or end lines.

    Out of Bounds at the Snap
    A player may not enter the field of play after the football is snapped.
    The penalty for being out of bounds at the snap is five yards against the offending team.

    Overtime
    A player may not enter the field of play after the football is snapped.
    The penalty for being out of bounds at the snap is five yards against the offending team.
     
  17. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    P
    Pass
    The act of throwing the ball to another player.
    Throwing the ball so that it ends up further downfield than it started is a forward pass. A pass that goes backward or parallel to the line of scrimmage is considered a lateral.

    Pass Defender
    A defensive player whose assignment is to cover an opposing receiver.
    Defensive backs are generally pass defenders, but linebackers and even occasionally linemen will drop back in coverage.

    Pass Interference
    Illegally hindering another player's chances of catching a forward pass.
    Defensive pass interference awards the offensive team the ball at the spot of the foul with an automatic first down. Offensive pass interference results in a 10-yard penalty against the offense.

    Pass Pattern / Route
    A predetermined route run by a receiver in an attempt to get open for a pass.
    The pass pattern a receiver runs is determined by the play called in the huddle before the play.

    Pass Protection
    The blocking scheme used by offensive players to keep the defense from getting to the quarterback on passing plays.
    A quarterback usually indicates in the huddle which pass protection scheme his offensive teammates will use.

    Pass Rush
    An attempt by the defensive players to get to the quarterback so they can tackle him before he can complete a pass.
    A pass rush can come in a number of different forms. Teams often pass rush just three or four down linemen, or they can also use one or more linebackers or defensive backs to add a blitz to their pass rush.

    Passing Game / Attack
    The offensive attack created by throwing the football.
    A team with a good passing game can usually move the ball up and down the field with relative quickness.

    Personal Foul
    A flagrant illegal act that is generally deemed to unnecessarily risk the health of other players.
    Personal fouls include, but are not limited to late hits, unnecessary roughness, and blows to the head. A personal foul results in a 15-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Pick
    1. An offensive maneuver in which two receivers cross and one bumps the defender of the other.
    2. Another term for interception.

    Piling On
    An illegal play where several players jump on the player with the ball after he's been tackled.
    Piling on results in a 15-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Pitch
    The act of the quarterback tossing the ball to a running back who is moving laterally away from him.
    An offense often uses a pitch, instead of a handoff, to give the running back a running start toward the outside.

    Place Kicker
    The player who kicks the ball on kickoffs, extra point attempts, and field goal attempts.
    A place kicker either kicks the ball while it's being held by a teammate or kicks it off a tee.

    Play
    In general, the actions of the players following a snap or kickoff. More specifically, the type of action taken as part of a planned maneuver.
    On offense, there are two basic types of plays; running and passing. On special teams, there are a number of different types of kicking plays.

    Play Action Pass
    A pass play where the quarterback fakes a handoff to a running back while he's dropping back to pass.
    On a play-action pass, the quarterback hopes to fake the defenders into thinking the offense is going to run the ball. By doing so, he accomplish two things. He slows down the pass rush of the defense and he forces the defensive backs to make a decision between covering their assigned receiver or coming up to help stop the run.

    Play Clock
    A clock displayed above each end zone that limits the time teams may take between plays.
    If an offense fails to snap the ball before the play clock expires, they are assessed a five-yard penalty for delay of game.

    Playoffs
    The post-season tournament that determines the NFL champion.
    To get into the playoffs, a team must either win their division or have one of the two best records of all non-division winners in their conference.

    Pocket
    The area of protection given to a quarterback by his offensive line when he drops back to pass.
    The pocket generally includes the area behind the line of scrimmage and between the two offensive tackles.

    Pooch / Squib Kick
    A low, line drive kickoff that often bounces around before it is fielded by the kick returner.
    A pooch kick is often used against a team with a dangerous kick returner or as time is running out in the game or half. A pooch kick is less likely to be returned for a touchdown and uses more time off the clock than a normal kickoff.

    Possession
    1. When a team has control of the ball, the are considered to be in possession of it.
    2. When a player maintains control of the ball while touching both feet, or any other part of his body other than his hands, to the ground.
    1. A team's possession begins when they take over on offense and ends when they give up the ball either by turnover, punt, or scoring. 2. On a pass play, a player must have possession of the ball before going out of bounds to complete the pass.

    Post Pattern
    A forward pass that the quarterback throws down the center of the field as the intended receiver runs toward the goalpost.
    On a post pattern, a receiver will start by running straight downfield before turning and running at an angle toward the goalpost.

    Power Sweep
    A running play in which two or more offensive linemen pull out of their stances and run toward the outside of the line of scrimmage, leading the running back who receives a handoff or pitch from the quarterback.
    To run a successful power sweep, a team must have guards with agility and the speed to get outside the line.

    Preseason
    The period of time before the regular season during which teams play exhibition games and check out new players.
    Preseason in the NFL usually lasts from the beginning of August through Labor Day, when the regular season starts.

    Previous Spot
    The exact location on the field where the ball was placed before the preceding play.
    Penalties called during a play are often enforced from the previous spot of the football.

    Primary Receiver
    The receiver who, on a particular play, is designed to be the first option for the quarterback to throw the ball to.
    If the primary receiver is not open, the quarterback must then look for his second and third options.

    Pulling
    When a player leaves one area of the field, generally moving back and then over, to block in an area other than his normal position.
    A sweep is a good example of a play that uses pulling blockers. Generally, the two guards pull out of their normal blocking zones and run to a predetermined side of the field to block for the running back.

    Pump Fake
    A move the quarterback uses to deceive the defense by moving his arm in a throwing motion in the direction of a receiver, but holding onto the ball and drawing it back to throw in another direction or area of the field.
    A quarterback might use a pump fake toward a receiver that is in a short pattern over the middle to draw the free safety up before throwing a deep pass to a wide receiver racing down one of the sidelines.

    Punt
    A kick made when the punter drops the ball and kicks it while it falls toward his foot.
    A punt usually occurs on fourth down and is designed to drive the other team back as far as possible before they take possession of the ball.

    Punter
    The player who stands behind the line of scrimmage, catches the long snap from the center, and then kicks the ball after dropping it toward his foot.
    The punter generally comes in on fourth down to punt the ball to the other team with the idea of driving the other team as far back as possible before they take possession of the ball.

    Punt Returner
    The player who stands behind the line of scrimmage, catches the long snap from the center, and then kicks the ball after dropping it toward his foot.
    The punter generally comes in on fourth down to punt the ball to the other team with the idea of driving the other team as far back as possible before they take possession of the ball.

    Pylon
    A short orange foam marker that marks all four corners of each end zone.
    The pylon helps officials determine where the goal line and end line meet the sidelines.
     
  18. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Q
    Quarter
    One period of a football game.
    An NFL football game is divided into four quarters of 15 minutes each. High school games have 12-minute quarters.

    Quarterback
    The offensive player who receives the ball from the center at the start of each play before either handing it to the running back, throwing it to a receiver, or running with it himself.
    The quarterback is usually the player in charge of running the offense on the field. He is also the guy that usually informs the offense of the play while in the huddle.

    QB Rating
    A formula used to calculate a quarterback's effectiveness in the passing game.
    The quarterback rating takes into account such things as completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown passes, and interceptions.

    QB Sneak
    An offensive play where the quarterback receives the snap from center and immediately runs or jumps forward.
    A quarterback sneak is usually only used in short-yardage situations

    Quick Count
    A strategy where the quarterback calls the signals at the line of scrimmage very fast so as to throw off the other team or catch them by surprise.
     
  19. Shamrock

    Shamrock New Member

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    Just like leisure Las Vegas, the term Ball Watcher is a creation of the proprietor of © Nonsense News Network (ie that would be me) and all rights are reserved.

    :D
     
  20. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    R
    Reading the Defense
    A play where the offense lines up in a formation as if they are going to run an offensive play, but the player taking the snap surprises the defense by punting the ball.

    Receiver
    An offensive player whose job it is to catch the football.
    A team's receivers can consist of wide receivers, tight ends, running backs, and in special cases, even an offensive tackle.

    Recover
    Taking control of a ball that has been fumbled.
    A player can recover a fumble by either picking the football up or by falling to the ground and pulling it into his body to control it.

    Red Zone
    The area between the 20-yard line and the goal line at both ends of the field.
    How well a team performs in the red zone can often determine the outcome of a game.

    Referee
    Definition: The referee is the official that has control of the game and is generally the final authority in all decisions. Among his duties are:
    • Announce all penalties
    • Explain penalties to the offending team's captain
    • Explain penalties to the head coach of the offending team and inform him of who it was called against
    • Position himself in the backfield, approximately 10 yards behind the quarterback, before each snap
    • Monitor illegal hits on the quarterback
    • Watch for illegal blocks near the quarterback
    • Determine whether the yardage chains should be brought on the field for a measurement
    You can tell the referee from the other officials because he is the only one that wears a white hat.

    Return
    The act of bringing the ball back in the opposite direction after a change of possession.
    A return often refers to the distance a ball is advanced after a turnover, punt, or kickoff.

    Reverse
    A play in which the running back receives a handoff from the quarterback and then runs laterally behind the line of scrimmage before handing off to a receiver running in the opposite direction.
    A reverse is often used against a defense that has a tendency to over pursue.

    Roll / Roll Out
    The act of the quarterback moving left or right out of the pocket before throwing or running with the football.
    Teams usually have plays that allow the quarterback to roll out to get away from pressure by the defense.

    Rookie
    A player in his first season in the NFL or other professional league.
    In the NFL, a rookie is often forced to carry the bags, or supply donuts for the veteran football players.

    Roster
    A list of the members of a football team.
    An NFL team is limited to just 53 players on its roster.

    Roughing the Kicker
    Flagrantly running into or hitting the kicker after the ball has been kicked.
    Roughing the kicker is a personal foul and results in a 15-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Roughing the Passer
    Flagrantly running into or hitting the quarterback after the ball has been released. Can also be called when a defender hits the quarterback in the head.
    Roughing the passer is a personal foul and results in a 15-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Runback
    Returning a kickoff, punt, fumble recovery, or interception.
    Anytime there is a change of possession, the distance the player with the football advances it is considered the runback.

    Running Back
    An offensive player who runs with the football.
    On most running plays, the running back(s) lines up in the offensive backfield.

    Running into the Kicker
    Making incidental contact with a placekicker or punter after the ball has been kicked. A less serious version of the roughing the kicker penalty.
    Running into the kicker carries a five-yard penalty while roughing the kicker results in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.

    Rush
    Definition: 1. To run from the scrimmage line with the football.
    2. To put pressure on the quarterback in an attempt to tackle him or force him into a bad throw.
     
  21. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Just like with LLV you got ripped off here!:icon_rofl:
     
  22. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    S
    Sack
    Any tackle of the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage.
    The goal of a pass rusher is to sack the quarterback on pass plays

    Safety
    1. A two-point score by the defense that occurs when one of its players tackles an opponent in possession of the ball in his own end zone.
    2. A defensive player who lines up in the secondary between, but generally deeper than the cornerbacks.
    1. A safety is one of the rarest ways of scoring during a game of football. 2. A safety is usually a teams last line of defense.

    Safety Blitz
    A defensive tactic where one or both safeties rush the quarterback.
    A safety blitz is designed to either sack the quarterback before he throws a pass, or force him into hurrying his throw, hopefully causing him to throw a bad pass.

    Salary Cap
    The maximum amount of money that a team can spend on player salaries in a given year.
    In the NFL, the salary cap number is based on gross revenue of league-wide income, most of it coming from network television contracts and ticket sales.

    Scheme
    A term used to describe offensive and defensive formations and the overall strategy for using such a formation.

    Scramble
    A tactic where a quarterback runs around behind the line of scrimmage to avoid tacklers while buying time for his receivers to get open.
    An ability to scramble is a plus for any quarterback and can be very frustrating for pass rushers.

    Screen Pass
    A forward pass in which the defensive linemen are allowed to get through the offensive line while two offensive linemen run wide to a specific side of the field and then turn and block upfield for a running back who takes a short pass from the quarterback.
    A screen pass can be very effective against aggressive defenses who rush the quarterback.

    Secondary
    1. The defensive players who line up behind the linebackers and basically defend the pass.
    2. The area of the field defended by the defensive backs.
    The secondary includes the cornerbacks, safeties, and any other defensive backs used in nickel and dime formations.

    Second Forward Pass
    An illegal pass play in which a player catches a forward pass behind the line of scrimmage, then passes the ball forward to another receiver.
    A second forward pass results in a five-yard penalty against the offending team.

    Series
    The four downs that a team has to advance 10 yards.
    A new series starts every time a team gets a first down.

    Shift
    The movement of one or more players to a different position in a formation before the football is snapped.
    Shifts are often used on both sides of the ball to create confusion for the opposition.

    Shotgun
    A passing formation in which the quarterback stands 5 to 7 yards behind the center before the snap.
    The shotgun formation allows the quarterback to scan the defense while standing back from the line of scrimmage.

    Side Judge
    Definition: The official that lines up 20 yards deep in the defensive backfield. His duties are essentially the same as the back judge:
    • Make sure the defensive team has no more than 11 players on the field
    • Watch all eligible receivers on his side of the field
    • Watch the area between the umpire and field judge
    • Rule on the legality of catches and pass interference penalties
    • Watch for clipping on kick returns

    Sideline
    The line along each side of the field that marks where the field of play ends.
    When a player crosses the sideline on a play, they are considered to be out of bounds and the play is marked dead where the ball crossed the line.
     
  23. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    T
    tackle:
    a player position on both the offensive and defensive lines; there is usually a left and right offensive tackle, and a left and right defensive tackle; See also tackling.

    tackling:
    contacting a ball carrier to cause him to touch the ground with any part of his body except his hands, thereby ending the play.

    territory:
    the half of the field a team protects against its opponents.

    third-and-long:
    when the offense faces a third down and is more than a short running play away from a first down; usually third-and-5 or greater.

    touchback:
    when a player who gains possession of a ball in his own end zone kneels to the ground and automatically starts the next play at his own 20-yard line; also awarded if his opponent kicks the ball across the end line.

    touchdown (TD):
    when a team crosses the opponent’s goal line with the ball, catches a pass in the opponent’s end zone, or recovers a loose ball in the opponent’s end zone; earns a team 6 points.

    turnover:
    the involuntary loss of possession of the ball during a play, either by a fumble or by throwing an interception.
     
  24. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    W
    Wild Card:
    a team that makes the NFL playoffs by having one of the 2 best records among non-division winners in its conference.

    winning percentage:
    the percentage of its games a team has won during a period of time, given by the following formula:
     
  25. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    the Basics of the Nickel Defense

    The nickel defense is a basic defensive formation that is designed to stop the pass. The alignment features four down lineman, two linebackers, and five defensive backs.
    If you take a look at the illustration on the right, you will see a diagram outlining the nickel defense. The Os in the diagram represent offensive players while the Xs represent the placement of the defensive players.

    Notice the lowest row of Xs on the line of scrimmage (imaginary line seperating the offense and defense). You have two defensive ends (DE), one on each end of the line, and two defensive tackles (DT) in between. Behind the defensive line are two linebackers (LB).

    Two cornerbacks (CB) and one nickelback (NB) line up to cover the wide receivers when the offense is in a three-receiver set. There are also two safeties. The exact position of the defensive backs depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.
     
  26. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Basics of the Dime Defense

    The dime defense is a basic defensive formation that is designed to stop the pass. The alignment generally features either four down lineman, one linebacker, and six defensive backs or three down lineman, two linebackers, and six defensive backs.
    If you take a look at the illustration on the right, you will see a diagram outlining the dime defense. The Os in the diagram represent offensive players while the Xs represent the placement of the defensive players.

    In this particular dime formation, there are four linemen on the line of scrimmage (imaginary line seperating the offense and defense). You have two defensive ends (DE), one on each end of the line, and two defensive tackles (DT) in between. Behind the defensive line is one linebacker (LB).

    Two cornerbacks (CB), one nickel back (NB), and one dime back (DB) combine with two safeties to cover the defensive backfield.


    The exact position of the defensive backs depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.
     
  27. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Zone defense

    Zone defense is a type of defense used in sports which is the alternative to man-to-man defense; instead of each player guarding a corresponding player on the other team, each defensive player is given an area, or a "zone", to cover.

    A zone defense can be used in virtually all sports where a defending team is present.

    Advanced pass coverage
    To create a shorthand, most defensive schemes use the term "cover" (for pass coverage) and a number to describe a combination of schemes. There are only five eligible pass receivers on a given play (the quarterback is also an eligible receiver, but passes to the quarterback are rare) while there are at least seven pass defenders in 3-4 alignment in man-to-man defense, some of the pass coverage personnel may either blitz (cross the line of scrimmage with the down linemen in an attempt to sack the quarterback), provide double coverage on a receiver, or help other defensive players with the pass coverage. In zone coverage, all defensive linebackers and backs have a pass coverage assignment.

    Cover Zero - Strict man-to-man coverage with no help from safeties (usually a blitz play with at least five men crossing the line of scrimmage)
    Cover One - Man-to-man coverage with at least one safety not assigned a player to cover who can help out on deep pass routes.
    Cover Two - Zone coverage with the safeties playing deep and covering half the field each.
    Cover Three - Zone coverage as above, but with extra help from a cornerback, so that each player covers one-third of a deep zone.
    Cover Four - As above, with the corners and safeties dropping into deep coverage, with each taking one-fourth of the width of the field. Also referred to as Quarters.
    The effectiveness of a defense against short passes and the run generally drops as it goes from Cover Zero to Cover Four, while their effectiveness against deep passes increases.
     
  28. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Specific offensive strategies

    There are several offensive strategies that have evolved over the years, especially after the NFL outlawed most downfield contact on receivers (that is, past the 5 yard "chuck" zone, where most contact is allowed). Thus, recent strategies attempt to utilize the passing game to open up the defense, as it is less predictable and carries the possibility for greater gain.

    The "West Coast" offense was originated by Bill Walsh when he was offensive coordinator for Paul Brown with the Cincinnati Bengals in the early 70s, and then during Walsh's coaching days at Stanford and his successful application of it with the San Francisco 49ers during the 1980s, resulting in three Super Bowl wins. The West Coast Offense is characterized by short high-percentage-completion passes such as screens, flares, and quick slants, and a way of pacing based on quarterback drops by steps rather than yards, and "progressions" of receiver choice and based on defensive coverage, rather than throwing to a pre-determined pass catcher. The coaches train quarterbacks in this system to be accurate, quick-thinking and have excellent timing between him and his receivers. Teams that utilize this offense in the NFL typically have coaches that were Bill Walsh disciples or assistants of those disciples. The Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all use variations of the West Coast offense. It is possible that Lane Kiffin, head coach of the Oakland Raiders may also install this offense. Teams famed for using this offense in the past include the San Francisco 49ers.

    The "Air Coryell" Offense was originated by Don Coryell and adopted by his assistant coaches including Joe Gibbs, Jim Hanifan, and Ernie Zampese. The offense features a power running game similar to that of former University of Southern California head coach John McKay. What has made this offense popular is the ability to stretch the field vertically with the passing game and its numbered pass routes. The Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, and the University of Maryland are among those who run this type of offense. Teams famed for running this scheme in the past include the Dallas Cowboys (during the 90s under offensive coordinator Norv Turner), the San Diego Chargers and the St. Louis Rams during their Greatest Show on Turf days of the 1999-2001 seasons.

    The Run & Shoot offense, although invented much earlier, became popular in NCAA and NFL football in the 1990s. Using formations with only one running back and four wide receivers, the Run & Shoot is predicated on making adjustments based on the defense. If an opponent deploys six defensive backs to guard the four receivers, running plays will be successful because of the lack of linebackers, often the best tacklers on the field. On the other hand, if an opponent does not deploy extra defensive backs, now another mismatch has been created, with slower linebackers being asked to cover quick receivers. In both cases, the play can be changed at the line of scrimmage to increase the chances of success. In addition to these pre-snap adjustments, run and shoot receivers will adjust their routes during the play based on the positioning of the defense. This requires intelligent receivers and quarterbacks to run efficiently. The Run & Shoot led to incredible numbers in the NCAA and NFL: some of its most successful proponents were the early 1990s University of Houston teams led by Jack Pardee and John Jenkins, as well as the NFL's Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, and Houston Oilers. Although it has declined in popularity and has largely disappeared from the NFL, it is still employed by the University of Hawaii and head coach June Jones, and its philosophy of spreading a defense in order to run the football more effectively lives on in the spread option offenses of Rich Rodriguez and Urban Meyer.

    The Erhardt - Perkins offensive system, also known as "smashmouth" football, a power run style of offense[1]. Smashmouth football is one of the earliest offensive strategies developed, and depends heavily on large, powerful running backs running straight ahead and gaining yards after contact (YAC). This offense uses "the run to set up the pass" via play-action passing (a somewhat newer concept), faking the run in order to throw deep downfield when the defense is least expecting it, usually when the defense slides down a safety for run support. Power offenses must be very patient in their approach and philosophy, and are most effective when complimented by a dominating defense that keeps the opponent from scoring. Power Football allows the team to control the ball for longer periods of time, denying the opposing offense opportunities to score. It is sometimes referred to as "three yards and a cloud of dust" football. This phrase used to describe the "good-old days" of Big Ten and Southeastern Conference football, and run by past teams such as the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers, and the New York Giants.
     
  29. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    3-4 Defense

    The 3-4 defense declined in popularity over the years, but has found renewed use by modern professional and college football teams. The 3-4 defense is so named because it involves 3 down linemen and 4 linebackers. There are usually 4 defensive backs. However, most teams since the 1990s have been using the 4-3 defense, primarily because football is fundamentally a "rush first" game, and the 4-3 defense's 4 down linemen make rushing more difficult by adding that one more man up front to stuff gaps. By the same token, fast linebackers, sitting back to survey the offensive set, can key in on an inside ball carrier and "hit the gaps" quickly to offer help to the 3 down linemen when defending the rush. In pass coverage, the 4 linebackers are already in a "sitting back" position, able to see the patterns develop and cover the short/intermediate pass.

    Notable teams that use the 3-4 defense are the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers. The San Francisco 49ers are believed to be in the final stages of a conversion to the 3-4 defense under Head Coach Mike Nolan, now entering his third year with the team. The Arizona Cardinals are also considering a change to the 3-4 defense in the future because their head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, was a coaching assistant for the Steelers. The Cardinals already incorporate the 5-2 defense, an older variation of the 3-4, in some of their defensive schemes.

    With the Cowboys using the 3-4 for the first time in their history in 2005, the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins are the only NFL teams which have never used the 3-4 as their base defense. Conversely, the Steelers have used the 3-4 as their base since 1982, the season after Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Mean Joe Greene and end L.C. Greenwood retired.

    The Oakland Raiders were the first NFL team to win a Super Bowl championship by using the 3-4 as its base defense, defeating the Minnesota Vikings, a traditional 4-3 team, in Super Bowl XI. When the Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV, it marked the first Super Bowl between teams which used the 3-4 as their base defense. At least one team which used the 3-4 played in every Super Bowl between 1980 and 1993.


    Defensive line
    The defensive line is made up of a nose tackle (NT) and two defensive ends (DEs). Linemen in 3-4 schemes tend to be larger than their 4-3 counterparts to take up more space and guard more territory along the defensive front.

    The base position of NT is across from the opposing team's center. This location is usually referred to as zero technique. The two DEs flank NT and line up across from the offensive tackles. The location across from the offensive tackle is usually referred to as five technique.

    Some 3-4 teams (such as the New England Patriots) use the three down linemen primarily to occupy the offensive linemen. In such systems the defensive linemen are assigned two gaps to defend. NT is responsible for defending plays which occur in the spaces, or gaps, between the center and guards. Each of those spaces is called an A gap. Flanking NT, DEs defend the gaps on either side of the tackle he lines up across from. Each guard-tackle gap is a B gap and the space outside each tackle is called a C gap.

    Other 3-4 teams (such as the San Diego Chargers, and the Dallas Cowboys) primarily make each lineman responsible for only one gap.


    Linebackers
    In a 3-4 defense, four linebackers (LBs) are positioned behind the defensive line. The linebacker unit is made up of two inside linebackers (ILBs) book-ended by two outside linebackers (OLBs).

    Strengths of the 3-4 include speedy pursuit of backs in run defense and flexibility to use multiple rushers to confuse the quarterback during passing plays without being forced into man-to-man defense on receivers. Most teams try to disrupt the offense's passing attack by rushing four defenders. In a standard 4-3 alignment, these four rushers are usually the four down linemen. But in a 3-4, the fourth rusher is usually a linebacker. Since there are four linebackers and four defensive backs, the fourth potential rusher can come from any of eight defensive positions. This is designed to confuse the quarterback's pre-snap defensive read.

    A drawback of the 3-4 is that without a fourth lineman to take on the offensive blockers and close the running lanes, both the defensive linemen and the linebackers can be overwhelmed by blocking schemes in the running game. To be effective, 3-4 linebackers need their defensive line to routinely tie up a minimum of four (preferably all five) offensive linemen, freeing them to make tackles. The 3-4 linebackers must be very athletic and strong enough to shed blocks by fullbacks, tight ends, and offensive linemen to get to the running back.


    Secondary
    The 3-4 defense generally uses four defensive backs. Two of these are safeties, and two of them are corners. A cornerback's responsibilities vary depending on the type of coverage called. Coverage is simply how the defense will be protecting against the pass. The corners will generally line up 3 to 5 yards off the ball, generally trying to "Jam" or interrupt the receivers route within the first 5 yards. A corner will be given one of two ways to defend the pass (with variations that result in more or less the same responsibilities): zone and man-to-man. In zone coverage, the cornerback is responsible for an area on the field. In this case, the corner must always stay downfield of whoever it is covering while still remaining in its zone, always between the sideline and the opposing player. Zone is a more relaxed defensive scheme meant to provide more awareness across the defensive secondary while sacrificing tight coverage. As such, the corner in this case would be responsible for making sure nobody gets outside of him, always, or downfield of him, in cases where there is no deep safety help. In man coverage, however, the cornerback is solely responsible for the man across from him, usually the offensive player split farthest out.

    The free safety is responsible for reading the offensive plays and covering deep passes. Depending on the defensive call, he may also provide run support. He is positioned 10 to 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage, toward the center of the field. He provides the last line of defense against running backs and receivers who get past the linebackers and cornerbacks. He must be a quick and smart player, capable of making tackles efficiently as well as reading the play and alerting his team of game situations.

    The strong safety is usually larger than the free safety and is positioned relatively close to the line of scrimmage. He is often an integral part of the run defense, but is also responsible for defending against a pass; especially against passes to the tight-ends.
     
  30. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    4-3

    The 4-3 defense is probably the most commonly used defense in modern American Football and especially in the NFL. Its invention is often attributed to legendary coach Tom Landry, in the 1950s, while serving as the Defensive Coordinator of the New York Giants.[2] This is backed by Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff:

    "Landry built the 4-3 defense around me. It revolutionized defense and opened the door for all the variations of zones and man-to-man coverage, which are used in conjunction with it today." - Sam Huff [3]
    Others attribute it to Chicago Bears Hall of Fame linebacker, Bill George. "On passing plays, George’s job was to bump the center and then drop back. George, noting the Eagles success at completing short passes just over his head, decided to skip the center bump and drop back immediately. Two plays later he caught the first of his 18 pro interceptions. While no one can swear which middle guard in a five-man line first dropped back to play middle linebacker and create the classic 4-3 defense, George is the most popular choice," from http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?player_id=73, March 20, 2007.

    The 4-3 defense is so named because it involves four down linemen and three linebackers along with four defensive backs.


    Defensive Line
    Defensive Tackles
    There are two defensive tackles in the 4-3 scheme. The first one is similar to the NT in the 3-4 in the fact that he is a little bigger and stronger and plays the 2 gap technique. As such, he is usually called the NT as well. It is called the two gap technique because he is responsible for two offensive linemen, generally the Center and Guard. His primary job is to stop the run and take up two or more blockers. The second DT is usually referred to simply as a Defensive Tackle, and is a bit smaller and faster, similar to a 3-4 DE. He plays a one gap technique meaning he is responsible for 1 offensive lineman, generally the remaining Guard. His primary responsibility is to rush the passer and stop the run.

    Defensive Ends
    The defensive end's primary role in the 4-3 defense is to get to the quarterback and create pressure. The 4-3 DE's are the smallest of all of the defensive lineman due to their emphasis of speed over strength. They still need to be strong enough to fight their way past offensive tackles, yet quick enough to pursue the Running backs on runs to the outside. Defensive ends generally play the 1 gap technique, though will occasionally be forced to play a 2 gap in the event of a TE pinching in to block on run plays.


    Linebackers
    Middle Linebacker
    There is only one inside linebacker in the 4-3 scheme, so he is called the Middle linebacker, sometimes known as the Mike linebacker. He acts as the quarterback of the defense and is often the defensive leader. The primary responsibility of the Mike is to stop the run, though he will often be asked to fall back in zone coverage. Because of this the Mike is often the largest and strongest of all of the Linebackers

    Outside Linebackers
    As in the 3-4 there are two outside linebackers in the 4-3. These outside backers are known as the Strong-Side and Weak-Side Linebackers. The Strong-Side, or Sam linebacker, is so named because he typically sticks to the strong side of the defense, across from the TE. The Sam does his fair share of blitzing, however he also needs to play the run and will usually be relied upon to cover the tight end or potentially a back out of the backfield. The Weak-Side, or Will, will generally play on the weak side and has more freedom than the other LBs, often blitzing the QB or guarding against the screen.


    Secondary
    The 4-3 defense generally uses four defensive backs. Two of these are safeties, and two of them are corners. A cornerback's responsibilities vary depending on the type of coverage called. Coverage is simply how the defense will be protecting against the pass. The corners will generally line up 3 to 5 yards off the ball, generally trying to "Jam" or interrupt the receivers route within the first 5 yards. A corner will be given one of two ways to defend the pass (with variations that result in more or less the same responsibilities): zone and man-to-man. In zone coverage, the cornerback is responsible for an area on the field. In this case, the corner must always stay downfield of whoever it is covering while still remaining in its zone, always between the sideline and the opposing player. Zone is a more relaxed defensive scheme meant to provide more awareness across the defensive secondary while sacrificing tight coverage. As such, the corner in this case would be responsible for making sure nobody gets outside of him, always, or downfield of him, in cases where there is no deep safety help. In man coverage, however, the cornerback is solely responsible for the man across from him, usually the offensive player split farthest out.

    The free safety is responsible for reading the offensive plays and covering deep passes. He is usually very fast to handle the role of a streaking receiver. Depending on the defensive call, he may also provide run support. He is positioned 10 to 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage, toward the center of the field. He provides the last line of defense against running backs and receivers who get past the linebackers and cornerbacks. He must be a quick and smart player, be capable of making tackles efficiently as well as read the play and alert your team of game situations.

    The strong safety is usually larger than the free safety and is positioned relatively close to the line of scrimmage. He is often an integral part of the run defense, but is also responsible for defending against a pass; especially against passes to the tight-ends.

    The 4-3 is widely used because of its balance in stopping both runs and passes as well as being personnel-friendly since smaller players can be used effectively along the defensive line.

    The original version of the 4-3 lined up the tackles over the offensive guards and the end over the offensive tackles, with the middle linebacker over the center and the other linebackers outside the ends. In the mid-1960s Hank Stram developed a popular variation, the "Kansas City Stack", which shifted the strong side defensive end over the tight end, stacked the strongside linebacker over the tackle, and shifted the weakside tackle over center. At about the same time the Cleveland Browns frequently used a weakside shift. The Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry developed a "flex" variation, that moved standout lineman Randy White all over and set two of the lineman a half-step farther back from the offensive linemen. Now every team has its own variations.
     

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