Fair
54°FFairFull Forecast

Glossary of Football 101 terms

Published: Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014 7:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 12:37 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Kyle Grillot - kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
Richmond-Burton head coach Pat Elder talks with junior Joey Horner during a practice on Thursday, July 17, 2014 in Richmond.

What on Earth is the B-Gap? What's a veer? How about the difference between a two- and three-point stance? Our glossary of football terms is here to help.

Quarterbacks:

Check down (or audible): when a quarterback changes the play at the line of scrimmage 

Pitch: when a quarterback laterals the ball to a running back or fullback downfield

Handoff: when a quarterback turns and hands the ball to his running back or fullback in the backfield

Zone-read: when a quarterback reads the defensive end and decides whether to hand off to a running back or keep it

Pocket: area where the quarterback will drop back and throw from

Scramble: when a quarterback takes off running on a broken play

Running backs:

High and tight: The correct way to carry a football, it’s to better protect the football, it’s a big part of running backs, they can’t turn the ball over.

Shoulder turn: A way to protect our kids and the football. When a guy comes to tackle a player, you quickly turn your shoulder and make yourself small, so you avoid taking a guy head on and having contact with them.

Quick feet: The ability to make moves in traffic or avoid other unwanted situations

Get low: Always attempting to get lower than the defender tying to tackle you.

Hands inside: When blocking, for safety reasons and to potentially avoid holding-style penalties, big with running backs since they tend to be smaller than those they may be blocking.

A-Gap: The hole between the center and the guard

B-Gap: The hole between the guard and the tackle

C-Gap: The hole between the tackle and the tight end

D-Gap: Running pattern outside of everyone on the line

Wide receivers:

End around: Typically an outside run for either the X or Z receiver. Usually involves misdirection and the receiver taking the handoff from the quarterback in the backfield. 

Reverse: Much like the end around, only an additional hand-off is required. Often goes from quarterback to running back to either the X or Z receiver.

Seam: A route often run while defense is in a zone. Receiver will progress straight upfield and shuffle into an unoccupied zone awaiting the throw.

Bubble Screen: Screen pass in which receiver will initially move backwards and towards the sideline. After a few steps, the receiver will turn upfield awaiting the ball at around the line of scrimmage.

Hot route: A change of the originally called route. Can be signaled by the quarterback or receiver.

Speed cut: Used when defense is giving the receiver a cushion. Instead of a hard plant cut, the receiver will round the turn, meaning he will get the ball sooner.

Crack block or crack back block: Blocking method used on sweeps and pitches. Receiver will leave the defensive back defending him and move in to block linebacker or defensive end who doesn't see him.

Offensive linemen:

Drive: Used in any one-on-one blocking situation

Reach: Lineman attacks the outside shoulder of the defender

Zone: Two or more linemen block an area rather than a specific defender

Scoop: A block made on the backside of a play

Veer: Inside lineman releases block at first level and moves up to block another defender at the second level

Combo: Two blockers block one defender with hopes of moving up to second level linebackers

Types of line stances

Two-point: Lineman’s fingers are not touching the ground, knees bent with hands extended out in front (Used in most passing situations)

Three-point: Lineman is bent down at the waist and places three fingers from their stronger hand on the ground

Four-point: Both hands of the lineman are down while the lineman is crouched over, balancing their weight evenly (Used primarily by run-heavy teams)

Defensive linemen:

3-point stance: A stance that allows the lineman to be a little lighter on their feet. One hand touches the ground while the other is cocked back by the hip. The position allows a faster burst off the line for most players.

4-point stance: Similar to a 3-point stance, a player in a four-point stance will be used for an accelerated burst off the line of scrimmage. The difference between a 3-point stance and a 4-point stance is that in a

4-point stance, the player will have both hands touching the ground before takeoff.

Gaps: Certain parts of the line of scrimmage will be designated as a gap with letters assigned to that side. For example, the A Gap is between the center while the B Gap focuses on the two guards.

Sack: When a quarterback gets taken down behind the line of scrimmage, the tackle is counted as a sack.

Techniques: Ranging from one through nine, certain numbers are assigned to defensive lineman to indicate where the defensive lineman should align himself on the line of scrimmage.

Linebackers:

Quick hips: usually refers to pass defense and the ability to change direction without losing momentum

Pass drop: the movement by a linebacker back into his zone once he sees that the quarterback has dropped back to pass

Read step: the six-inch step forward taken by an LB when the ball is snapped before reacting to the offense

Stem: a shift made by the linebackers and defensive line prior to the snap

Stunt: a move in which two defensive players switch roles in order to confuse blockers and slip into the backfield

Two-point stance: a linebacker's position with two feet on the ground, as opposed to a three-point stance with two feet and one hand

Defensive backs:

Jam: hitting a receiver at the line of scrimmage to disrupt timing

Re-route: similar to a "jam," used to throw a receiver off his desired pattern

Sink technique:  shuffle back quickly where you are ready to come up quickly, usually in cover 2 when you have help deep

Read steps: slower backpedal as you decipher if it’s a run or a pass

Inside release: funneling receivers to the middle of the field, usually in Cover 2

Outside release: forcing receivers to the edge of the field, usually in man coverage

Jump a route: anticipate pass pattern and step in front of WR to make play

Previous Page|1|2|3|Next Page

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Northwest Herald.

Reader Poll

Do you think the U.S. Postal Service should continue Saturday mail delivery?
Yes
No