Cut or Cut-back:
This is when the player with the ball makes a sudden change in direction that makes it more difficult for defenders to tackle him.
This is an offensive play in which there are two different options for who can run with the football and the Quarterback must make the decision on what to do with the ball based on the Zone Read.
A play in which the quarterback pretends that he is going to pass the ball and drops back as if to pass in order to draw the defenders downfield into pass defense. The Quarterback then either hands the ball off to a Running back or keeps it and runs with it himself.
Only certain players on offense are permitted to catch a forward pass. No player wearing number 50 through 79 is permitted to catch a forward pass (these are the numbers designated and required to be worn by at least 5 Offensive Linemen). As long as the players on the end of the Offensive Line are not wearing numbers 50-79, they are eligible to catch a forward pass. All defensive players are permitted to touch or catch a pass. Once a defensive player touches a legal forward pass, all players become eligible.
A play where the Wide Receiver moves into the backfield as the ball is snapped and takes the handoff directly from the quarterback. He then runs around the opposite end from where he originally lined up prior to the snap. This is different from a Reverse in which the Quarterback hands the ball to another player who then hands it to the Wide Receiver.
A wide receiver who lines up in the backfield outside of another receiver. He is also called the “Z” Receiver.
A trick play on offense in which the Quarterback hands the ball to the Running Back who throws a backward pass back to the Quarterback, who then throws a forward pass to a Wide Receiver or Tight End.
An offensive strategy designed to quickly carry out offensive plays while using as little time off of the clock as possible. It often involves going without a huddle prior to the plays and can be difficult for a defense as they have less time to get into position and recognize what the offense is doing.
This is an offensive scheme that has as its premise two or more options of what the Quarterback can do with the ball based on what he sees from the defense. His decision is based on the Zone Read. See Spread Option, Triple Spread Option and Zone Read.
Blocking by the offensive football players to keep defenders away from the Quarterback to give him time to throw the football.
A hybrid version of the shotgun in which the Quarterback lines up about 3 yards behind the Center and the Running Back lines up directly behind the Quarterback. The Pistol puts the quarterback in the Shotgun, but only 3 or 4 yards behind the Center instead of 5 to 7 yards back. But unlike a typical Shotgun in which the Running Back is next to the Quarterback, the Pistol puts the Running Back behind the Quarterback. This gives the Quarterback the time and vision needed for the passing game while letting the Running Back get moving toward the Line of Scrimmage so that if he takes the handoff it is while moving as opposed to standing still. “Your back now has the ability to go both ways, as opposed to being offset one way or the other,” (Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel). The formation also provides an element of deception, with the Running Back almost hiding behind the Quarterback, so opposing Linebackers can’t get a read on the run play. The Option can be run out of this formation as well.
Play Action Pass:
This is when the Quarterback pretends to hand off the football to the Running Back, but actually keeps it. The Running Back will run up the field and pretend that he has the ball. The Offensive Linemen will join in the fake and act as if they’re blocking for a running play. But it’s all just an attempt to disguise the pass play, as the Quarterback never actually gave the ball away and is actually attempting to pass it. The offense is hoping that the defensive players will react to what they think is a running play by moving up to defend the runner who is pretending to have the ball, rather than continue with the pass rush or with covering the wide receivers. If executed correctly this will give the quarterback and receivers more time and space to make a play. This is the opposite of a Draw Play.
The area surrounding the Quarterback where he stand when the ball is snapped. It’s really just the space around the quarterback where that he hopes is protected from the defense by his blockers. When this “collapses” it means that the defensive players have broken through and the Quarterback no longer has the protection of his Pocket to stand in and pass the ball so he must move immediately.
An offensive play in which the Quarterback hands the ball to the Running Back who starts by carrying the ball toward one side of the field, but then hands or tosses the ball to a teammate (almost exclusively a Wide Receiver) who is running in the opposite direction. This is in contrast to an End Around in which the Quarterback hands the ball directly to the Wide Receiver.
Run out of the Gun:
When a running play takes place from the Shotgun Formation.
A short pass thrown to a receiver on the outer edge of the field while he stands behind one of his Offensive Linemen, who is standing in between him and the defensive player. Screens are used constantly in basketball and while they are complicated to describe in writing, they are much easier to watch. So just watch and listen.
This is an offensive formation in which the Quarterback lines up about 5 to 8 yards back from the Center when receiving the snap as opposed to directly behind him. He is often (but not necessarily) accompanied by one or two Running Backs standing directly next to him. One of the reasons why an offense will use a Shotgun Formation is so the Quarterback can more easily see the field and scan from left to right and see where the defensive players are coming from. The Quarterback needs this vision when executing passing plays and that is why this formation is typically associated with such. However when it is not a passing play, it is considered a “Run out of the Gun.”
The distance between the feet of adjacent Offensive Linemen. It is said to be wide, if there is a large gap between players, or narrow, if the gap is small.
The “spread” refers to any formation that forces the defense to cover more area before the play begins (before the ball is snapped) and creates more area in between defensive players. Because the Offensive Tackles (one on each end of the offensive line) stand farther away from each other, the Defensive Linemen and Linebackers must mimic their counterparts and spread out as well. (If they didn’t also spread out then the offensive linemen would contain defenses to their inside and therefore allow their teammates to easily run around them along the outside edge).
This is an offensive scheme that incorporates the Spread Offense and the Option. It has many different variations and is notably implemented at Florida by Urban Meyer, at Michigan by Rich Rodriguez and at Oregon by Chip Kelly (and formerly by Mike Bellotti).
This is an offensive play in which there are three different options for who can run with the football and the Quarterback must make the decision on what to do with the ball based on the Zone Read. See Option, Triple Spread Option.
Triple Spread Option:
Also referred to as the Triple Option Spread Offense, this is a version of the Spread Option Offense that is credited to Paul Johnson who installed it at Navy and currently runs it at Georgia Tech. It is distinguished form the other Spread Options in that it uses three different running options on each play. The Quarterback makes the decision on what to do with the ball based on the Zone Read.
An offensive formation for a running play in which the runner takes the snap directly from the Center.
This is a step in the Spread Option in which the Quarterback reads the defense in order to determine which option to use. The terms Spread Option and Zone Read are used interchangeably in the broadcast as both sufficiently describe the offensive strategy because the Zone Read and Option work in conjunction with each other. The Zone Read is the method of determining which option to use. The idea behind it is to create an advantage in terms of the number of players on the offense surrounding the football compared to defense. Although both teams have 11 men on the field, because the Quarterback is not used to block, when he is not carrying the ball, the defense has an extra player to use against the offense in the blocking scheme. In the Zone Read, the Offensive Line allows this extra player to move freely, but then chooses the option that puts the ball in the opposite direction of where he is moving.