The Colts Influence
Constructed, destructed and reconstructed
The Colts Influence
Last updated on
December 06, 2008
Ever wonder what it is that the TV Announcers and other people are referring to when they are talking football? Learn all the football and NFL lingo here.
If there is a word you can not find, contact us and we will inform you and post it here on this page.
If you should find an error with one of our definitions - PLEASE inform us so that we may correct it! Thank you!
+ abbreviation for yards gained
- abbreviation for yards lost
% ATT An acronym for Percentage of Attempts - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
% AVERAGE THROW The average distance between the line of scrimmage and the intended receiver on pass attempts.
% INC An acronym for Percentage of Incompletions - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
0-9 n-m defense
1Ds abbreviation for first downs (found in STAT records)
1st An acronym for First Down - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
1st % An acronym for First Down Percentage - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
12th MAN See Twelth Man
2PT abbreviation for 2 point conversions (found in STAT records)
2 POINT CONVERSION: See Two Point Conversion
3 AMIGOS The trio of wide receivers on the Denver Broncos of the late 1980s and early 1990s: Mark Jackson, Vance Johnson, and Ricky Nattiel.
3 AND OUT See Three And Out
3-4 DEFENSE a basic defensive formation that is used by several NFL teams. Bud Wilkenson devised the alignment at the University of Oklahoma in the late 1940s. The alignment features three down linemen and four linebackers in the front seven, thus the name 3-4.
Two cornerbacks (CB), one on each side of the field, line up to cover the wide receivers. There are also two safeties. The exact positioning of the defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.
The 3-4 Eagle defense evolved from Buddy Ryan's 46 defense and Fritz Shurmur first unveiled it with the Los Angeles Rams in the early 1980s. The alignment is basically the same as a normal 3-4, but a linebacker is inserted in the nose tackle's spot, leaving the formation with just two linemen and five linebackers.
Two more linebackers line up as ends, outside the defensive tackles. The last two linebackers line up behind the defensive line.
Two cornerbacks (CB), one on each side of the field, line up to cover the wide receivers. There are also two safeties. The exact positioning of the defensive backs(cornerbacks and safeties) depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.
3 POINT STANCE: See three Point Stance
33 STACK See 3-3-5 DEFENSE
3 YARDS AND A CLOUD OF DUST See Power Football
The exact position of the defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.
4-3 DEfENSE OVER/UNDER See Over/Under 4-3 Defense
The exact position of the defensive backs (cornerbacks and safety) depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.
(pronounced forty-six defense) a formation of the 4-3 defense (four linemen and three linebackers) in which three defensive backs(the two cornerbacks and the strong safety) crowd the line of scrimmage. The remaining safety, which is the free safety, stays in the backfield. It is also known as the "Bear" defense because it was popularized by Buddy Ryan while coaching for the Chicago Bears.
The 46 Defense designed by Buddy Ryan at the Chicago Bears and named after the jersey number of Doug Plank, generally it has more than the normal number of pass rushers and the pass defenders are in man pass coverage
49ERS See San Francisco 49ers
49ERS FAITHFUL Nickname given to the fans of the San Francisco 49ers.
4 LOSS abbreviation for tackles for losses (found in STAT records)
The exact position of the defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.
51 Swing 749 East see I-formation
The 6-1 defense is a variation of the 4-3 formation. The alignment features four downed linemen and three linebackers in the front seven, but two linebackers move up on the defensive line, putting a total of six defenders on the line.
If you take a look at the illustration on the right, you will see a diagram outlining the 6-1 defense. The Os in the diagram represent offensive players while the Xs represent the placement of the defensive players.
Two cornerbacks (CB), one on each side of the field, line up to cover the wide receivers. There are also two safeties. The exact position of the defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.
8 IN THE BOX See Eight In The Box
12TH MAN See Twelth Man
60 MINUTE MEN Any player who played every minute of a game.
700 LEVEL The notorious upper levels of the former Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia between 1971 and 2002. This section was notorious for brawls between Philadelphia Eagles fans and those of visiting teams, especially Cowboys fans.
A/G abbreviation for assists per game (found in STAT records)
for 1. A GAP
This formation has gained popularity in the NFL as teams have started trading out a fullback, or blocking back, in favor of another wide receiver or tight end who is usually faster and better able to receive the ball, while still helping the run game with down-field blocks. The effectiveness of the formation is further increased if the team has athletic tight ends with good hands, thereby increasing the versatility of the formation. It is, moreover, good for bootlegs and reverses.
Single-back offenses have gained popularity due to zone blocking and advanced defenses. There are several combinations of single back formations that are used in Division 1 and NFL football. Speed offenses will use single back because the defense still has to respect the run out of these formations since you can line up many tight ends and still have a down field running game. Single back offenses create match-up problems in the defense. Linebackers will often have to cover receivers in passing routes while defensive safeties are used more to come up and stop the run on the line of scrimmage. Teams that run a single-back offense typically rely on quick receivers that run great routes, balanced tight ends (blocking/receiving), intelligent, shifty running backs, fast and intelligent offensive lineman, and a quarterback that can read defenses and make safe throws under pressure. Single-back offenses are more common in the NFL than in college or high school.
Here are a variety of plays that start in the ace formation.
ADJUSTMENT change in the approach of a team or player during a game as a result of less than satisfactory success with the original approach; also changing defensive alignment in response to offensive shifts or motions; the ability to make during-game adjustments is a must for all football coaches; many who do well in the first half but not the second are manifesting an inability to make appropriate adjustments definition
ADP acronym for Average Draft Position (fantasy football term)
AFL An acronym for either the American Football League or the Arena Football League.
The AFL (Arena
Football League) is similar to the NFL, but is played
indoors on a smaller field.
The AFC currently consists of 16 teams, organized into four divisions (North, South, East, and West) of four teams each. Each team plays the other teams in their division twice (home & away) during the regular season in addition to 10 other games/teams assigned to their schedule by the NFL the previous May. Two of these games are assigned on the basis of the team's final record in the previous season. The remaining 8 games are split between the roster of two other NFL divisions. This assignment shifts each year. For instance, in the 2005 regular season, each team in the NFC East will play a game apiece against each team in both the AFC West and the NFC West. In this way division competition consists of common opponents, with the exception of the 2 games assigned on the strength of each team's prior season record. The NFC operates according to the same system.
At the end of each football season, there are playoff games involving the top six teams in the AFC (the four division champions by place standing and the top two remaining non-division-champion teams ("wildcards") by record). The last two teams remaining play in the AFC Championship game with the winner receiving the Lamar Hunt Trophy. The AFC champion plays the NFC champion in the Super Bowl.
It began in 1970 after the merger between the NFL and the American Football League. The AFC was formed by joining the 10 former AFL teams with 3 NFL teams: the then-Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
For more details on this topic, see NFL playoffs.
At the end of each football season, a series of playoff games involving the top six teams in the AFC are conducted, consisting of the four division champions and two wild card teams. The two teams remaining play in the AFC Championship game.
AGILLITIES short for agility drills; drills commonly used by position coaches during the 10- to 20-minute position-coach period at the beginning of most football practices; the theory behind them is that agility is a desirable football skill and agility drills make players more agile; I do not believe the drills make players better at football to any significant degree; rather, they make the players better at doing the agility drill in question; I would appreciate hearing about any scientific study that proves any football agility drill pays a game-day dividend worth the practice time it takes; I suspect the real reasons for the widespread use of agility drills are they fill practice time and look footballish, that's the way it's always been done, the logic that agility drills increase agility seems correct, a number of companies make and/or sell products for agility drills and therefore have financial incentive to encourage belief in their efficacy, many coaches are afraid to deviate from football group norms because it increases the probability they will be blamed for losses; doing the same as every other coach enables coaches to subtly blame the players for losses, e.g. "someone needed to make a play but no one did;" I believe that agilities should never be used and that the practice time saved is far better spent on learning assignments, blocking techniques, practicing reading defenders and throwing passes, option reads, and so forth; carioca is an agility drill, as are running through tires (now ropes or a ladder), running around large hoops on the ground, etc.; may be the best you can do at the college level in the off-season when more productive activities are prohibited by rule
AIR CORYELL Nickname given to the high powered passing offenses of the early 1980s San Diego Chargers, led by quarterback Dan Fouts and coached by Don Coryell.
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 Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, and the University of Maryland are among those who run this type of offense.
AIR RAID an offensive philosophy derived from the West Coast Offense but adapted to the shotgun formation. In this offense the running game is heavily de-emphasized while the quick pass, medium pass, and screen game are highly developed.
AKRON INDIANS See Akron
The Akron Pros were a National Football League team that played in Akron, Ohio from 1920-1925 and as the Akron Indians in 1926.
The team started out in 1916 as the Akron Burkhardts, named after a local family of brewers that sponsored the team. As from 1917 the team competed as the Akron Pros.
The Pros became a charter member of the NFL (then known as the American Professional Football Association) in 1920 and won the first ever league title.
Fritz Pollard, the first African-American head coach in the NFL, co-coached the Pros in 1921. In 1926, the name was changed to the Akron Indians, which had been an earlier Akron semi-pro team, but that didn't help. Because of financial problems, the team suspended operations in 1927 and surrendered its franchise the following year.
See Amos Alonzo Stagg here
The Arizona Cardinals American football club is a Phoenix, Arizona-based National Football League team. In 2006, the club will move to the new Cardinals Stadium in the suburb of Glendale, Arizona.
The Cardinals roots actually stretch back to 1898 when a neighborhood group that gathered to play football in a predominantly Irish area of Chicago's South Side, playing under the name Morgan Athletic Club. Chris O'Brien, a painting and decorating contractor acquired the team later.
The team disbanded in 1906 due mostly to a lack of local competition, but reformed in 1913 . They were forced to suspend operations for a second time in 1918 due to World War I and the outbreak of the Spanish Flu Pandemic . They resumed operations later in the year, and have operated continuously since then.
The American Professional Football Association, the direct forerunner of the NFL, began play in 1920. The Racine Cardinals faced an immediate challenge for territorial rights in Chicago from a team named the Tigers, who joined the league on September 17. O'Brien and the Cardinals promptly challenged the Tigers to a game, with the loser to leave town. The Cardinals won the game, 6-0-and franchise rights-thanks to the legendary Paddy Driscoll's touchdown
The team became a charter member of the American Professional Football Association (which became the NFL in 1922) in 1920, for the franchise fee of $100. According to some, the team's name was erroneously recorded as " Racine, Wisconsin ." The team was renamed the Chicago Cardinals in 1922 after a team from Racine, Wisconsin entered the league. That season the team moved into Comiskey Park .
In 1932 the team was purchased by Charles W. Bidwill, then a vice president of the Chicago Bears . The team has been under the ownership of the Bidwill family since then. (Charles' son, William V. Bidwill, now operates the team.)
In 1944, owing to player shortages caused by World War II , the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers merged for one year and were known as the "Card-Pitts," or derisively as the "Carpets" as they were winless that season.
Bidwill kept the team going through
the Depression and World War II, and finally managed to put together
a winning unit just as the war ended. Bidwill's building program
produced a team that won the NFL championship in 1947. The Cardinals'
28-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1947 championship
game still stands as the team's last playoff victory.
Not all was rosy as the Chicago
Cardinals were drowning in red ink, and were no longer able to
compete with the Bears in the Windy City. Owner Violet Bidwell
decided it was time for a change and began looking for a new nest for
the NFL's oldest franchise. A study prior to expansion suggested St.
Louis would be able to support a team nicely. With the newly formed
rival league, the AFL, eyeing this promising bit of territory, the
NFL wanted to secure a team in the area. So, on March 13th the NFL
owners unanimously voted to allow the Chicago Cardinals to relocate
to St. Louis.
Sports fans and local news broadcasters got into the habit of calling them "the football Cardinals" or "the Baseball Cardinals " to distinguish the two.
The Cardinals have won NFL Championships in 1925 and 1947. But the team has not won a league title since then, and thus currently holds the record for the longest championship drought (period of not winning) in NFL history.
City: Tempe, Arizona
Team Colors: Cardinal Red, Black, and White
Head Coach: Dennis Green
White with a cardinal head
Normal Field (1920-1921), (1926-1928)
Athletic Club (1898)
A football club on the southwest side of Chicago was formed in 1898. The team was known as the Normals until 1901, when founder Chris O'Brien secured some hand-me-down jerseys from the University of Chicago. The jerseys were actually maroon, but the color had faded, striking O'Brien as more of a cardinal tint. The team became the Racine Cardinals, keeping the nickname as the club moved from Chicago (1922) to St. Louis (1960) and, finally, to Phoenix (1988).
In 1988 artificial turf gained a bad reputation on both sides of the Atlantic with fans and especially with players. The first artificial turfs were a far harder surface than grass, and soon became known as an unforgiving playing surface which was prone to cause more injuries, and in particular, more serious joint injuries, than would comparatively be suffered on a grass surface. Artificial turf was also regarded as aesthetically unappealing to many fans.
NFL stadiums now use Fieldturf
AST An acronym
for Assisted tackles
usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
The advantage of AstroTurf turf over grass turf is quite evident: an artificial turf requires minimal maintenance. It is also ideal for indoor stadiums, since it does not require sunlight. However, an AstroTurf surface is much harder than one of natural grass. Players describe the impact as similar to falling on concrete (Vince Lombardi called AstroTurf "fuzzy cement"). Players' cleats can get caught in the turf, which does not give the way grass and dirt does, causing the injury known as "turf toe".
AstroTurf turf is being replaced in many stadiums with newer types of artificial turf - two common brands of this new generation being FieldTurf and Sport Grass. These materials have properties much closer to natural grass turf. AstroTurf's version of this new artificial grass was called AstroPlay, but in 2004, Southwest Recreational Industries, who held the rights to making AstroTurf, went out of business after filing for bankruptcy. It is now sold by AstroTurf, LLC.
AstroTurf is a registered trademark of Textile Management Associates, applied to a particular kind of artificial turf.
AstroTurf turf was invented in 1965 by employees of Monsanto, patented in 1967, and originally sold under the name "Chemgrass." It was renamed AstroTurf after its first well-publicised use at the Houston Astrodome stadium.
The Atlanta Falcons American football club is a National Football League team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Falcons joined the NFL as a 1966 expansion team.
City: Atlanta, Georgia
Head Coach: Jim L. Mora
Team colors: Home jerseys are red and white with white letters and black trim. Away jerseys are white with black letters and red trim.
Helmet design: Black with a black face mask and a red and black falcon logo with a grey and white border on both sides, which forms the shape of an F.
Unofficial Nickname(s): "Dirty Birds" (The team's nickname during their 1998-99 NFC Championship season)
Fulton County Stadium (1966-1991)
Atlanta Falcons (1966present)
Atlanta held a contest in 1965 and many chose Falcons for the NFL's newest team. The best argument was submitted by Julia Elliot, a teacher from Griffin, Ga. - "the Falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition."
ATS An acronym for Record Against The Spread
AUCTION DRAFT (fantasy football term) A type of fantasy draft in which owners are allotted a certain amount of fantasy cash to fill their roster spots by bidding on NFL players. Owners take turns introducing an opening bid for a player.
An audible is often called by the quarterback when he doesn't like the play call after getting a look at the defensive formation.
Also known as Automatic
AUTOMATIC: See audible
AVERAGE DRAFT POSITION (fantasy football term) A report that lists NFL players by the position they were drafted in fantasy football drafts on average. The source can be mock drafts or real ones. ADP is a useful draft preparation tool.
Different awards presented in The NFL:
B acronym for Back Judge (Official)
Jersey Numbers: 20 - 49
Responsibilities and positioning of each game official.
BACKUP A player who does not start the game, but comes in later in relief of a starter.
BACKWARD PASS See Lateral Pass
BADGERS See Milwaukee Badgers
BALL Click Here
In 1953, Carroll Rosenbloom became the principal owner of the new NFL Baltimore Colts. In 1958, coached by Hall of Famer Weeb Ewbank and led by Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas, the Colts defeated the New York Giants at Yankee Stadium 23-17 in the NFL championship game, an overtime contest sometimes called "The Greatest Game Ever Played."
The original incarnation of the Baltimore Colts started in the All-America Football Conference in 1946 as the Miami Seahawks. After a 3-11 season, they moved to Baltimore in 1947. In 1950, they joined the National Football League and finished the season with a record of 1 11.
Due to financial difficulties after the 1-11 losing season, Colts owner Abraham Watner gave his team and its players contracts back to the NFL for $50,000. But many Baltimore fans protested the loss of their team. Supporting groups such as its fan club and its marching band remained in operation and worked for the team's revival. Three years later a new team was given to Baltimore, which is now known as the Indianapolis Colts located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The supporting groups, including the fan club and a marching band remained, however, again working to revive a team in Baltimore. They were ultimately successful and are now part of the Baltimore Ravens located in Baltimore, Maryland.
Faced with the aforementioned competitive difficulties and wanting a new stadium, team owner Robert Irsay moved the team to Indianapolis in Mayflower Transit trucks in the middle of the night on March 29, 1984, after the Maryland legislature threatened to give the city of Baltimore the right to seize the team by eminent domain. Since 1987, the Indianapolis Colts have had mixed success at best. They have appeared in the playoffs seven years since then, with their best advance to the AFC championship game in 1995, when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-16, and in 2003, when they won the AFC South Division title, defeated the Denver Broncos in the wild-card playoff (41-10), and advanced to play the Kansas City Chiefs in a divisional playoff, winning 38-31. In the AFC Championship game, they were decisively defeated 24-14 by the eventual Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, with quarterback Peyton Manning throwing four interceptions, in a game which was widely criticized for its minimal officiating (only seven penalties were called during the entire game, six of them were pre-snap fouls).
Meanwhile, most of the prominent old-time former Baltimore Colts players disassociated themselves from the team, and instead started to attend events of the Baltimore Ravens team that began play in 1996.
Many Baltimore fans who are still bitter about the Colts football team moving from Baltimore to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1984, along with many of the Colts' former players, view the pre-1984 Baltimore Colts organization and the Ravens as one continuous entity. In fact, the old Colts marching band and fan club became part of the Ravens organization.
Also see Dallas Texans as the beginning of Baltimore Colts
The Baltimore Ravens American football club is a National Football League team based in Baltimore, Maryland. They have won one Super Bowl title.
The history of the Baltimore Ravens is unusual due to the unprecedented actions taken by the cities of Baltimore and Cleveland, Ohio, and the NFL in 1996. On November 6, 1995, then-Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell announced his intention to move the team to Baltimore, citing the inadequacy of Cleveland Stadium and the lack of a sufficient replacement. The decision triggered a flurry of legal activity that ended when representatives of both cities and the NFL reached a settlement on February 9, 1996. It stipulated that the Browns' name, colors, and history of the franchise were to remain in Cleveland. A reactivated Cleveland Browns team would then begin play in 1999, while the relocated club would technically be a new expansion team, the Ravens.
For that reason, past records and Pro Football Hall of Fame players are attributed to the Browns and not to the Ravens. For more information on the move, see Cleveland Browns
However, some consider the Ravens and the pre-1995 Browns organization as one continuous entity, using the term The Modell Franchise to denote it. Also, many Baltimore fans who are still bitter about the Colts football team moving from Baltimore to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1984, along with many of the Colts' former players, view the pre-1984 Baltimore Colts organization and the Ravens as one continuous entity. In fact, the old Colts marching band and fan club became part of the Ravens organization.
City: Baltimore, Maryland
Head Coach: Brian Billick
Team Colors: Black, Purple, and Metallic Gold
Uniform colors: Black, Purple, Metallic Gold, and White. (The primary home uniform is a purple jersey and white pants. Traditional away gear (also worn at home during late summer day games, but mostly on the road, are white jersies and white pants. In 2004, the team introduced an alternate attire of black jersey and black pants for select prime-time national game broadcasts.)
A black helmet with a purple and black raven's head in profile, with
the letter "B" superimposed in metallic gold and white.
Purple "talons" rise up from the facemask up the center of
Memorial Stadium (Baltimore) (1996-1997)
Baltimore Ravens (1996present)
After a 12-year void, Baltimore again acquired an NFL team in 1996 when the Cleveland Browns relocated. Owner Art Modell allowed the Browns' name, colors and history to remain in Cleveland. Baltimore then set up focus groups and fan polls to help secure a new name. Ravens won out over Americans and Marauders. The name refers to the mythical bird in Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven." Poe lived and died in Baltimore.
BAY OF PIGS Nickname given to matchups of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers by ESPN anchor Chris Berman from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, when both teams hovered at the bottom of the NFC Central division.
Blue for NFL
BEARS See Chicago Bears
BELICHEAT See Bill Belicheat
BENGALS See Cincinnati Bengals
BICKERING BILLS - Name given to the Buffalo Bills the year before their Super Bowl runs, 1989, due to their underachievement that year, which many attributed to locker room disagreements.
Big An acronym for Big Plays - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
BIG BLUE WREKING CREW - Name of the New York Giants defensive team during their 1986 championship season.
See I Formation
BIG BLUE See New York Giants
BIG PASS PLAY Any pass completion that gains 25 or more yards.
BIG RUNNING PLAY Any running play that gains 10 or more yards.
BIG SOMBRERO Nickname given to Tampa Stadium, first home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so named because of its curved outline that resembled the brim of a sombrero. Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs' home since 1998, has been christened The New Sombrero by ESPN anchor "Boomer" Chris Berman
BILLS See Buffalo Bills
BILLS BACKERS Buffalo Bills fans. Due to the massive population displacement of Western New Yorkers, "Bills Backers Bars" can be found in almost every major city throughout the United States.
BIRDS See Philadelphia Eagles
BJ acronym for Back Judge (Official)
BK An acronym
for Blocked kicks
(both punts and field goals attempts)
- usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
BLACK HOLE Name of the section behind the south end zone at McAfee Coliseum, home of the Oakland Raiders, known for having some of the most rabid fans in the NFL.
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.
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.
The most common blitzes are linebacker blitzes. Safety blitzes, when a safety (usually the free safety) is sent, and corner blitzes, where a cornerback is sent, are less common. Sending a defensive back on a blitz is even more risky than a linebacker blitz, as it removes a primary pass defender from the coverage scheme, but is also less likely to be picked up by the offensive teams blockers.
History of The Blitz
Don Ettinger, a defensive tackles for the New York Giants, invented the blitz during his brief NFL career (1948 - 1950). Larry Wilson, free safety for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1960 to 1972, pioneered and perfected the safety blitz, a play originally code-named "Wildcat". Defensive coordinator Chuck Drulis is widely credited with inventing the safety blitz.
Also known as quarterback rush or red dogging.
Related Terms: Zone Blitz
BLITZBURGH - Name of the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive unit since the mid-1990s and their tendency to relentlessly attack opposing quarterbacks.
BLITZ EFFICIENCY Measures the defensive effectiveness of the blitz. To figure this rating add the number of sacks, stuffs, poor throws, quarterback knockdowns, batted passes, passes thrown away, passes caught out of bounds, and passes dropped as a result of miscommunication between receiver and quarterback generated by a team's defense, then divide by total number of blitzes.
BLITZ, INC. - Name of the Philadelphia Eagles defensive team from 1999-2004 seasons.
BLK An acronym for Blocked - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
Referee signal: both hands brought down, wrists turned inward, in a chopping motion across the front of the thighs.
BLOCKING SLED a heavy piece of practice equipment, usually a padded angular frame on metal skids, used for developing strength and blocking techniques
BLUE NATION Indianapolis Colts Fans
BOB IRSAY See Irsay, Robert
See Bootleg Play
The quarterback can be accompanied by an offensive lineman to block for him, or run without a blocker, which is known as a naked bootleg. More complex versions involve multiple offensive linemen moving with the quarterback to block and multiple false hand offs; one such variation is known as a rollout. After escaping the area behind the offensive line, the quarterback may either throw a pass downfield or run with the ball himself to gain yards.
A bootleg is called to confuse the defense, by moving the quarterback away from where they expect him to be, directly behind the center. The quarterback's motion may also attract the attention of the defensive backs, allowing one of the receivers to become uncovered. The play is typically used by teams with mobile, or fast, quarterbacks, such as Michael Vick, Steve Young, and Randall Cunningham.
The names comes from the fact that on a play action the quarterback often hides the ball from the defense by his thigh to make the run look more convincing. This is similar to the way bootleggers would hide whiskey in their trousers during prohibition.
BOLTS See San Diago Chargers
In 2004 its name was changed from Border War which had capitalized on the border wars between the states of Missouri and Kansas in the 1850s when skirmishes predated the American Civil War.
The Missouri-Kansas football series is the second most played rivalry in college football history.
BORDER WAR See Border Showdown
BOSTON BULLDOGS See Pottsville Maroons
They had tried to base the team in New York, but were blocked by the NFLs territorial rule. The Braves head coach was Lud Wray, and were led by Hall of Famers Cliff Battles (Running Back) and Turk Edwards (Offensive Tackle). Their first game was held on October 2, 1932 in which they lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers. The next week, the Braves would gain their first franchise victory, with a 14-6 win over the New York Giants The Braves would complete their first season with a 4-4-2 record.
When the team moved to Fenway Park in July 1933, the name was changed to the Boston Redskins
In 1936, the Redskins won the NFL Eastern division championship, but Marshall, unhappy with the fan support in Boston, moved the championship game to the Polo Grounds in New York.
Not surprisingly, the Redskins moved to Washington, D.C., for the 1937 season therfore becomming The Washington Redskins
BOSTON REDSKINS in 1932 after the Newark Tornadoes folded the franchise was sold back to the NFL. The players and spot in the league would eventually be handed over to George Preston Marshall who wanted to place a team in Boston. Marshall named his team after Major League Baseball's Braves, whom they shared a stadium with.
In 1933 now led by Lone Star Dietz, a Native American Coach, the team moves to Fenway Park. With the move the team also undergoes a name change becoming the Boston Redskins.
BOSTON YANKS The Boston Yanks was a National Football League team based in Boston, Massachusetts that played from 1944 to 1948. The team played its home games at Fenway Park. Team owner Ted Collins, who managed singer Kate Smith, picked the name "Yanks" because he originally wanted to run a team that played at New York City's Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately, the Yanks could only manage a 2-8 record during its first regular season.
Due to a shortage of players caused by World War II, the Yanks were merged with the Brooklyn Tigers for the 1945 season, and styled as the Boston Yanks. The merged team played four home games in Boston and one in New York. But fans from neither cities cared as they finished with a 3-6-1 record.
When Brooklyn Tigers owner Dan Topping announced his intentions to join the All-America Football Conference in 1946, his NFL team was revoked and all of its players were assigned to the Yanks. After three continuous losing seasons, Collins finally was allowed to move the Yanks to New York and renamed it the New York Bulldogs. They played in the Polo Grounds, sharing it with the football Giants. The team was renamed the Yanks in 1950, when it moved to Yankee Stadium, adding many new players, most of them from defunct All-America Conference teams. Ted Collins sold the team back to the NFL in January of 1952. The franchise was awarded to a Dallas group in 1952 and the team name became the Dallas Texans. After drawing very few fans to four games in the Cotton Bowl, the Dallas owners gave up and the NFL took the team over for the rest of the season, during which the Texans had to play all their games on the road. At the end of the season the franchise was disbanded. Finally, in January of 1953, the holdings of the defunct Dallas Texans were sold to Carroll Rosenbloom and the franchise was moved to Baltimore, Maryland as the Colts.
The Boston Yanks are the only defunct NFL team ever to have the first overall NFL draft pick. They had it twice in 1944 and 46. Both times they selected a quarterback from the University of Notre Dame: Angelo Bertelli (44) and Frank Dancewicz
In college football, bowl games are played in leiu of a playoff system such as the NFL uses. There are numerous bowl games every year, and a national champion is crowned by matching up the No.1 and No.2 ranked teams in a championship bowl game.
BOX see The Box
acronym for Blocked
punts - usually found in a
Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
High/low coverage involves one defensive player staying between the line of scrimmage and the receiver, protecting against short passes, and another defender playing behind the receiver to protect from deep routes.
Skilled personnel can beat this coverage, however, based on running a route that breaks to the inside. On an "in" route the receiver makes a near-90 degree turn to the inside of the field and uses his speed to get away from the underneath defender. A higher-difficulty option is the "post" or "skinny post" route, which involves a turn of 30-60 degrees to the inside. The receiver again uses his speed to separate from the defender playing underneath, and the quarterback must deliver the ball over this defender and far enough inside that the defender protecting against deep passes cannot come down/across the flight path of the ball and deflect or intercept it. Though the difficulty on this pass is much higher, its success will gain many more yards.
In/out coverage is a scheme where one defender protects against routes run to the inside and another protects against routes to the outside. The easiest way to beat this coverage is a simple "go"/streak route: the receiver simply sprints down the field past the defenders. Any hesitation on the defenders' part to drop their coverage assignment and run with the streaking receiver can be exploited.
BRONCOS See Denver Broncos
BROOKLYN DODGERS The Brooklyn Dodgers were an American football team that played in the National Football League from 1930 to 1943, and in 1944 as the Brooklyn Tigers. The team played its home games at Ebbets Field. In 1945, due to financial difficulties, the team was merged with the Boston Yanks. The franchise is not related to the Brooklyn Dodgers franchise that played in the All-America Football Conference from 1946 to 1948. Another NFL team that played in Brooklyn was the Brooklyn Lions in 1926.
The team began play in 1930 after Brooklyn businessmen William B. Dwyer and John C. Depler bought the Dayton Triangles, moved it, and renamed it the Brooklyn Dodgers. Four years later, the team was eventually sold to New Yorker Dan Topping. On October 22, 1939, at Ebbets Field , the Dodgers played the Philadelphia Eagles in the first NFL game shown on television. The Dodgers won the game 23-14.
Beginning in 1942, the team went into a steep decline, as World War II caused a shortage of players. In 1944, the team was renamed the Tigers but suffered a 0-10 regular season record. In a desperate attempt for survival, the team merged with the Boston Yanks for the 1945 season. The merged team played four home games in Boston and one in New York. But fans from neither cities cared as they finished with a 3-6-1 record. The merger happened after the 1945 NFL draft.
In December 1945, Topping announced his intentions to accept the All-America Football Conference's New York franchise. In response, the NFL cancelled his NFL team and all of its players were assigned to the Yanks.
Morris "Red" Badgro
In the months before the regular season began, both leagues battled with each other for fan support and the right to play at Ebbets Field. The NFL emerged as the winner, as the Lions signed the lease to use the stadium on July 20.
Neither the Lions or the Horseman had much success. In fact, both teams merged just after four games into the regular season. The team finished the NFL season as the Brooklyn Lions. But both the Lions and the Horsemen folded following the season.
BROOKLYN TIGERS See Brooklyn Dodgers
BROWNS See Cleveland Browns
BrUp abbreviation for broken up passes (found in STAT records)
BT An acronym for Broken Tackles - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
BT% An acronym for Broken Tackles Percentage - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
A play usually run from a wing-t formation that includes a variety of play fakes. The quarterback takes the snap and fakes trap to the fullback. He then hands off to a halfback or wingback, who runs to the outside. The buck sweep is normally blocked by pulling the playside gaurd to kickout the force defender, and the backside gaurd pulling and turning up on the playsided linebacker. This allows for the other linemen to downblock on the other defenders, giving the offense an advantage when it comes to blocking angles. The buck sweep also provides an advantage in the possibilities off of its action, with the fullback trap before the sweep, the waggle pass or bootleg after it, and the sweep itself.
BUD WILKINSON See Wilkinson Bud
The team went through several owners and name changes, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, after failing to field a team in 1928, the original Buffalo franchise folded after the 1929 season. Tommy Hughitt was a player on the team in the early 20s.
The team has no official relation to future Buffalo pro football franchises: the Buffalo Tigers of the 1930s AFL, the Buffalo Bills of the AAFC, or the Buffalo Bills of today which were one of the new AFL teams (formation announced in 1959) that first played in 1960.
The Buffalo Bills American football club is a Buffalo, New York-based National Football League team which plays its home games in the suburb of Orchard Park. The team began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger.
The Bills won two consecutive AFL titles in 1964 and 1965. The club is also the first team to appear in four consecutive Super Bowls, but they lost all of them.
Year founded: 1960
City: Buffalo, New York
Head Coach: Dick Jauron
Team Colors: Dark Navy, Red, Royal, Nickel, and White
Uniform colors: 19601961: Light blue and white; 1962Present: Red, white and blue
19601961: Silver with blue side numerals; 19621964: White with red
center stripe and red stationary bison; 19651973: White with red and
blue center stripes and red standing bison; 19741983: White with red
and blue center stripes and blue charging bison with a red slanting
stripe streaming from its horn;
War Memorial Stadium (1960-1972)
Buffalo Bills (1960present)
The nickname refers to William F. Cody, who was known as "Buffalo Bill." Buffalo had a football team called the Bison's, but the city's minor league baseball and hockey teams had the same name. The football team held a contest to select a new nickname following the 1946 season. More than 4,500 entries were submitted and Bills beat out Bullets, Nickels and Blue Devils.
BUFFALO BISONS See Buffalo All Americans
BUFFALO RANGERS See Buffalo All Americans
This varies from the more traditional defensive formation in which a defensive player will give the receiver a "cushion" of about 5 yards in order to prevent the receiver from getting behind them. This tactic is possible because of the rule allowing defensive players to initiate contact within five yards of the line of scrimmage
BUNGLES - Name referring to the Cincinnati Bengals teams of the 1990's, whose string of losing seasons with records 8-8 or worse spanned consecutive 14 years. Name also used for any failing Cincinnati Bengals team thereafter.
BUS see The Bus
BUST (fantasy football term) A player, usually drafted in the first three rounds of a fantasy draft, who is predicted to have a poor season. The player might be injury-prone, have a future star behind them in the depth chart, or just won't be able to live up to their hype
For a buttonhook to be effective, the receiver must convince the defensive back covering him that he is going to continue his pattern downfield.
BYRON "WHIZZER" WHITE AWARD The NFL Players Association gives the Byron "Whizzer" White award to one NFL player each year for his charity work. Michael McCrary, who was involved in Runyon v. McCrary, grew up to be a professional football player and won the Byron "Whizzer" White award in 2001.
CALL A PLAY: instruct players to execute a pre-planned play.
Similar to American football, but with some differences, including different field size and scoring.
Jim Thorpe was Canton's best player. In 19211923, the Bulldogs played 25 straight games without a defeat (including 3 ties) winnning the 1922 and 1923 NFL titles, which as of 2007 remains an NFL record. As a result of the Bulldogs' early success along with the league being founded in the city, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.
The Canton Bulldogs
CAPTAIN COMEBACK (Captain Comeback and the Cardiac Colts) After a 1-2 start Jim Harbaugh earns back the starting QB jobs and leads the Colts on a wild ride that would see them finish 9-7 and qualify for the playoffs. In Harbaugh's first 3 games at QB He led the Colts to comeback wins in each of his first 3 starts earning him the nickname "Captain Comeback", and the team the "Cardiac Colts." Many of the Colts wins were close hard fought games that the gutsy Colts just pulled out by the strength of their wills.
CARDIAC CARDINALS - the St. Louis Cardinals NFC East championship teams of 1974 (10-4) and '75 (11-3). Noted for their come-from-behind wins under their head coach, Don Coryell. The name was resurrected for the 1998 team that upset Dallas in the wild card game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars also earned this nickname in the late 90's after pulling off last minute wins, especially during the 1996 season. See Cardiac Jags below
CARDIAC COLTS After a 1-2 start Jim Harbaugh earns back the starting QB jobs and leads the Colts on a wild ride that would see them finish 9-7 and qualify for the playoffs. In Harbaugh's first 3 games at QB He led the Colts to comeback wins in each of his first 3 starts earning him the nickname "Captain Comeback", and the team the "Cardiac Colts." Many of the Colts wins were close hard fought games that the gutsy Colts just pulled out by the strength of their wills.
CARDINALS See Arizona Cardinals
The teams merged at the request of the League to avoid the scheduling difficulties associated with what would otherwise have been 11 teams. The team was so bad that three players were fined $200 each for indifferent play.
CARDS: Short for Cardinals See Arizona Cardinals
The Carolina Panthers American football club is a National Football League team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, joined the NFL as 1995 expansion teams.
City: Charlotte, North Carolina
Head Coach: John Fox
Uniform colors: Black, Panther Blue, Silver, and White
Helmet design: Silver helmet, a black snarling panther outlined in blue
Nickname: The Cardiac Cats
Carolina Panthers (1993present)
The nickname for Carolina's 1995 expansion team was selected by team president Mark Richardson, the son of owner Jerry Richardson. The younger Richardson also chose the Panthers' colors of Panther blue, silver and black.
CARROLL ROSENBLOOM See Rosenbloom. Carroll
Jersey Numbers: 60 - 79
After snapping the football, the center must be ready to block the defensive linemen.
The center is at the center of the offensive line, and it is the center who snaps the ball between his legs to the quarterback at the start of each play. On most plays, the center will snap the ball directly to the quarterback's hands. In a shotgun formation, the center snaps the ball to the quarterback lined up several yards behind him. Before the snap, the center will often be responsible for making calls to adjust the blocking assignments of all the offensive linemen. After the snap, the center must block defensive players from reaching the ball carrier (on running plays) or the quarterback (on passing plays). On passing plays in particular, the center often must block blitzing defensive players. In special teams situations, the center is referred to as a "long snapper," who snaps the ball with two hands to a punter standing approximately 12-14 yards behind him, or to the holder for the placekicker, kneeling approximately 7 yards behind him. These long snappers are often players particularly talented at performing these snaps, and are not necessarily the same center used on other plays. In fact, professional football teams may carry a player on their roster for the sole or primary purpose of long snapping.
The Center for The Indianapolis Colts is Jeff Saturday
CFL See Canadian Football League
The chain gang brings the chains onto the field for measurements on plays that end too close to the first down for the officials to make a determination by simply comparing the spot of the ball with the marker on the sideline. The chains are brought out to give an exact measurement from the spot where the series started.
The Chain Crew are assistants to the referee who handle the first down measuring chain and the down indicator box. The members of the chain crew who operate the measuring chain are called rod men and the person who works the down indicator box is called the box man.
When a team gains a first down, one of the rod men places one end of the chain on the sideline parallel to the spot of the ball. The other rod man then stretches the chain out to mark the first down line. To ensure an accurate measurement, a clip is usually attached to the chain on the closest 5-yard mark on the field.
The chains will be brought directly onto the field whenever the referee needs an accurate measurement to determine if a first down has been made. A team may also request an accurate measurement to determine how far they have to reach for the first down.
For professional and college football games, an auxiliary chain crew operates on the opposite side of the field. Here, another "stick" and down indicator box is used so that players and officials can also look at the other side of the field to know where the first down line and the line of scrimmage is, respectively. The auxiliary chain crew also includes the drive start indicator, which is placed at the beginning of a team's drive and stays there until they lose possession. This indicator is only used for statistical purposes to calculate the distance of each drive. It looks similar to a "stick", but it has an arrow that points in the direction to where the offensive team is going.
Members of the chain crew are usually picked by the offices of the home team instead of the league or conference that they play in.
CHAMBERLIN, GUY See Chamberlin, Guy
CHARLES BURNHAM WILKINSON See Wilkinson Bud
Also Known As: audible, automatic
Cheerleading is an activity that uses organized routines made up of elements from dance and/or gymnastics to cheer on sports teams at games and matches, and/or as a competitive sport.
Cheerleaders are present at all NFL Professional Football games, each team has its own set of cheerleaders who dance, cheer and spur the crowd on. But Cheerleading is not restricted to American Football in fact Cheerleading is a recognized sport of its own. Its beginnings though are by no means as glamorous a spectacle as they are today.
The Chicago Bears American football club is a National Football League team based in Chicago, Illinois. The club began play in 1919 and became a charter member of the NFL in 1920.
The Bears have won 9 total league titles, including 8 NFL Championships and Super Bowl XX. They have played in over 1,000 games and currently lead the NFL in overall franchise wins with over 660. The Bears also lead the league in the number of Pro Football Hall of Fame players with 26 enshrinees.
City: Chicago, Illinois
Team Colors: Navy Blue, Orange, and White
Head Coach: Lovie Smith
Staley Field (1919-1920)
George Halas moved the Decatur Staleys to Chicago in 1921. The Staleys played at Wrigley Field, the home of baseball's Cubs. Halas determined that if the baseball tenants were Cubs, then his more rugged gridiron combatants should be known as the Bears.
Along with the Arizona Cardinals (originally from Chicago themselves), the Bears are one of only two charter members of the NFL still in existence. The team relocated to Chicago in 1921, where the club was renamed the CHICAGO STALEYS. Under an agreement that was reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for US $100.
The Tigers' main claim to fame is that they helped start the tradition of playing on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1920, when they were defeated by the Decatur Staleys (later the Chicago Bears).
CHIEFS See Kansas City Chiefs
Offensive linemen often try to cut defensive linemen by using chop blocks.
The Cincinnati Bengals American football club is a National Football League team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals began play in the American Football League as a 1968 expansion team, and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger.
City: Cincinnati, Ohio
Head Coach: Marvin Lewis
Team Colors: Black, Orange and White
Head Coach: Marvin Lewis
Uniform colors: Black, Orange and White
Helmet design: Orange background with black tiger stripes
Nippert Stadium (1968-1969)
Paul Brown Stadium (2000-present)
Cincinnati Bengals (1968present)
The Ickey Shuffle
The most commonly recognized contribution comes from the "Ickey Shuffle", a celebratory dance created by Bengals running back Ickey Woods in his rookie season of 1988 during the Bengals' Super Bowl run. This dance, done after Woods would score a touchdown, was the catalyst for the NFL instituting penalties against excessive celebratory performances (resulting in the backronym "No Fun League"), and before the 1989 season was over it was relegated to the sidelines.
Paul Brown chose this nickname for Cincinnati's 1968 AFL expansion team because there had been earlier football teams in the city called the Bengals. The elder Bengals were members of the AFL in 1937, competed as an independent club in 1938, then played in a new AFL from 1939-41 before the league again folded.
CINCINNATI REDS The Cincinnati Reds were a National Football League team that played the 1933 season and the first eight games of the 1934 season. The team was suspended for failure to pay league dues. The St. Louis Gunners, an independent team, replaced the Reds on the schedule for the last three games of the 1934 season.
On natural grass fields, players
can use molded-bottom shoes like these:
Cleats come in four sizes:
If it rains in the middle of a game, The Equipment Manager and staff have a big job. If the team is playing on grass, they have to replace all of the cleats on 53 pairs of shoes down on the field. This is fairly easy using electric stud drivers. On Astroturf, the job is more difficult because the players have to change shoes. Many players tape their shoes and most wear orthopedics to custom-fit them, so the process involves untaping the shoes, pulling out the orthopedics, putting the orthopedics in the shoes the player is switching to and then retaping. With 53 players, this process is repeated 106 times! -- not a fun job in the rain or snow.
Also See Shoes for more types and styles
The Cleveland Browns American football club is a National Football League team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns began play in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference and joined the NFL in 1950 after the AAFC merged into the older league. The team has won 4 AAFC titles and 4 NFL Championships.
In some accounts, there may be confusion regarding the team's history due to unusual and unprecedented actions taken by the cities of Cleveland, Baltimore, Maryland and the NFL in 1996. On November 6, 1995, then-Browns owner Art Modell announced his intention to move the team to Baltimore, citing the inadequacy of Cleveland Stadium and the lack of a sufficient replacement. The decision triggered a flurry of legal activity that ended when representatives of both cities and the NFL reached a settlement on February 9, 1996. It stipulated that the Browns' name, colors, and history of the franchise were to remain in Cleveland. A reactivated Cleveland Browns team would then begin play in 1999, while the relocated club would technically be a new expansion team, the Baltimore Ravens.
For that reason, past records and Pro Football Hall of Fame players are attributed to the Browns and not to the Ravens. However, some consider the Ravens and the pre-1995 Browns organization as one continuous entity, using the term The Modell Franchise to denote it.
City: Cleveland, Ohio
Head Coach: Romeo Crennel
Team Colors: Brown, Orange, and White
Uniform colors: Brown (officially "Seal Brown") and Orange
Orange helmet with brown and white center stripe. No logo
Cleveland Municipal Stadium (1946-1995)
Cleveland Browns (19461995)
Cleveland's All-American Football Conference entry was founded in 1946. Paul Brown was named the team's first coach and general manager. The Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996, but the team's history remained, paving the way for the Browns to be resurrected as an expansion team in 1999.
The 1931 team was a league-sponsored club that only played games on the road. The NFL intended to locate this team permanently in Cleveland, but when no suitable owner was found it folded after one season.
The Cleveland Rams were founded by attorney Homer Marshman in 1936. Their name, the Rams, comes from the nickname of Fordham University. Rams was selected to honor the hard work of the players that came out of that university. They were part of the newly formed American Football League. The following year they joined the National Football League and were assigned the Western division to replace the St. Louis Gunners, who disbanded after the 1934 season. From the beginning, they were a team marked by frequent moves playing in three stadiums over several losing seasons. The franchise suspended operations and sat out the 1943 season because of a shortage of players during World War II and resumed playing in 1944. The team finally achieved success in 1945, which proved to be their last season in Ohio, achieving a 9-1 record and winning their first NFL Championship, a 15-14 home field victory over the Washington Redskins on December 16.
Referee signal: hand striking the back of the leg.
Clipping is a foul, with a 15-yard penalty.
Soon, colors were added to the face
masks as another way to distinguish players and teams.
- some players have it, some players do not.
CLUTH KICKER See Clutch
CLUTCH QUARTERBACK See Clutch
The United Press International (UPI) NFL Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1955. From 1960 to 1969, before the AFL-NFL merger, an award was also given to the most outstanding coach from the AFL. When the leagues merged in 1970, separate awards were given to the best coaches from the AFC and NFC conferences. The UPI discontinued the awards after 1996.
a punter may try to place the ball so that it lands and goes out of bounds, or is downed, near a corner of the playing field just in front of the end zone, thus forcing difficult field position for the receiving team on their next scrimmage. By extension from the real-life usage of the term described above, the corner the punter is aiming for in that situation is sometimes called the "coffin corner", for if the kick is only slightly too far in either direction (out of bounds or into the end zone) a touchback is awarded the ball will be placed on the twenty yard line, losing the advantage that comes with a successful execution of the kick.
Currently the NCAA recognizes the lists of All-Americans selected by the AP, AFCA, FWAA, TSN, and the WCFF to determine Consensus All-Americans.
ABC Sports, ESPN and CNN-Sports Illustrated and many others also select All-America teams.
The Panhandles were originally formed in 1901 by the Pennsylvania Railroad Athletic Association in Columbus. Joe F. Carr, who also ran the railroad's baseball team, took over the football team in 1907 until 1922, He utilized a group of exceptionally strong brothers called the Nessers who were a draw throughout the country. The six Nesser brothers were exceptionally large and strong for people living in the early 20th century. (One brother, Frank Nesser, was 6-foot 3-inches tall and weighed 235 pounds.) They all were exceptionally great athletes for their time.
Two decades later, the "Panhandles" played as part of the APFA/NFL from 1920-1922. After the 1922 season, franchise owner Joe F. Carr discontinued the franchise because of cost and salary demands. In 1923, a new team was organized by local businessmen called the Columbus Tigers and played from 1923-1926. The original team often went by the nickname "Handles" and historically are considered charter members of the National Football League because of their membership in the American Professional Football Association in September 1920, playing in the league's very first game against the Dayton Triangles in Dayton, Ohio.
COMMSSIONERS and PRESIDENTS of THE NFL
President Jim Thorpe (19201921)
1. A legally caught pass. Also
known as a reception. A forward pass
that is thrown by the Quarterback and caught by an offensive
player that is beyond the line of scrimmage.
2006 AFC CONFERENCE RECORD
CONTACT SPORT: Any sport involving physical contact between players. Football is a contact sport, as are hockey, boxing, and soccer.
A position in football, more broadly classified as a defensive back. As this suggests, he is indeed a defensive player. The modern cornerback is ideally very fast, agile, and has good football instinct. Like any defensive player, he must be able to react faster than his opponent, since he does not have the benefit of knowing where a play is going to go. Essential skills for a cornerback include backpedaling, jumping, staying with his man, anticipating a pass route and reading the quarterback.
Most defensive formations in modern pro football use 4 defensive backs. Two of these are safeties, and two of them are corners. A corner's responsibilities vary depending on the type of coverage called. Coverage is simply how the defense will be protecting against the pass. 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.
Jersey Numbers: 20 - 49
This play is designed for the offensive team to feign rushing one way, then attacking the defense in the opposite direction. In a counter trey right, the center, right guard, and right tackle block left as if the play is going left. The left guard and left tackle "pull" from their positions by moving behind the other linemen and around the right corner.
The running back takes an initial feint step to the left, then cuts back to the right, receives the handoff from the quarterback, and follows behind the pulling left guard and left tackle. The left guard and left tackle will usually be blocking smaller linebackers and defensive backs downfield--this mismatch favors the offense. The counter trey requires quick, athletic linemen for good execution.
Many teams have run this play, but it first became well-known when run by the Washington Redskins in the 1980s. In particular, guard Russ Grimm and tackle Joe Jacoby would open up massive holes for John Riggins, George Rogers, and Earnest Byner.
Cover 0 refers to pure man coverage
with no deep defender. Similar to Cover 1, Cover 0 has the same
strengths and weaknesses.
Cover 1 schemes employ only one deep defender, usually a safety. Many underneath coverages paired with Cover 1 shells are strictly man-to-man with LBs and defensive backs each assigned a different offensive player to cover. By using only one deep defender in Cover 1, the other deep defender is free to blitz the quarterback or provide man-to-man pass coverage help.
Cover 1 schemes are usually very aggressive, preferring to proactively disrupt the offense by giving the quarterback little time to make a decision while collapsing the pocket quickly. This is the main advantage of Cover 1 schemes--the ability to blitz from various pre-snap formations while engaging in complex man-to-man coverage schemes post-snap. For example, a safety may blitz while a CB is locked in man coverage with a WR. Or the CB may blitz with the safety rotating into man coverage on the WR post-snap.
The main weakness of Cover 1 schemes is the lone deep defender that must cover a large amount of field and provide help on any deep threats. Offenses can attack Cover 1 schemes with a vertical stretch by sending two receivers on deep routes, provided that the quarterback has enough time for his receivers to get open. The deep defender must decide which receiver to help out on, leaving the other in man coverage which may be a mismatch.
A secondary weakness is inherent
its design: the use of man coverage opens up yards after catch lanes.
Man coverage is attacked by offenses in various ways that try to
isolate their best athletes on defenders by passing them the ball
quickly before the defender can react or designing plays that clear
defenders from certain areas thus opening yards after catch lanes.
Cover Two zone scheme known as Tampa Two, so named because it took hold with coach Tony Dungy's Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the late 1990s and early 2000s. It has become the most popular defense in the NFL, a bend-but-don't-break scheme that forces offenses to execute down the length of the field five yards at a time.
The entire concept of the Cover 2 is to make it hard to pass on you. The name comes from the position of the safeties, who both play deep zone coverage. In this normally 4-3 coverage scheme, your safeties play further back, while your linebackers and cornerbacks play zone coverage underneath the safeties. Each person underneath covers about 1/5th the width of the field for about 7 yards deep. The two safeties split the field and each cover half against the deep pass.
As Ron Meeks, the Indianapolis Colts' defensive coordinator states it, "We play with so much energy and speed. "When the ball is thrown, we're like piranhas. We're attacking the ball carrier, attacking the receivers, trying to inflict as much pain and play with as much energy as we can. A lot of it is an attitude."
That aggressive approach is the foundation of the Tampa 2, the style of Cover 2 defense made popular by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Tony Dungy, starting in the mid- to late-1990s. Actually, it all started in the 1970s with Bud Carson's Steelers defenses, for whom Dungy played defensive back. Dungy learned the Cover 2 from Carson.
In Cover 2, two safeties play zone (area) coverage, each of them responsible for half of the field. Dungy's Bucs had great success dropping a speedy middle linebacker (the "Mike") down the middle of the field to defend the pass, creating a three-deep look, while four often undersized but quick defensive linemen rushed the passer. And so, the Tampa 2 was born.
So, too, was a trend. Nowadays, most every defense in the league has some form of the Tampa 2 in its package. But no one is making the Tampa 2 do what it does better than the originators -- Dungy in Indianapolis, Smith in Chicago and longtime coordinator Monte Kiffin in Tampa. The Bears and Colts are division champions, and the Bucs a victory away from making it three-for-three for Tampa 2 teams.
The "Cover 2" is a zone defense in which every defender is responsible for a specific area of the field. Instead of playing man to man it's more of a zone type defense where you defend a certain part of the field.
The two safeties, playing well off the line of scrimmage, cover the deep passing routes, while also directing the strategy and of the rest of the defense. Each additional member of the defense is responsible for a specific area of the field.
After the play begins by the
opposing Teams Offense, each of the defenders keeps his eyes on the
ball and reacts quickly to it, be it a run or a pass. The Cover 2
scheme works best when out-fitted with high-energy personnel that
excel at responding quickly to the play and attacking the ball. When
executed properly by experienced, skilled personnel, the Cover 2
defense is unbeatable. The Cover 2 defense is thus adaptable to the
myriad formations and schemes brought forth by the competition.
Cover 3 refers to 3 deep defenders each guarding one-third of the deep zone. Cover 3 schemes are usually used to defend against passes, mainly those towards the deep middle of the field. Unlike Cover 2 schemes that create a natural hole between safeties, Cover 3's extra deep defender is able to patrol the middle area effectively.
The most basic Cover 3 scheme involves 2 CBs and a safety. Upon snap, the CBs work for depth, backpedaling into their assigned zone. One safety moves toward the center of the field. The other safety is free to rotate into the flat area (about 2-4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage), provide pass coverage help, or blitz.
As with other coverage shells, Cover 3 is paired with underneath man or zone coverage in its most basic form.
The main weakness of Cover 3 shells
is the 2 retreating CBs. Since the CBs are working for depth, short
pass routes underneath the CB can isolate him on a wide receiver near
the sideline with little help.
Cover 4 refers to 4 deep defenders each guarding one-fourth of the deep zone. Cover 4 schemes are usually used to defend against deep passes. (See Prevent defense).
The most basic Cover 4 scheme involves 2 CBs and 2 safeties. Upon snap, the CBs work for depth, backpedaling into their assigned zone. Both safeties backpedal towards their assigned zone.
As with other coverage shells, Cover 4 is paired with underneath man or zone coverage in its most basic form.
The main weakness of Cover 4 shells is the retreating defensive backs. Since the DBs are working for depth, short pass routes underneath can isolate them on a wide receiver near the sideline with little help.
This is 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.
1.To suddenly change direction to lose a pursuing player.
CUT BACK: a sudden change in direction taken by a to make it more difficult for defenders to follow and tackle him.
- D -
DA BEARS - Slang nickname given to the Chicago Bears made popular by the Bill Swerski's Superfans sketches of the early 1990s on Saturday Night Live.
White jerseys have royal blue numbers and lettering; colored jerseys
feature a darker shade of blue as background (similar to that of
the star logo) with white numbers and lettering. By tradition,
and unlike most NFL teams, the Cowboys normally wear their white
jerseys at home (although they may wear their colored jerseys
during special occasions). In the 2003 season, the Cowboys
revived their 1962 throwback uniform (blue jersey with white
sleeves) for special occasions such as Thanksgiving; it was also
Year founded: 1960
City: Irving, Texas
Silver background with a blue star
Team Colors: Royal Blue, Metallic Silver, Blue, and White
Head Coach: Bill Parcells
Home field: Texas Stadium (1971-present)
Dallas Cowboys (1960present)
This name might seem like an easy choice in Dallas, but Rangers was actually the first name suggested. The club went with Cowboys since Rangers might cause confusion with a local minor-league team of the same name.
Only 17,499 fans showed up at the Cotton Bowl (capacity 75,000) for that game, and attendance continued to dwindle as the losses piled up. Unable to meet payroll, Miller returned the team to the league with five games to go in the season. The NFL moved the franchise's operations to Hershey, Pennsylvania (though it kept the "Dallas Texans" name). It also moved the team's last three home games to the road.
Following the season, the NFL awarded the remains of the Texans operation to a Baltimore-based group headed by Carroll Rosenbloom, who used it to start the Baltimore Colts. However, the Colts (now based in Indianapolis) do not consider themselves a continuation of the Yanks/Bulldogs/Yankees/Texans franchise.
In 1960, the league made a second venture into Dallas and established what would become a more successful team, the Dallas Cowboys. Also in that year, the American Football League began with its own Dallas Texans; that team moved after winning the 1962 AFL Championship and became the Kansas City Chiefs. The "Texans" name has since been revived by the NFL for the current Houston Texans, which started play in 2002.
Art Donovan (1968 inductee)
DAN MARINO See Marino here
DAWG POUND Name of the bleacher section behind the east end zone in Cleveland Browns Stadium, also known for having one of the most loyal fans in the NFL. The name was originally applied to the bleacher section in the same end zone at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, which formerly stood on the site.
DAYTON TRIANGLES Dayton Triangles of the National Football League played from 1920 to 1929. The team was based in Dayton, Ohio. The nickname "Triangles" came from the name of Triangle Park, located at the confluence of the Great Miami and Stillwater rivers, in north Dayton where the team played its games. The first game of the American Professional Football Association, the precursor to the NFL, was played in Triangle Park between the Dayton Triangles and the Columbus Panhandles on October 3, 1920. The Triangles won that game 14-0. The Triangles were sponsored by the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co. (Delco), the Dayton Metal Products Co. (D.M.P. Co.), and the Domestic Engineering Co. (DECO, later called Delco-Light). The team was sold to a group in Brooklyn, New York and became the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1930.
DEACON JONES See Jones, David
DEACON JONES RULE Enacted in 1977 - The Deacon Jones rule, which eliminated head slapping. Jones was a master at ringing bells inside the offensive linemens heads. They say he may have contributed more concussions to the game than any other player in the entire history of the NFL. If you dont believe it hurts, put on a helmet, and have someone slam an open palm against one side, over the ear hole. Youll be seeing stars for a long time.
A play from scrimmage ends when the ball is dead; this occurs when one of the following happens:
George Halas was hired in 1920 by A. E. Staley of the Staley Manufacturing Co. (whose primary product was cornstarch) to form both a football and a baseball team for the company. In order to find opponents, Halas pushed the football team into the new league that was being formed, the American Professional Football Association. A severe recession in early 1921 forced Staley to lay off the athletes he had hired; he suggested to Halas that the football team should move to Chicago, and said he would provide $5000 to assist in the move if the club would keep the name "Staleys" for one season. Thus, in 1921, Halas's men were called the Chicago Staleys when they became the first official league champion. Despite the championship, the team lost money that first season in Chicago: about $70. The next year, the franchise was renamed the Bears - to accentuate its association with the Cubs, with whom it shared Wrigley Field (hoping that some of the Cubs' success would rub off: how times change!) - while the league was retitled to the National Football League (at George Halas's suggestion).
Edward "Dutch" Sternaman, who was Halas's teammate at the University of Illinois, was his partner during the early years of the Bears. Staley actually first approached Sternaman to form his teams; but Sternaman, though tempted, returned to Illinois to finish his degree. He joined the Staley company after graduating and helped Halas to first put the football team together, and later as co-owner move it to Chicago. Dutch's little brother Joey, another Illinois grad, became the Bears' first great quarterback during the '20s. The relationship between Halas and his partner grew increasingly stormy as the decade progressed, and Sternaman began devoting ever increasing amounts of time to other business interests. When the conflicts between the two began hurting the team's success at the beginning of the Great Depression, Halas bought Sternaman out.
Dutch Sternaman has been credited with coining the phrase, "When in doubt, punt!" which he apparently used in a 1924 pre-game pep talk.
Moving to Chicago was not exactly a sure thing. The city already had a professional team: the Racine Cardinals - named for their home field at 61st and Racine Avenue on Chicago's South Side. The city had had two APFA franchises in 1920; the Cardinals had a nearby rival named the Chicago Tigers. The two teams hurt each other's attendance; they agreed their season-ending game in 1920 was for the rights to the city. The Cardinals won, and the Tigers disbanded as they had agreed. Under the circumstances, the Cardinals couldn't have been happy about Halas's transfer to Chicago for the 1921 season, but it obviously worked out. Evidently the Staleys were far enough away in Wrigley Field that they didn't threaten the Cardinals' financial viability - although the rivalry that developed between the Bears and Cardinals became in some ways even more bitter than that with the Packers. Like the Bears and the league, the Cardinals also changed their name for the 1922 season: they switched to "the Chicago Cardinals" when Racine, Wis., was awarded an NFL franchise.
The team defending their goal line. The defense does not have the ball; rather, they attempt to keep the offense from passing or running the ball over their (the defense's) goal line.
Unlike the offensive team, there are no formally defined defensive positions. A defensive player may line up anywhere on his side of the line of scrimmage and perform any legal action.
However, most sets of defensive formations used include a line composed of
DEFENSIVE BACK : (DB) Any one of the four members of the defensive backfieldthe two safeties and the two cornerbackswho are positioned behind the linebackers. It's the job of the defensive backs to defend against passes and give support on running plays.
Jersey Numbers: 20 - 49
Defensive Backs for
Defensive back is a defensive position in American and Canadian football. Defensive Backs are charged with the responsibility of preventing receivers from catching passes. However, similar to other defensive players, Defensive backs can also sack the quarterback and tackle running backs.
It should be noted that "Defensive Back" is a collective term for several other positions, which include cornerbacks, as well as Strong and Free Safeties. Alternately, this term may be referred to as the "defensive secondary".
While defensive backs must exhibit superb displays of speed and agility, they are also required to master the crucial technique of backpedaling, which enables one to follow a receiver while still focusing on the football. Furthermore, Defensive backs must be able to analyze an offensive formation before the play can begin, allowing one to predict intentions of an offense. A defensive back must also possess the ability to change one's path while running at whim, enabling a superior "man-to-man" coverage. Lastly, a defensive back must be capable of voraciously and accurately tackling offensive units. While these tackles may not often make the highlight reel after the game, they prevent the offensive units from breaking away and making big plays.
Also see backfield
Similarly, there is the offensive coordinator who is in charge of the offense.
This position has designated the players at each end of the defensive line, but changes in formations have substantially changed how the position is played over the years.
Early formations, with six and seven man lines, used the end as a containment player, whose job was first to prevent an "end run" around his position, then secondarily to force plays inside.
When most teams adopted a five man line, two different styles of end play developed: "crashing" ends, who rushed into the backfield to disrupt plays, and "stand-up" or "waiting" ends, who played the more traditional containment style. Some coaches would use both techniques depending on game situations.
Traditionally, D-ends are in a 3 point stance, with there other hand cocked back ready to punch the offensive lineman. Some ends are bigger. They close down there gap so the running back has no hole to run through. Other ends are quicker. They are used to rush the quarterback. They can often times, time the snap of the ball to get a jump on the rush. Most of the time it is the job of the defensive end to keep outside contain, which means that no one should get to their outside; they must keep everything to the inside. The defensive ends are usually fast for players of their size, often the fastest and smallest players on the defensive line. They must be able to shed blockers to get to the ball. Defensive ends are also often used to cover the outside area of the line of scrimmage, to tackle ball carriers running to the far right or left side, and to defend against screen passes. Defensive ends are usually the only players on the line who are ever used to cover offensive players running receiving routes, albeit ones that are very close to the line of scrimmage.
Jersey Numbers: 60 - 79
These guys are the heroes of the defensive line, because they play the part of guided missile. As soon as the ball is snapped to the quarterback, these two guys are supposed to jump his creaking bones by any means possible before he gets rid of it.
YOU KNOW THEYRE DOING THEIR JOB WHEN: You see the quarterback in the backfield running around like a rabbit being chased by coyotes. Or flat on his back, like a rabbit caught by em.
YOU KNOW THEY ARENT WHEN: The quarterback is standing around in the backfield, polishing his nails, waiting for one of his receivers to find some spare time to catch the ball.
A defensive formation can be defined as a predetermined allignment of defensive players on the field. Theses are some of the more common defensive formations used in the game of football today.
In order for coaches and players of American football to exchange information in a rapid manner during practices and games, a more or less standard terminology for defensive schemes has been developed.
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.
Also Known As: Illegal Use of Hands
The defensive line is usually made up of the biggest defensive players, including defensive ends and tackles. Unless your The Indianpolis Colts with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis!
The Defensive Line for
NFL: An automatic first down and
the ball is moved forward to the location of the interference -- a
devastating penalty if the play was a long pass. If the interference
takes place in the end zone, the ball is placed on the one-yard line.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR The NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award is given by the Associated Press to the league's most outstanding defensive player at the end of every NFL season since 1971. Multiple-award winners include Lawrence Taylor, who won it three times, and Joe Greene, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, Reggie White, and Ray Lewis, who each won it twice. Lawrence Taylor is the only player to win the award as a rookie (1981).
The main job of the secondary is to be prepared to handle passing plays.
The general goal of defensive strategy is to prevent the opposing team's offense from scoring. While doing so, the defensive players may also attempt to gain control of the football and score points themselves. There are many different defensive strategies.
Players on the defensive side of the ball are generally split between down linemen (tackles, defensive ends and nose guards), linebackers, and defensive backs (safeties and cornerbacks). To describe the basic defensive alignment of linemen, linebackers and backs, the number of down linemen is usually followed by the number of linebackers. By far the most common alignments are four down linemen and three linebackers (4-3), but alignments with three down linemen and four linebackers (3-4) are currently used by a number of teams. The number of defensive backs is usually not mentioned (as it is, for example, in describing soccer alignments).
However, on plays where the defense expects the offense to pass, emphasis is often placed on the number of defensive backs. When one of the "front seven" (down linemen and linebackers) is removed in favour of a defensive back, the five defensive backs are described as a "nickel" package. When a sixth defensive back is inserted, it is known as a "dime" package.
Unusual defensive alignments are rare, but often successful. In Super Bowl XXV, the New York Giants played with only two down linemen, with four linebackers and five defensive backs. The strategy was very successful in preventing the Buffalo Bills from completing long passes, but it allowed over 190 yards in rushing. Nevertheless, the Giants won. Another example is the New England Patriots using no down linemen and seven linebackers for two plays against the Miami Dolphins during a Monday Night game in 2004.
Basic pass coverage
Even in obvious running situations, the defense must be able to account for the eligible receivers on offense. There are two general schemes for defending against the pass:
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. As in American Football there are only five eligible pass receivers on a given play (technically the quarterback is also an eligible receiver, but passes to the quarterback, though known, 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.
Generally speaking, the effectiveness of a defense against short passes and the run drops as it goes from Cover Zero to Cover Four, but their effectiveness against deep passes increases.
Effective defense depends on co-operation from defensive players and an understanding of what coverage they are in. For example, in Cover Two, the cornerbacks are afforded with the knowledge that if they decide to jump a route (and thereby intercept or deflect a pass) they will have safety help farther upfield should they be tricked by a fake. In Cover One, the safety must be aware that one of the cornerbacks could have difficulty covering a wide receiver, and must be available to move over to help the cornerback before the quarterback can throw. Typically Cover One is only used if there are more than two wide receivers or other passing threats.
Moreover, mixing up defensive alignments and not being predictable are important since if an offense recognizes an alignment or coverage scheme, or a tendency to use such a scheme, they can often take advantage of it. For example, if the defense is blitzing, and the quarterback forsees it (for example, one of the blitzing players moves towards the line of scrimmage before the snap) the quarterback knows that it is man-to-man coverage and will look for his fastest receiver to get open, or throw to the spot that is vacated by the blitzing player.
In the modern game, with players getting faster and stronger, defensive coordinators often look to a player's special skills in order to surprise the offense. For example, in some defensive schemes, defensive down linemen are given pass coverage responsibility. Since Lawrence Taylor now rush three down linemen and a single linebacker (often a different one on every play), a strategy that was almost unknown before he started to play. Moreover, even defensive backs are being given more responsibility on running plays. For example, on plays where a running back runs wide, it is the responsibility of the cornerback to ensure that the running back does not get directly to the sideline, and that the back is forced to run in front of the cornerback where there is more likely to be help from linebackers.
Modern offenses have adapted to these strategies, and often require different skills from players, particularly running backs who, in addition to running with the ball, are expected to run deep pass routes against linebacker coverage, and to be available to block blitzing players on pass plays
In the following, "cover"
refers to the "shell" that the defense rolls into after the
snap of the ball, more specifically the number of defenders guarding
the deep portion of the field.
Special teams strategy
"Special team" is the term used to describe the specialized group of players who take the field during kickoffs, free kicks, punts, and field goal attempts. Most football teams' special teams include one or more kickers, a long snapper (who specializes in accurate snaps over long distances), kick returners who catch and carry the ball after it is kicked by the opposing team, and blockers who defend during kicks and returns.
Some players may take the field as members of the offense or defense as well as the special teams; one notable example is Steve Smith, wide receiver for the NFL's Carolina Panthers, who also played as a kick returner during the 2005 NFL season, and was drafted primarily as a special teams player.
Although these are risky, there are a variety of strategic plays which can be attempted during kickoffs, punts, and field goals which can be used to surprise the opposition and (hopefully) score points.
A kickoff occurs at the beginning of each half and each overtime period, as well as after a successful field goal or touchdown. A coin toss determines which team kicks the ball away and which team receives the ball. After a field goal or a touchdown, the team which scored the points kicks the ball to the opposing team, which in most cases catches the ball and may attempt to "return" it up the field.
Strategically, the coach of the kicking team may choose to have his players kick the ball in one of several ways:
Field goals are often viewed as a way for teams to turn a disappointing drive into a small victory. However, many football games are decided by field goals in the final minutes or seconds of play, making the ability to kick an accurate field goal vital for any football team.
The strategy for a field goal is fairly straightforward. The team on offense forms a protective semicircle behind the line of scrimmage on either side of the center, who snaps the ball to the holder. The holder positions the ball so that the kicker - moving from a short distance away - can quickly get into position and accurately kick the ball through the goalposts. The remaining players block the opposing team, whose members will be trying to break through the protective circle in order to block the kick or bat it aside for a chance to intercept the ball. If a team misses the field goal, the opposing team takes possession of the ball without a kickoff.
Distance, the amounts of wind and noise within the stadium, and the amount of experience the kicker has are all determining factors in the success or failure of a field goal attempt. The majority of successful field goal attempts are kicked within 50 yards of the goalpost. However, some kickers can - and often do - make good kicks from farther away. The current NFL record for the longest successful field goal was set in 1970 by Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints, who kicked from 63 yards out. It should be noted that Dempsey had a specially shaped prosthetic foot that enabled him to make such long kicks, and that such prosthetics have since been banned. Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos tied this record in 1998.
Modern kickers use a soccer style kick, which involves taking a diagonal approach to the ball and kicking with the inside of the foot. Many kickers in the 1950s and earlier kicked the ball by lining up directly behind it and approaching straight ahead. This is still seen today in a limited capacity in high school and college football.
In some situations, a coach may choose to have his team fake a field goal attempt. The players line up as normal, but instead of holding the ball for a kick, the player receiving the snap may run with the ball, hand it off to another player, or attempt to throw it downfield. This play is quite risky and therefore not used often.
It is possible for the defensive team to return a missed field goal, although this is attempted very rarely. If a field goal attempt is short of the goal posts and the ball is caught by a defensive player before it hits the ground, the player may return the ball just as on a punt. Teams usually try a return only when a very long field goal is attempted at the end of the first half, since in all other cases it is more advantageous for the defense to just let the ball fall short. Recently, returns of this type have happened in 2002 (Chris McAlister of the Baltimore Ravens, for 107 yards versus the Denver Broncos), 2005 (Nathan Vasher of the Chicago Bears, for 108 yards versus the San Francisco 49ers; this currently holds the record for longest play in NFL history), and 2006 (Devin Hester, also of the Bears, tied the previous record of 108 with a return against the New York Giants).
Most teams punt on fourth down when the chances of gaining enough yards for a first down are slim and when the ball is too far from the goalpost to allow a field goal try. Generally, a member of the opposing team moves into position to catch the ball. He may try to gain yards by running the ball downfield, or he may signal a fair catch by waving one arm above his head, thus agreeing that he will not attempt to return the ball downfield. A player who has signalled a fair catch may not be tackled after catching the ball.
In some cases, a coach may attempt trickery by switching between his offense and special teams players between plays. A coach may call a time-out, send the kicking team onto the field, and then when the play clock resumes quickly run his offense back on and his kicking team off, hopefully disorienting the defending team enough to advance on the ensuing play or cause a penalty if the defending team cannot switch personnel quickly enough. However, this trickery can also result in penalties against the offense if the play takes too long (delay of game) or if too many players remain on the field when the ball is snapped.
Occasionally a coach will line his team up in a shotgun formation and have the quarterback "quick kick" or "pooch punt" -- using the element of surprise to cause the defense not to have a receiver ready.
In much the same way as a fake field goal (described above), a fake punt is an effort to trick the opposition and either score or gain enough yards for a first down. Fake punts are risky for the same reasons as fake field goals and are thus rarely attempted.
Skilled punters may try to punt a ball past the return team so that the ball touches the playing field in bounds, then rolls out of bounds close to the opposing team's end zone. The drawback to such a punt is that the ball may roll into the end zone (touchback), giving the receiving team decent field position. Or, if the kick is angled too sharply, it will go out of bounds too early and result in an unusually short punt. The best punters are highly regarded for their ability to put the ball out of bounds within five yards of the goal line. These punts are also known as "coffin corner punts" due to their ability to act as a "coffin nail" to an opposing offense.
The biggest choice facing a kick returner is whether or not to attempt to run the ball back. Generally, a returner who catches a kickoff or punt in the "red zone" between the receiving team's own end zone and 20 yard line will attempt some sort of return, if only to gain a few yards. If the receiving team's players can get into position quickly, they may be able to allow the returner to gain further yardage or break away from the pack entirely and score a touchdown.
Defensive Tackles, or DT's, are typically the largest and strongest of the defensive players. The defensive tackle typically lines up opposite one of the offensive guards. Depending on a team's individual defensive scheme, a defensive tackle may be called upon to fill several different roles. These roles may include merely holding the point of attack by refusing to be moved, or penetrating a certain gap between offensive linemen to break up a play in the opponent's backfield. If a defensive tackle reads a pass play, his primary responsibilty is to pursue the quarterback. Other responsibilities of the defensive tackle may be to pursue the screen pass or drop into coverage in a zone blitz scheme.
In the 3-4 defensive scheme the sole defensive tackle is referred to as the nose guard. The primary responsibility of the defensive tackle in this scheme is to absorb multiple blockers so that other players in the defensive front can attack ballcarriers and rush the quarterback.
Jersey Numbers: 60 - 79
Why they have the term as a
"TACKLE" is beyond me,
If you had to define their job, it would be to make sure those zippy ball carriers dont manage to run down the center of the field. So, in theory, they cover that A gap between the opposing center and the guard outside of them on the line, and something called the B gap, which exists between the opposing guard and the tackle outside of them on the line, making sure nobody carrying the ball runs through there.
Ok so theyre trying to stop a guy with the ball: why dont they tackle em? Well, they would if they could get at em. But ordinarily the guy with the ball, seeing the defensive tackle there, slobbering in anticipation, will seek an alternate route, and the opposing guard and tackle will do their best to discourage people like the defensive tackles from going after him.
Of course, sometimes they get lucky and the guy with the ball decides to take his chances and goes for one of the gaps. At that point, all the tackle has to do is bully his way past the opposing guard and tackle who are there pretty much specifically to impede him, and then jump on top of the guy with the ball before hes too far out of reach.
YOU KNOW THEYRE DOING THEIR JOB WHEN: Same as the nose tackle: nobody takes the ball on the hoof and prances down the middle of the field without tasting turf.
The 40-second play clock starts running immediately when the previous play ends. If there is a timeout or other stoppage of play, a 25-second play clock starts from when the ball is spotted and declared ready for play.
Referee signal: Two forearms in front of chest parallel to the body with open fists, one on top of the other.
This penalty can be called on either offense or defense, but the foul is most commonly committed by the offense. The penalty occurs on offense when they allow the play clock to run down to zero without snapping the ball. The penalty can be called on the defense if the referees feel that the defense did not allow the offense to get the play off in time for any reason. A similar foul is delay on kickoff.
penalty: 5 yards
see official Signal
He is most widely
known for his NFL record 63 yard field goal, kicked in the final 5
seconds to give the New Orleans Saints a 19-17 win over the Detroit
Dempsey was born with no right hand, and a right club foot, with no toes on his right foot (which was his kicking foot). He wore a modified shoe with a flattened and enlarged toe area, giving somewhat the appearance of a hammer. He used a straight approach to kick the ball as opposed to the "soccer style" used by nearly all place kickers today. Dempsey's accomplishment led to the NFL passing a rule requiring that all footgear be "normal" (their term) regardless of the kicker's personal situation.
The Denver Broncos American football club is a National Football League team based in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger.
The Denver Broncos were a small-market team that met with little success in their early years but have since become one of the elite franchises of the league after having advanced to the Super Bowl six times. In their first four appearances, they suffered successively lopsided defeats, achieving near-legendary status as frustrated losers before winning back-to-back Super Bowl championships in 1998 and 1999 under quarterback John Elway, running back Terrell Davis and coach Mike Shanahan.
For most of their history they played in Mile High Stadium, which became one of the shrines of professional football for its unbroken string of sell-outs and its famous home-field advantage percentage for the Broncos, especially during the post-season. Mile High Stadium was one of the NFL's loudest stadiums, with steel flooring instead of concrete, which may have given the Broncos an advantage over opponents. Since 2001, they have played at INVESCO Field at Mile High, built next to the former site of Mile High Stadium.
City: Denver, Colorado
Head Coach: Mike Shanahan
Uniform colors: "Broncos Navy Blue", Orange, and White
Navy Blue background with a white horse-head profile.
Mile High Stadium (1960-2000)
Denver Broncos (1960present)
This nickname was also selected through a contest in January of 1960. Broncos were the winner, referring to Denver's Wild West heritage. Denver's 1921 entry in the Midwest Baseball League team was also named the Broncos.
DEPTH CHART An NFL team roster with players classified as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd string.
The Detroit Lions American football club is a National Football League team based in Detroit, Michigan. Originally called the Portsmouth Spartans, the team began play in 1930 as one of the NFL's small town teams in Portsmouth, Ohio. However, they were forced to move to Detroit in 1934 due to the Great Depression.
Detroit, Michigan had four early teams in the National Football League before the Detroit Lions. The Heralds played in 1920. The Tigers in 1921. The Panthers from 1925-1926 and the Wolverines in 1928.
The Lions have won four NFL Championships.
City: Detroit, Michigan
Team Colors: Honolulu Blue, Silver, and Black
Universal Stadium (1930-1933)
Ford Field (2002-present)
Detroit radio executive George Richards purchased the NFL's Portsmouth Spartans and moved them to the Motor City in 1934. Richards chose Lions. Felines were already prevalent in Detroit. Baseball could claim the Tigers and a Detroit football team called the Panthers had folded after two years in 1927.
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 refered to as the dime back.
A dimeback is a cornerback who serves as the sixth defensive back on defense. The third cornerback on defence is known as a nickelback. The dimeback position is essentially relegated to backup cornerbacks who do not play starting cornerback positions. Dimebacks are usually fast players because they must be able to keep up on passing plays with 3+ wide receivers.
Usually, dimebacks are brought onto the feild before plays that have a good possibility of becoming pass plays. Usually, a linebacker is substituted for a cornerback in order to gain better pass defence.
Dime coverage is generally used only in obvious passing situations.
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).
The exact position of the defensive backs depends on the type of pass coverage they are in.
See Dime Defense
DION SANDERS See Sanders, Dion
Peyton Manning (18) looks to receiver
Brandon Stokley as a diversion during a direct snap to Edgerrin James
in the fourth quarter. The trick play gained five yards and help set
up the Colts only touchdown on the day giving the
DIRTY BIRDS - The 1998 Atlanta Falcons (but is still used to this day to describe the Falcons). The name originates from an endzone dance started by Jamal Anderson that was adopted by all the players upon scoring.
DIVE An Offensive Play See PLUNGE
Indianapolis Colts are in The AFC Conference belonging to the South DIVISION
2006 AFC South Division Record
This is for determining Division Champion; also, if there is a tie for a wild-card berth, this is used for breaking ties within a division.
DOME PATROL The 1980's Saints linebacking corps, rated as #1 by NFL Network. This all star group included Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Pat Swilling, and Vaughn Johnson. The linebacker corps made NFL history as having all four elected to the same pro bowl.
DOOMSDAY DEFENSE - The 1970s Dallas Cowboys defensive team. Doomsday I, the unit that led the Cowboys to victory in Super Bowl VI, was anchored by future Pro Football Hall of Fame members Herb Adderley, Bob Lilly, and Mel Renfro, while Doomsday II, which spearheaded the drive to the title in Super Bowl XII, featured Hall of Famer Randy White and fellow defensive linemen Harvey Martin and Too Tall Jones.
Double coverage is a state of defensive playcalling wherein two defensive players are assigned to "cover" one offensive player. This situation is often seen with standout wide receivers and running backs.
Note: It's actually extremely rare to nonexistent to have 2 DBs man-cover a single receiver. Commentators who use the term "double-coverage" almost always mean a CB covering a WR man-to-man, with a safety playing over the top (typically trying to stay in front of the WR's route) for deep ball assistance.
A double foul usually results in offsetting penalties that negate the result of the play.
See Option Play
DOUBLE REVERSE a play in which the ball reverses direction twice behind the line of scrimmage. This is usually accomplished by means of two or three hand-offs, each hand-off going in an opposite direction as the previous one. Such a play is extremely infrequent in football.
Some people confuse the double reverse with a reverse, which is a play with two hand-offs instead of three.
DOUBLE WING a formation with two tight ends and two wingbacks.
DOWN AND IN: A maneuver where the receiver runs straight downfield, then suddenly cuts toward the middle of the field.
DOWN AND OUT: A pass route In which the receiver runs straight downfield, then cuts sharply toward the sideline.
also known as chains
Some officials, generally the Umpire position, may also use an indicator to keep track of where the ball was placed between the hash marks before the play (i.e. the right hash marks, the left ones, or at the midpoint between the two). This is important when they re-spot the ball after an incomplete pass.
Some officials use two thick rubber bands tied together as a down indicator. One rubber band is used as the wristband and the other is looped over the fingers.
Thus it is strategically important for kicking teams to get as close to the ball as possible after a punt, so that they may quickly tackle a returner, down the ball as close to the opposing team's end zone as possible, and (if possible) recover the ball after a fumble and regain possession of the ball.
DOWN THE FIELD: In the direction of the opponents goal line.
Teams are ranked in inverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first, and the second worst picking second and so on. The exceptions to this order is that the Super Bowl champion always picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser always picks 31st.
The draft proceeds for 7 rounds. Rounds 1-3 are run on Saturday of draft weekend, rounds 4-7 are run on Sunday. Teams are given a limited amount of time to make their picks. If the pick is not made in the allotted time, subsequent teams in the draft may draft before them. This happened in 2003 to the Minnesota Vikings
Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. While player-for-player trades are rare during the rest of the year (especially in comparison to the other major league sports), trades are far more common on draft day.
Drafted players may ONLY negotiate with the team that drafted them (or to another team if their rights were traded away). The drafting team has one year to sign the player. If they do not do so, the player may reenter the draft and can be drafted by another team.
DRAFT CHOICE: A player chosen by a professional sports team from a pool of college players in an annual draft.
The use of two crossing drag routes can also be used to try to create an open receiver by using the other receiver to block the path of a defensive back in a man coverage scheme.
The draw is a great play to call when the defense is applying a heavy pass rush.
A draw is a type of play that "tricks" the defense into thinking a pass is being thrown, when in fact a running play has been called. The draw play can be considered the opposite of the play action pass. The idea behind a draw play is to attack aggressive, pass-rushing defenses by "drawing" them upfield, therefore leaving more room to run the ball. Draw plays are usually run out of the shotgun formation, but can also be run when the quarterback is under center. These types of draw plays are sometimes referred to as delayed handoffs.
A variation of this play is the quarterback draw, where the quarterback takes the snap, drops back to pass for a few moments, then runs upfield through the hole created by the linemen.
1. The series of plays a team puts together in an attempt to score. A continuous set of offensive plays gaining substantial yardage and several first downs, usually leading to a scoring opportunity.
2. A blocking technique - "drive block" - in which an offensive player through an advantaged angle or with assistance drive a defensive player out of position creating a hole for the ball carrier.
DROP See Cut #2
Quarterbacks generally have a set number of steps they drop back on certain plays before setting up to throw the ball.
DROPPED PASS Any incomplete pass which was catchable with normal effort. To determine if a pass was dropped, STATS compares and reviews the judgment of multiple reporters.
DUKE FOOTBALL The NFL game ball was known as The Duke from 1941-69. The NFL first used a ball in honor of Mara called The Duke in 1941 at the suggestion of Chicago Bears owner George Halas, who had helped arrange with Giants owner Tim Mara (Wellingtons father) for Wilson to become the leagues official supplier of game balls.
The Duke ball was discontinued prior to the 1970 season, the first to be played in the NFL-American Football League merger. The NFL and AFL continued using a Wilson football, but with a new design.
The official NFL Wilson football will continue to be manufactured in Ada, Ohio. Wilson recently extended its NFL contract through 2011, which will mark the 70th year of partnership, believed to be one of the longest agreements in sports history.
One side of the new 2006 "Duke" football features the NFL
shield logo in gold, the words "The Duke", and the NFL
DYNASTY LEAGUE (fantasy football term) A league in which you keep your entire roster from year to year. The next season a draft is held to improve your team. Usually the draft order is based on the previous year's finish. Dynasty leagues are a long term commitment.
ELECTRIC COMPANY - See The Electric Company
Not all players on offense are entitled to receive a forward pass. Only an eligible pass receiver may legally catch a forward pass, or be more than five yards over the line of scrimmage on a forward passing play. If the pass is received by a non-eligible receiver, the penalty for ineligible receiver is assessed (the play is treated as an incomplete pass, unless the ball is downed behind the line of scrimmage - in either case a down is lost). If a non-eligible receiver is more than five yards downfield on a completed forward pass, the penalty assessed is "ineligible receiver downfield" (a loss of yardage, but not loss of down).
Every player on the defensive team is considered eligible. The offensive team must have at least seven players lined up on the line of scrimmage. Of the players on the line of scrimmage, only the two players on the ends of the line of scrimmage are eligible receivers. The four remaining players in the backfield, excluding the quarterback, where a quarterback who takes the snap directly from the center is never eligible. However, a quarterback who receives a longer snap from the center, such as in a shotgun formation, is eligible even in the NFL.
With the assignment of numbers to positions, a player who is not wearing a number that corresponds to an eligible receiver is not eligible even if he lines up in an eligible position. However, in the American game, a person who reports to the referee that he will be eligible on the play is allowed to line up and act as an eligible receiver. An example of this was a 1985 NFL game in which William Perry, wearing number 72 and normally a defensive lineman, was made an eligible receiver on an offensive play, and successfully caught a touchdown pass attempt.
If, for example, eight men line up on the line of scrimmage, the team loses an eligible receiver. This can often happen when a flanker or slot receiver, who is supposed to line up behind the line of scrimmage, instead lines up on the line of scrimmage between the offensive line and a split end. In most cases where a pass is caught by an ineligible receiver, it is usually because the quarterback was under pressure and threw it to an offensive lineman out of desperation.
Before the snap of the ball, eligible receivers may only move parallel to the line of scrimmage, only one eligible receiver may be in motion at any given time, and if forward motion has occurred, the receiver must be still for a full second before the snap. The receiver may be in motion laterally or away from the line of scrimmage at the snap. A breach of this rule results in a penalty for illegal procedure (five yards).
The rules on eligible receivers only apply to forward passes, even those behind the line of scrimmage. However, any player may legally catch a backwards or lateral pass.
Once the play has started, players can become ineligible and eligible depending on how the play develops. Any eligible receiver that goes out of bounds is no longer an eligible receiver and cannot receive a forward pass. Also, if a pass is touched by any eligible receiver (tipped by a defensive lineman, slips through a receiver's hands, etc) every player on the field immediately becomes eligible.
(Penalty 5 yards) - a defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage and makes contact with a player, or has a unabated path to the quarterback, before the snap. Unlike the offsides penalty, this penalty immediately halts play: the referees blow the whistle, the clock stops, and the offense does not run a play.
Referee signal: same as offsides.
See official Signal
Jersey Numbers: 80 - 89
END AROUND a play, often confused with a reverse, where the quarterback hands the ball off to a wide receiver . The receiver motions/moves into the backfield as the ball is snapped to take the handoff and runs around the opposite end from where he lined up
A team scores a touchdown by entering their opponent's end zone while carrying the ball or catching the ball while being within the end zone. If the ball is carried by an offensive player, across the goal line, it is considered a score as soon as the ball crosses the imaginary vertical plane of the goal line, between the two sidelines.
In addition, a two-point conversion may be scored after a touchdown by similar means.
The end zone is 10 yards long by 53 and 1/3 yards wide
EQUIPMENT - see Football Equipment
EQUIPMENT MANAGER The role of equipment manager has become an extremely important one for every NFL team. The equipment manager has two big areas of responsibility:
Protecting the players - First and foremost, an equipment manager's job is to fit each player on the team with a customized array of equipment that will provide maximum protection against injury.
Managing the logistics - The equipment manager must handle the tons of equipment the team uses on a daily basis, keep all of it repaired and in stock and move it around for all of the road games.
These twin responsibilities have made equipment management both a science and an incredibly demanding role on any NFL team. For the Indianapolis Colts, the job of equipment manager falls on the shoulders of Jon Scott.
ERNEST NEVERS See Nevers, Ernest
EXCESSIVE TIME OUTS: 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.
An Expansion Team is considered to be a brand new team in a sports league. The term comes from the fact that the league expands its presence into new cities.
However, when an expansion team begins play, they are generally stocked with players who were rejected by the other existing teams. As a result, most expansion teams are known to be very awful during their first season, but some are known to even held a title (championship) in their league only a few years after their first season. Most teams are considered as an expansion team usually in their inaugural season and sometimes in their second season.
Depending on the league and the situation, a team that moves to another location and/or changes its name are generally not considered an expansion team.
EXTRA CONVERSION See Extra Points
The extra point, point after touchdown, or PAT is the act of lining up to kick, as in a field goal, immediately following a touchdown. If the kick goes through the uprights, the team gets an additional point for their touchdown, bringing their total for that score to 7.
If more points are needed or desired, a two-point conversion may be attempted instead of the extra point kick.
(1) A protective covering for the face worn by players in football.
Teams replace as many as 15 face masks after every game because of damage.
Penalty: Automatic 1st down
see official signal
There are actually 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.
Also, players may not tackle the receiver making the fair catch.
The primary reason for the fair catch rule is to protect the receiver. A receiver's attention is on the incoming punt and cannot focus on the defenders running towards him. He is quite vulnerable to injury and is also at risk for fumbling the kick if the punter intentionally makes a high short kick to allow defenders time to hit the receiver.
The XFL removed the fair catch rule in an effort to make the game more "extreme." The XFL however, was not the only league to do so: Canadian football and Arena football also do not have fair catch rules.
A free kick
may be taken on the play immediately after any fair catch of a punt.
If the receiving team elects to attempt this and time expired during
the punt, the half is extended with an untimed down. The ball must be
held on the ground by a member of the kicking team; a tee may not be
used. This is both a field goal attempt and a free kick; if the ball
is kicked between the goal posts, three points are scored for the
kicking team. This is the only case where a free kick may score
points. This method of scoring is extremely rare; it is only
advantageous when as a team catches a very short punt with no time
left. Note that a team is unlikely to be punting with only a few
seconds left in a half, and it is rarer still for punts to be caught
near field goal range.
A player signaling for a fair catch is not required to catch the ball; however, after making the signal, he may not initiate contact with any member of the kicking team until the ball is touched by another player. If he does he will be penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. If the ball hits the ground or a member of the kicking team, the fair catch signal is off and rules for kicked balls apply. If the receiver "muffs" the ball (touches it, but then fails to field it cleanly), then the ball can be recovered by the kicking team.
A "personal foul" for kick catch interference and a 15 yard penalty is called against the kicking team if a member violates the fair catcher's right to the ball. If the receiver attempts to advance the ball after signalling for a fair catch he is penalized five yards for "delay of game". A fair catch may be followed by a snap or a type of free kick the fair catch kick at his team's choice, and an expired playing period may be extended if the free kick is chosen. (The fair catch kick exists only in the NFL, having been abolished in college.)
The fair catch signal can be used as a legal form of deception in the following instance: If the receiver has no intention of actually fielding the ball, but wishes it to roll in the end zone for a touchback, he may signal for a fair catch in front of where the ball will land, making the kicking team think it will not reach the end zone. Some fans see this as an abuse of the fair catch rule, and think that it should be amended to allow the kicking team to recover the ball at any point after it has touched the ground if a fair catch has been called for, which would force an end to this practice, but so far no rules committee will consider this argument.
The officials' signal for a successful fair catch kick is the same as for a field goal.
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.
FAIR CATCH KICK The fair catch kick is a little-known, rarely enacted rule found in professional and some amateur American football. It is one of the three types of free kicks; the other two are the kickoff and the safety kick. The fair catch kick is the only of the three in which the kicking team may score a field goal. At one time a very similar rule existed in rugby union called goal from mark.
Fair catch kicks can only occur when a member of the receiving team signals for, and successfully makes, a fair catch. That team then has the option of restarting play either by snap or fair catch kick. If the team elects the fair catch kick option, the kicking team lines up at the spot where the fair catch was made and the opposing team lines up ten yards downfield. The kicker then may either placekick the ball from a teammate's hold (a kickoff tee may be used in high school) or dropkick the ball. Three points are awarded for kicking the ball through the uprights. If the kick does not go through the uprights, the ball is live, similar to either of the other free kicks. Likewise, a fair catch kick landing out of bounds but not in the end zone is awarded to the receiving team 30 yards from where it was kicked.
In the NFL, a fair catch kick may still be attempted if the quarter ends on the fair catch play. This is not automatic; a team's captain or coach must exercise this option.
This play is very rarely used. First of all, it is only allowed in the NFL, high school, and a few other levels of football. In the NFL, a rare combination of circumstances would make it plausible. As it will only happen after a punt or free kick, a fair catch tends to be taken too far from the goal for a kick to be successful (although, unlike a field goal attempt, the resulting kick is taken from the spot of the catch, not several yards back, and the defending team must stay 10 yards back before the kick.) Further, it is of most use to a team when there is not enough time to run a play from scrimmage, so is only likely to be seen when the punt would otherwise be the last play of a half or a game. Finally, at the end of a game it is only of use when the receiving team is 3 points or fewer behind, or the game is tied - if they need 4 or more points, they will try to run the ball back for a touchdown. If a team has a three point lead on fourth down with a few seconds left, they are more likely to run out the clock by having the punter run around the end zone and take an intentional safety than to risk a punt.
In the rare circumstances when a punt is taken close to a team's own goal line with only a few seconds left in the half, sportscasters will sometimes mention the rule. However, punters, under those circumstances, will generally kick the ball away from the return man, most likely to frustrate a long return rather than to prevent a fair catch.
Because a fair catch kick is rarely used, many players, coaches and fans don't know that the rule even exists.
The last successful fair catch kick in the NFL was by Mac Percival in 1968, scoring the game-winning field goal for the Chicago Bears against the Green Bay Packers. As of 2006, 8 more have been attempted, none successful.
FAKE PUNT: On very rare occasions, a punting team will elect to attempt a "fake punt" that is line up in punt formation and begin the process as normal, but instead do one of the following:
Usually, teams will attempt a fake punt only in the rarest of situations: to keep a drive alive (particularly if a team is behind by one or more touchdowns and the team needs momentum), to expose a weakness in an opposing team's defense, or to catch the opponent's special teams unit off-guard and get an easy touchdown.
The success rate of "fake punts" is low, which may explain why this play is seldom seen.
FALCONS See Atlanta Falcons
A false start results in a five-yard penalty against the offending team.
For offensive linemen, this movement might be as minute as a couple of centimeters.
At the end of the 2005-2006 NFL season, owners complained regarding false start penalties on players whose flinches have little effect upon the start of the play, such as wide receivers. In response, the NFL competition committee has said that they plan to inflict less false start penalties on players who line up behind the line of scrimmage
Scoring systems vary among fantasy football leagues, but most are based on points accumulated by players based on their real-life performance in a game on the same day.
A game which the players (owners) earn fantasy points for the statistical performances of the NFL players on their fantasy team. In most leagues, NFL players are assigned to teams via a draft. Usually, each player can only be on one team at a time and there are limits to the total number of players per team. The object of the game is to outscore your fantasy opponent (other owners) on a weekly basis, so that at the end of the fantasy season (depending on the league) you have the most points or the most wins (in a head to head league).
FANTASY LEAGUE: A group of fantasy football teams that compete against one another for a league championship.
Fantasy leagues range in size, generally from six to 16 teams, and the rules can vary greatly from one league to another.
FEARSOME FOURSOME The 1960s Los Angeles Rams defensive line.
FFB acronym for Fantasy Football
FGA An acronym for Field Goal Attempt - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
FIELD Click Here
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.
A field goal is scored when the ball is kicked between the goal posts behind the opponent's end zone. The ball must first be snapped to a placeholder, who holds the ball upright on the ground with his fingertip so that it may be kicked. Three points are scored if the ball crosses the plane of the goal between the two upright posts and above the crossbar. If a field goal is missed, the ball is returned to the spot of the kick (in college, to the original line of scrimmage), and possession is given to the other team. If the ball does not go out of bounds, the other team may catch the kicked ball and attempt to advance it, but this is usually not advantageous. One official is positioned under each goalpost; if either one rules the field goal no good, then the field goal is unsuccessful. A successful field goal is signaled by an official extending both arms vertically above the head. A team that successfully kicks a field goal kicks off to the opposing team on the next play.
Responsibilities and positioning of each game official.
The idea was simple.
FieldTurf was born. Initially introduced for tennis and golf, then modified for soccer, and finally perfected even for football and baseball, FieldTurf revolutionized the turf industry, and in many ways, the entire world of sport.
FieldTurf is a blend of polyethylene and polypropylene, silica sand and rubber granules that will give years of grass-like appearance and use, without the regular maintenance of natural grass. The installation process includes a layer of decomposed granite, our patented polyethylene and polypropylene blades and our rubber granule infill system. This simple installation will provide the safest, most effective surface. It is resistant to temperature extremes, drains quickly (better than real grass) and is extremely low-maintenance.
Currently all but three National Football League venues have either FieldTurf or natural grass surfaces.
Super Bowl XL, featuring the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers, was the first time that the Super Bowl has been played on FieldTurf. The Ford Field installation differs slightly from the standard installation as the recycled rubber used is made from Firestone tires.
FINS See Miami Dolphins
FIREMAN ED fan at NY Jets home games who wears a green fireman helmet with a Jets logo on the front. Known for leading the "J-E-T-S" chants.
2 : a gain of a total of 10 or more yards within usually four downs giving the team the right to start a new series of downs
One of the main objectives in American football -- and a necessary one to score points -- is to gain a first down. In order to get a first down, the offense must gain 10 yards within a series of four plays. One problem that football players and officials have always had to deal with is how to measure the 10 yards needed. Even with all of our technology, the NCAA and the National Football League still uses a length of metal chain attached between two poles!
Television viewers have always been at a disadvantage in knowing where the first-down line is in reference to where the offense is. A small arrow located below the end pole isn't usually visible on the television screen. But if you've watched any football games in the last few years, you probably noticed the fluorescent yellow or orange line extending from one side of the field to the other -- seemingly painted on the field. In fact, the line is computer generated, representing exactly the spot that the offense must get to for a first down.
Sportvision, a company based in New York City, debuted its "1st and Ten" system on September 27, 1998, and football fans everywhere rejoiced! Sportvision provides ESPN and Fox Sports with the ability to enhance their football telecasts with this technology (you can view images from actual games that used the first-down line on their Web site). In this article, we'll look at how the 1st and Ten system works.
FIRST DOWN PERCENTAGE
The percentage of
relevant plays which resulted in first downs.
FISH See Miami Dolphins
F-L An acronym for Fumbles-Lost - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
FLAG FOOTBALL: Similar to most other forms of football, but with typically six to nine players, with tackling not permitted. Instead, a flag carried on each side of the player's belt must be plucked to constitute a tackle.
See Slot Receiver
Also known as a receiver
A flea-flicker is an unorthodox play (often called a trick play) in American football. It is designed to fool the defensive team into thinking it is a running play instead of a passing play.
After the snap, the quarterback hands off or laterals to a running back who then runs towards or parallel to the line of scrimmage. Before the running back gets to the line of scrimmage, he laterals back to the quarterback, who then looks for a receiver to throw the ball to.
If the defensive players think it is just a normal running play, they will run upfield to try to tackle the running back, leaving the quarterback free from any immediate pass rush, and leaving receivers wide open to catch a pass.
The flea flicker is an extremely high risk play, and the result of it is almost always either a big gain, a turnover, or a big loss. One problem is that it takes a significant amount of time for the play to develop. During that time, the defense might get past the offense's blockers to tackle the running back before he can make the pitch to the quarterback, or sack the quarterback before he can throw the ball. And there is also the risk the running back could fumble if he is hit as he pitches the ball.
Because of the risks it is rarely used. However some flea flicker plays have been used in many key National Football League games including the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XVII, the Washington Redskins used a flea flicker to try to fool the Miami Dolphins. However the Dolphins were not fooled; Miami defensive back Lyle Blackwood intercepted the pass. But in Super Bowl XXI, the New York Giants successfully ran a flea flicker play against the Denver Broncos; Quarterback Phil Simms passed the ball to receiver Phil McConkey who ran all the way to the Broncos 1-yard line before being tackled for a 44-yard gain. The Giants then scored a touchdown on the next play. The most recent appearance of the flea flicker in the NFL was in the 2005 playoffs; the Pittsburgh Steelers used it when they won a wild card playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins famously had his career come to an end on a nationally televised Monday Night Football game at the hands of New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, after a failed attempt at a flea flicker which didn't fool the Giants' defense. Upon tackling Theismann, Taylor's entire weight came crashing down on Theismann, severely breaking his leg.
An offensive alignment that utilizes a quarterback, five offensive lineman, three running backs, and varying numbers of tight ends and wide receivers. The flexbone formation is a predominant running formation derived from the wishbone formation and it features a quarterback under center with a fullback lined up directly behind the quarterback. There are two smaller running backs called slotbacks aligned behind the line of scrimmage on each side of the offensive line. The slotbacks are sometimes incorrectly referred to as wingbacks. But, in order to be a wingback, there must be a guard, tackle and tight end all on one side of the center on the line of scrimmage and then the wingback off the line of scrimmage.
The basic play run from the flexbone is known as a triple option. First, the quarterback (QB) receives the football from the center and the fullback (FB) either takes the football from the quarterback or 'fakes' that he has taken the football. If the fullback takes the football, then he runs straight into the line of scrimmage and attempts to gain yardage. If the fullback does not take the football, then the quarterback sprints parallel to the line of scrimmage with a slotback trailing him. The quarterback can either turn up field or pitch the football to the trailing slotback. Hence the term triple because the fullback is option number one, the quarterback keeping the ball is option number two, and the quarterback pitching to the slotback is option number three. The triple option forces defenses to worry about fullbacks running in the middle of the offensive line and to worry about quarterbacks and slotbacks running to outside of the line. The decision of who to carry the ball (which option to make) can either be made before the play in the huddle, or during the play by the QB, who will make decisions based on the position and play of certain defensive players and what they are doing. For example, if the QB keeps the ball but a defender is coming after him, he will pitch to the slotback (or FB), but if the defender covers the possible pitch to the slotback, the QB will keep the ball, perhaps even faking a pitch.
The 2006 NFL schedule will list start times for all games during the flex weeks as 1:00 ET except for games played in the Mountain or Pacific Time zones, which will be listed at 4:05 ET or 4:15 ET. The Sunday night game will be listed as TBD. For the 2006 season, flexible scheduling will occur in Weeks 10-15 and Week 17. Week 16 is a holiday weekend and will not be subject to flexible scheduling.
Twelve days (12) prior to the scheduled Sunday games in each flex week, the NFL will decide (after consultation with CBS, FOX and NBC) and announce the game being moved to 8:30 ET and also may announce games moving to 4:15 ET. (For the Week 17 games, the decision may be made on six days (6) notice to ensure a Sunday night game with playoff implications.)
Fans planning to attend during flexible scheduled weeks should be aware they may have to adjust their plans in the event of a change in the kickoff time.
NFL Flexible Scheduling 101
·Begins Sunday, November 12, 2006
·Not in effect Week 16 due to holiday weekend.
·Only Sunday afternoon games in Weeks 10-15 and 17 are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window.
·The majority of games on Sundays will be listed at 1:00 PM ET during flex weeks except for games played in Pacific or Mountain Time zones which will be listed at 4:05 or 4:15 PM ET.
·No impact on Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.
·The NFL will decide (after consultation with CBS, FOX, NBC) and announce on 12 days notice the game being moved to 8:15 p.m. ET and may also announce games moving to 4:15 p.m. ET.
·Week 17 start time changes could be decided on 6 days notice to ensure game with playoff implications.
·The NBC Sunday night time slot in flex weeks will list teams as TBD.
·Fans and ticket holders must be aware that NFL games in flex weeks are subject to change 12 days in advance (6 days in Week 17) and should plan accordingly.
·NFL schedules all games.
·CBS and FOX each get to protect a total of 5 games in the 7 weeks of flexible scheduling, but not more than one game in any week.
·Teams will be informed as soon as they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.
FLOOD: An attempt to swamp the opposition or an area of the field with sheer numbers of players.
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.
F LOST abbreviation for fumbles lost
FLY See Fly Route
FLYER See Flier
Fly patterns can also be used to clear out space for other receivers. Generally, a fly pattern will draw the attention of both the cornerback assigned to the receiver as well as "over the top" help from a safety. This can create a large gap in coverage, allowing another receiver to run a shorter route, but then gain many yards after the catch because the safety committed to the deep man.
The famed "Hail Mary" play generally involves between three and five receivers all running fly routes in order to have the most chance of one of them catching the ball and scoring or at least gaining significant yardage.
The first Hail Mary was when Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach threw it to wide receiver Drew Pearson in the NFC championship game against the Minnesota Vikings in 1975.
Nickname for New England Patriots
FLYING WEDGE A flying wedge or flying V is a charging technique in which troops are arrayed to form a V- shaped wedge formation or boar's head.
A formation in American football that was introduced by Harvard in an 1892 game against Yale. The flying wedge was known for being brutally effective, but also resulting in a high rate of injury on both sides. Due to a number of injuries suffered in college football, by 1895 the formation was banned, though its concept remains in certain modern football plays. The flying wedge is also (for similar safety reasons) banned in Rugby Union
FLYING V See Flying Wedge
1. A game played with a ball on a rectangular field, 100 yards in length, with goal lines and goal posts at either end. Opposing teams of 11 players each attempt to gain possession of the ball and advance it by means of running and passing plays across the opponent's goal line. A team doing so scores a touchdown, worth six points, and then has the opportunity to kick the ball over the goalpost crossbar for one extra point. A field goal -- a kick over the crossbar other than when after a touchdown - counts three points.
Learn all about How To Play Footbal
2. A regulation NFL football is 11 inches (28 cm) long and about 28 inches (71 cm) in circumference at its widest point.
The majority of the football gear the players wear serve one purpose - protection. Although most of the pads worn are required by the rules, some gear is made for specific player positions.
The following describes the equipment for a basic
FOOTBALL GOAL: See Goal line
Since 1994, wireless communication has been allowed inside football helmets.
In 2002, American football equipment manufacturer Riddell released a new design of helmet called the Revolution. The newer design was released in response to a study on concussions. The design is becoming more popular in the NFL and NCAA, being used by notables such as Peyton Manning, Dwight Freeney, Casey Hampton, and Notre Dame's Brady Quinn.
The football helmet serves an aesthetic purpose as well. Because the helmet bears the team's logo, it serves as a trademark. Credit goes to the Los Angeles Rams as being the first football team to design graphics for their helmets.
The first helmets, circa 1915, were basic, leather headgear without face masks. With their flat top design, they bore a strong resemblance to the soft leather headgear worn by today's wrestlers. The design of these helmets primarily protected the players' ears; yet, without ear holes, this type of helmet made on-field communication virtually impossible.
Helmets with harder leather to help protect the skull first started making an appearance during World War I. In the ensuing years, increasingly harder leathers were used to provide even greater protection. During the same time frame, the first fabric cushioning came on the scene to help absorb the shock brought upon by collisions. Helmet makers also began to phase out the flat top design, replacing it with a more oval shape. The advantage to this new shape was it allowed for blows to the head to be deflected to one side, rather than forcing the top of the head to absorb most of the impact.
Football helmet design took a giant step in 1939 when the John T. Riddell Company introduced plastic helmets. This also led the way for a redesign of helmet straps, which to this point, were designed to be affixed around the neck. The redesign called for the straps to attach to the chin.
Within 10 years, leather helmets became obsolete. Two other significant events took place in the 1940s. The National Football League (NFL) made football helmets required equipment, and the first face mask was developed.
Each week, all of the helmet decals are stripped off and then replaced, the shells are cleaned with an SOS pad and then polished with Future floor wax.
FORT KNOX Nickname of the Buffalo Bills offensive line and its protection of quarterback Joe Ferguson in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Named after Bills coach Chuck Knox.
FOUL ON LAST PLAY OF HALF OR GAME See Official Ruling
A downed linemen's stance with four points on the ground, in other words, his two feet and his two hands.
In the four point stance the player places the second hand to the ground as well. The weight ratio between the hands and feet in the four point stance is 1-1. This stance is often used by linemen in obvious running downs to keep the line low and firing out at the opponent. It is also used by many power running teams as they pass very infrequently. It is difficult to pass block from the four point stance.
FR An acronym for Fumbles Recovered - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
FRANCHISE TAG The franchise tag is a designation given to a player by a franchise that guarantees that player a contract the average of the five highest-paid players of that same position in the entire league, or 120% of the player's previous year's salary (whichever is greater) in return for retaining rights to that player for one year. An NFL franchise may only designate one player a year as having the franchise tag, and may designate the same player for consecutive years. This has caused some tension between some NFL franchise designees and their respective teams due to the fact that a player designated as a franchise player precludes that player from pursuing large signing bonuses that are common in unrestricted free agency, and also prevents a player from leaving the team, especially when the reasons for leaving are not necessarily financial. A team is only allowed one "franchise player" in any one given year. A team may, at their discretion, allow the franchise player to negotiate with other clubs, but if they sign with another club, the first club is entitled to two first round draft picks in compensation
FRANCOS ITALIAN ARMY
The team often played a grueling
schedule of 15 to 20 games a season. Frequently, they would schedule
a home game on Saturday and an away game on Sunday of the same
weekend, due to
On October 26, 1931, the franchise suspended operations one day after the team defeated the Chicago Bears 13-12 at Wrigley Field a result that ultimately took on some historical significance because it would be the last time the Philadelphia-based NFL team won an away game over the Bears until October 17, 1999, when the Philadelphia Eagles won 20-16 at Soldier Field (Philadelphia also went 51 years without a road victory over the Green Bay Packers, the Eagles' 1979 win at Green Bay being the first since the Yellow Jackets had won there in 1928). Indeed, Bell and Wray reactivated the franchise on July 9, 1933 under the name "Philadelphia Eagles;" however, due to the gap in time between the Yellow Jackets' demise and the Eagles' birth (and the fact that virtually no players who were on the 1931 Yellow Jackets' roster also played for the 1933 Eagles), the NFL officially treats the two franchises as separate entities despite the commonality and continuity of their ownership.
Some observers, however, believe the two teams should be treated as one
A player whose contract with his most recent team has expired, allowing him to sign a new contract with any team that makes him an offer.
FREE AGENCY As defined by the CBA, a free agent is any player who is not under contract to any team and thus has fully free rights to negotiate with any other team for new contract terms. Free agents are classified into two categories: restricted and unrestricted. Furthermore, a team may "tag" a player as a franchise or transition, which places additional restrictions on that player's ability to negotiate. However, the ability to "tag" is quite limited, and only affects a handful of players each year.
Free agency in the NFL began with a limited free agency system known as "Plan B Free Agency", which was in effect between the 1989 and 1992 seasons. Beginning with the 1993 season, "Plan A Free Agency" went into effect, which is the system which remains in the NFL today
A free kick is a special play which does not occur from scrimmage. The kicking team begins behind the ball, while the receiving team must remain at least 10 yards downfield before the ball is kicked.
A kickoff is a kind of free kick used to start each half, and also used to restart the game following a field goal or touchdown. At the beginning of a half, the kicking team is determined by coin toss. After a field goal or touchdown, the kicking team is the team which just scored. A tee is used, unless the ball is blown off the tee by winds twice in succession, in which case the ball must be held by a member of the kicking team. The receiving team may recover and attempt to advance the ball at any time after the kick, but the kicking team may not field the ball until it has traveled at least 10 yards. The ball is usually kicked as deep as possible to the receiving team, in order to force the receivers to start far down the field, but sometimes a team will attempt to recover its own short kick, in a play known as an onside kick.
A free kick is also used to restart the game following a safety. The team that was trapped in its own end zone, therefore conceding two points to the other team, kicks the ball from its own 20-yard line. In this case, the free kick may be either punted or kicked from the ground, but a tee may not be used and the ball may not be held on the ground.
In the NFL and high school, a free kick may be taken on the play immediately after a fair catch.
He has to roam way back and stay there most of the time, just in case somebody (or a group of somebodies) really screw things up in the front and his job is to make Absolutely Positively sure nobody's getting past him.
YOU KNOW HE'S DOING HIS JOB WHEN: No matter what happens, by the time the free safety is involved, things mostly suck. If they suck bad, he may have helped keep it from sucking worse.
YOU KNOW HE'S NOT WHEN: Things have gone from totally sucking to totally screwed.
See Safety for full detail
FREEZE: Holding onto the ball for along time without scoring or attempting to score, to freeze the ball.
FRITZ POLLARD See Pollard, Fritz
Also Known As: defensive line
FROZEN NORTH See NFC North
FROZEN TUNDRA (of Lambeau Field) Nickname given to the home field of the Green Bay Packers. The phrase was first uttered by NFL Films narrator John Facenda as he described the 1967 NFL Championship Game, or "Ice Bowl", during which Lambeau's undersoil heating system failed and the field froze. Without a heating system, the severe winter climate of Green Bay, Wisconsin would frequently cause the field to freeze.
The second running back is called the Full Back.
Well, all of these backs - the Quarter, the Half, and the Full - all stand behind the front scrimmage line. Hence, Back. Why the percentage prefixes? Well, there are four backs allowed on the field behind the line of scrimmage, and some genius decided to call the positions the Quarter-back, the Half-back, the Full-back and the Set-back.
The-Full back is the big monster of the backs, and his job is mainly to make sure the Half-back gets his hole and can keep himself on his feet for as long as possible. Alternately, he becomes the last line of defense for the quarterback should one of those big neanderthals on the front line manage to break through and attempt to use the QB as a welcome mat. He's the bodyguard guy.
Every now and then, you'll see him in a trick play as a receiver.
See Backs for more detail
A fumble occurs when an offensive player such as the quarterback or a running back drops the ball while it is still in play. A fumble may also be forced by a defensive player who either grabs or punches the ball or butts the ball with his helmet (a move called "tackling the ball"). A fumbled ball may be recovered and advanced by either team (except at the end of the game, when the original fumbler is the only offensive player permitted to touch the ball, and even he may not advance it). It is one of two events considered to be turnovers, where possession of the ball can change during play.
Fumbles usually occur during the snap, while running the ball, or in a failed attempt at a lateral pass. Technically, however, if a player drops the ball while attempting to catch a lateral pass it is a muff (you can't "fumble" a loose ball). The result is the same and most announcers will still call it a fumble. Muffs also result when the ball is improperly fielded on kicking plays such as punts.
FUN BUNCH Early 1980s Washington Redskins wide receivers and tight ends. Their choreographed touchdown celebrations lead to a league ban of "excessive celebration" in 1984.
G An acronym for Games - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
GAMBLE (fantasy football term) A player with both high potential and high risk. Players in this category are usually injury-prone, have a high probability for being suspended, or are approaching the end of their career.
Colts head coach Tony Dungy
holds the game ball aloft after the team's 17-13 win over the Cardinals.
GANG GREEN Name of the Philadelphia Eagles defensive team from 1987 to 1990, when the team was coached by Buddy Ryan.
Now more likely to refer to the New York Jets
GARBAGE TIME also known as Junk time, is a term used to refer to the period of time at the end of a game when the outcome of the game has already been decided, and the coaches of one or both teams will decide to replace their best players with substitutes. This serves to give those substitutes playing time experience in an actual game situation, as well as to protect the best players from the possibility of injury.
G MEN Nickname of the New York Giants frequently used by "Boomer" Chris Berman.
GEORGE HALAS See Halas, George
GIANTS See New York Giants
The goal line is the chalked or painted line dividing the end zone from the field of play .
If any part of the ball reaches any part of the imaginary vertical plane transected by this line while in-bounds and in possession of a player whose team is striving toward that end of the field, this is called a touchdown and scores six points for the team whose player has advanced the ball to, or recovered the ball in, this position.
If any member of the offensive team is downed while in possession of the ball and at or behind the goal toward which the other team is striving, this is called a safety and scores two points for the defensive team.
If, during the course of play, a loose ball travels past the goal line and is recovered within the end zone, then it is a touchdown if recovered by the team striving toward that goal, or a touchback if recovered and downed by the team striving toward the goal at the opposite end of the field.
A goal line stand usually refers to a team's effort that keeps the opposition out of the end zone after they have started with a first down inside the five-yard line.
GRANGE, HAROLD "RED" Red Grange See Grange, Harold here
GREATEST SHOW ON TURF The
1999-2001 St. Louis Rams offensive team.
The team currently holds the record for the most NFL league championships with 12: nine NFL Championships prior to the Super Bowl era, and Super Bowl XXXI. The team also holds the distinction of winning the first two AFL-NFL Championship Games that were held before the AFL-NFL Merger.
The Packers are now the only publicly owned company with a board of directors in American professional sports. Typically, a team is owned by one person, partnership, or corporate entity; thus, a "team owner." It has been speculated that this is one of the reasons the Green Bay Packers have never been moved from the city of Green Bay, a city of just over 100,000 people. By comparison, the typical NFL football city must be populated in the millions to support a team. However, the Packers have long had a large following throughout the state of Wisconsin; in fact, for decades, the Packers played several home games each year in Milwaukee. The Packers did not move their entire home schedule to Green Bay until 1995.
Based on the original 'Articles of Incorporation for the (then) Green Bay Football Corporation' put into place in 1923, if the Packers franchise was sold, after the payment of all expenses, any remaining monies would go to the Sullivan-Wallen Post of the American Legion in order to build "a proper soldier's memorial." This stipulation was enacted to ensure that the club remained in Green Bay and that there could never be any financial enhancement for the shareholders. At the November 1997 annual meeting, shareholders voted to change the beneficiary from the Sullivan-Wallen Post to the Green Bay Packers Foundation.
City: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Team Colors: Dark Green, Gold, and White
Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
Hagemeister Park (1919-1922)
Split games between Milwaukee and Green Bay(1933-1994)
Borchert Field (1933-1935)
Green Bay Packers (1919present)
Indian Packers (1919)
In 1919, Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Calhoun pieced together a group in the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial room with the notion of starting a football team. Lambeau's employer at the Indian Packing Company - Frank Peck - provided jerseys, equipment and use of its athletic field for practice. Early on, the club was identified as a project of the company, hence Packers became a natural fit.
GRIDIRON: term for a football field. so called for its markings.
GRITZ BLITZ Nickname for the 1977 Atlanta Falcons defense.
GRS AVG An acronym for Gross Punting Average - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
The guard's job is to protect the quarterback from the oncoming defensive line and linebackers during pass plays, as well as creating openings (holes) for the running backs to head through. Guards perform speed blocking and "pulling"--sprinting out in front of a running back in order to block for him. Guards are automatically considered ineligible receivers, so they cannot touch a pass, unless it is to recover a fumble or is first touched by a defender or eligible receiver.
Guards, like other linemen, today are often over 300 pounds.
to run through, or they can turn into stone walls and simply keep the defensive guys from running through the center of the line to the quarterback. Preferably, they can do both at the same time.
You know they're doing their job when: The quarterback is still standing at the end of the play, and, if one of the running backs tries to run the ball up the middle, there's a hole there for him to run through.
You know they aren't when: The quarterback gets clobbered from the front, or the running back is stopped cold right at the line of scrimmage where the play started. (Or worse)
A player on the kick cover team that is the first down the field to make a play on the returner.
GUY CHAMBERLIN See Chamberlin, Guy
A Hail Mary pass or Hail Mary play is a forward pass made in desperation, with only a very small chance of success. The typical Hail Mary is a very long forward pass thrown at or near the end of a half where there is no realistic possibility for any other play to work, though the most famous were thrown at the end of a game. The phrase derives from the name of a prominent Roman Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary. The point is that the success of such a pass is so unlikely that it would need divine intervention to work.
Unless you're watching a very gifted team, you're probably seeing the ball being humped up the field by runners at least three times as much as you see it being plucked out of the sky. They call that "the ground game," and the half-back is one of the three guys that do it. In fact, the half-back (tail back) is the main guy who does it, and if your teams lucky enough to find a good one, he's going to rack up an obscene amount of carries per season. That's why he's called a "Running back." He runs.
HALFBACK OPTION PLAY a trick play in which the halfback throws a pass.
The halfback option play is an unorthodox play in American football. It resembles a normal running play, but the running back has the option to throw a pass to a wide receiver or tight end before crossing the line of scrimmage.
The key to the play is fooling the defensive players, primarily the defensive backs. If the defensive backs think it is just a normal running play, they will first immediately run upfield to try to tackle the running back, leaving the wide receivers wide open to catch a pass. Of course, if the defensive backs are not fooled, the running back carrying the ball does have the option to run instead of risking an incomplete pass or an interception.
The running play that halfback options usually resemble is a sweep play. Sometimes the quarterback will run out of the backfield and become a receiving option for the running back. This can be effective because the quarterback usually does very little after handing off or pitching the ball to the running back on most plays, and the defense might not be expecting him to be used as an active receiver.
The halfback option play usually has limited success and is not commonly used.
Half-time for spectators offers the opportunity to visit the toilet, get some food or drink, or just exercise cramped limbs, without the fear of missing any of the action. A show may be put on for the spectators to keep their attention, most famously in the case of the American football Super Bowl. As many spectators at the ground may be otherwise occupied using stadium facilities it might be inferred that the scale and spectacle of half-time entertainment is more directly related to the size of the potential television audience.
Half-time offers the opportunity to advertise, a valuable source of revenue for television companies. In addition, it allows analysis of the game so far by pundits. Controversial incidents or exceptional play may be highlighted at this time. It also allows viewers to catch up with any action that they may have missed.
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 length of time a punt is in the air.
HAROLD GRANGE See Grange, Harold
HARRISON, MARVIN: Click here
On an NFL football field, the hash marks are 4 inches wide and located 70 feet, 9 inches from the sidelines.
An H-Back is an offensive position in American football that is a hybrid between a fullback and a tight end. One team that prominently utilizes the H-back position is the Washington Redskins under head coach Joe Gibbs, who is one of the first coaches to use the positions. Gibbs is credited for revolutionizing the position.
Unlike the tight end, which Gibbs uses almost exclusively as an extra blocker on the offensive line, the H-back is asked to block, pass protect, and run receiving routes from multiple sets. The H-back can line up in the backfield, on the line, or is put into motion. On one play, he may be asked to serve as lead blocker for the tailback. The next, he may be sprinting 15 yards downfield to catch a pass. Due to the complexity of the position, a thorough knowledge of the offense is desirable in an H-back.
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.
A professional who is responsible for the overall actions of the players of the team he is associated with. He is typically paid more than other coaches. Other coaches are often subordinate to the head coach, often in offensive positions or defensive positions, and occasionally proceeding down into individualized position coaches.
Responsibilities and positioning of each game official.
During his four-year career at Yale, the school won 54 games while losing only 2. There were no limits on eligibility at that time and a student newspaper led a campaign to get him to play a fifth season, using the slogan, "Linger, oh linger, Heffelfinger," but he chose to play for the Chicago Athletic Association instead.
On November 12, 1892, Heffelfinger played a game for the Duquesne Athletic Club of Pittsburgh. He was paid $500, the first time a player was known to be given money, although there may well have been under-the-table payments before that. Heffelfinger forced a fumble, picked up the ball, and ran 35 yards for the only touchdown as Duquesne beat the arch-rival Allegheny Athletic Association.
Heffelfinger coached Lehigh University to a 6-8-0 record in 1894 and had a 7-3-0 record at the University of Minnesota in 1895. He then became a stockbroker, but occasionally helped with the coaching at Minnesota. In 1916, he returned to Yale to coach the linemen but, in his exuberant demonstration of how the game should be played, he knocked two of them out of action.
At fifty-four, Heffelfinger captained an all-star team that played a 1922 game against the Ohio State alumni to raise money for charity. He was on the field for 51 minutes in a 16-0 victory. On November 11, 1933, a few weeks before his sixty-fifth birthday, he played nine minutes in another charity game, his final appearance in a football uniform.
John Heisman was a prominent American football player and college football coach in the early era of the sport and is the namesake of the Heisman Trophy awarded annually to the season's best college football player.
He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but grew up in Titusville, Pennsylvania, where he played football for Titusville High School, graduating in 1887. He went on to play football at Brown University 1887-1889 and at the University of Pennsylvania 1890-1891. He coached at Oberlin College in 1893, went to the University of Akron in 1894, and returned to Oberlin the next year. In 1895, he went to Auburn University, where he stayed for five years. With all these schools combined, he lost only five games.
In 1900, he went to Clemson University, where he coached for four seasons before moving to Georgia Tech. He put together a spectacular 16 seasons there, including three undefeated seasons and a 32-game undefeated streak. He was coaching the Georgia Tech Engineers when they defeated the Cumberland University Bulldogs 222-0 in a game played in Atlanta in 1916, in the most one-sided college football game ever played, during which the Engineers scored with every possession of the ball. Heisman's running up the score against a totally outmanned opponent (supposedly motivated by revenge against Cumberland's baseball team running up the score against Tech 22-0 the previous year) was to prove a point that many would still consider valid, namely that the voters in media polls purporting to rank college football teams pay far too much opinion to the margin of victory at the expense of other factors, including the quality of opponents played, and that a truly superior team can schedule opponents so weak that it can essentially score as many points as it desires, rendering margin of victory useless as a measure of relative strength compared to other good teams.
He went back to Pennsylvania for one season in 1920, then to Washington and Jefferson College, before ending his career with four seasons at Rice University.
He was an innovator and developed one of the first shifts, had both guards pull to lead an end run, and had his center toss the ball back, instead of rolling or kicking it. He was a proponent of the legalization of the forward pass.
Heisman subsequently became the athletics director of the former Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan, New York, and in 1935 the club began awarding annually in his honor what is now almost universally referred to as the Heisman Trophy, given to the player voted as the season's best collegiate player. Voters for this award consist primarily of media representatives, who are allocated by regions across the country in order to filter out possible regional bias, and former recipients. Following the bankruptcy of the Downtown Athletic Club in 2002, the award is now given out by the Yale Club.
John Heisman Quotes
Don't cuss. Don't argue with the officials. And don't lose the game.
To break training without permission is an act of treason.
Gentlemen, it is better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football.
When in doubt, punt!
When you find your opponent's weak spot, hammer it.
HELMET See Football Helmet
HERALDS See Detriot Lions
The practice of teams producing highlight films appears to have emerged gradually during the 1970s; a particularly notable offering of this genre was that of the 1979 Dallas Cowboys; its title, America's Team, ended up being popularly applied to the club itself.
Today virtually all American sports teams produce annual highlight films, regardless of the outcome (good or bad) of the club's season; originally turned out as video cassettes, they are more commonly now done in DVD format.
A Hitch route is a pattern run by a receiver where the receiver will act like he is running a pattern down field, taking possibly one or two steps forward before quickly stopping and looking for a quick pass before the defender has a chance to react and try to deflect the pass.
This route can also be used in what is called a screen, where while the receiver is receiving the pass, one or more lineman, tight ends, or running backs will run in the direction of the receiver in order to block the initial pursuing defenders so that the receiver has time and space to be able to run after the catch.
HOGETTES A group of about twelve Washington Redskins fans who dress in drag and wear pig-noses.
HOGS The 1980s Washington Redskins offensive line. Name first used by offensive line coach Joe Bugel during the team's 1982 training camp prior to winning Super Bowl XVII.
The holder is the player who receives the snap during field goal and extra point attempts. The holder is usually positioned between seven and eight yards behind the line of scrimmage. The holder kneels down and places the hand furthest from the line of scrimmage on the ground with the other hand held out waiting for the ball to be snapped to him. After receiving the ball the holder places it on the ground, as quickly as possible, so that one end is touching the ground and the other end is supported by one finger. The holder also rotates the ball so that the laces are facing towards the goal posts.
During a "fake field goal" attempt the holder will pick the ball up and either throw a forward pass or run with the ball.
There can also be a holder during kickoffs and free kicks, but this is reserved for when the ball tee cannot keep the ball up by itself, usually due to wind.
There is illegal use of the hands or arms while blocking, usually a grasp or a tackle of a defending player; an automatic safety is assessed if the spot of the infraction is within the offensive team's own end zone.
Referee signal: one forearm vertically held in front of the body with a closed fist facing the referee's chest; the other hand grasping the first arm's wrist.
The penalty is enforced from the previous spot, unless the infraction occurred beyond the line of scrimage or during a running play, in which the penalty is enforced from the spot of the foul.
Or, when a player on offense commits an illegal block, such as if...
See Running Lane
HOLE NUMBER: A number assigned to each gap or space between the five offensive linemen and the tight end.
See Running Lane
What some believe should have been called an incomplete pass (and possibly intentional grounding) was seen as a fumble and the rest of the play involved illegal batting of the ball. The officials did not think the illegal actions were obvious enough to call a penalty so the play ended in a touchdown.
With 10 seconds left in the
game, the Raiders had possession of the ball at the Chargers 14-yard
line, trailing 20-14. Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler took the snap
and found himself about to be sacked by Chargers linebacker Woody
Lowe on the 24-yard line. Stabler lost the ball, and it rolled
forward towards the
During the play, the game
officials ruled that Banaszak and
However, when asked after the
game by radio announcer Bill King if he intentionally fumbled,
Stabler said, "You bet your ass I did." Banaszak and
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: the benefit a team gets by playing games in the area where it is based, due to fan support (noise), familiarity with its surroundings and the lack of required travel.
HOME GAME: a game played in a teams own stadium.
NFL owners, who held two days of meetings in Washington, D.C., supported a recommendation from the competition committee by a 27-5 margin to ban "horse collar" tackling in the open field. Utilizing the technique in the open field could draw a 15-yard penalty next season. Violators could also be fined.
The committee, mindful of a spike in lower-extremity injuries, noticed at least a half-dozen instances last season when players were hurt on "horse collar" tackles their legs, knees and/or ankles buckling under the pressure of an immediate yanking down from behind.
The directive is dubbed the "Roy Williams Rule" in reference to the defender whose use of the technique seriously injured Calico, Owens and Musa Smith, who suffered a fractured right tibia and missed the Ravens' final six games.
Calico had arthroscopic surgery and returned for one game but aggravated the injury and had subsequent surgery.
HOTDOG: A player who uses theatrics and "hams it up" for the camera.
*Bengals receiver, Chad Johnson to name one
HOUSE OF PAIN
House of Pain was used to describe the Houston Astrodome during NFL
games played by the Houston Oilers.
This was during the days that Warren Moon was the quarterback, and
the Oilers defense was a force to be reckoned with.
HOUSTON OILERS The Houston Oilers, a professional football team, are now known as the Tennessee Titans and belong to the Central Division of the American Conference of the National Football League. The club began play in 1960 as one of the original six franchises in the newly formed American Football League. K. S. "Bud" Adams was the team's original owner and still controls the team today. He also serves as the club's president. Adams selected the name Oilers for his Houston franchise for "sentimental and social reasons."
In the first AFL draft before that 1960 season, the Oilers made Billy Cannon their first pick and were able to sign him to a contract. Cannon had won the Heisman Trophy his senior year at Louisiana State University and gave instant credibility not only to the Oilers, but the entire league. Lou Rymkus was hired as the first ever head coach of the franchise, and his 1960 team proceeded to win the first AFL championship. The team played its home games in a renovated high school stadium because Rice University refused to allow the use of their stadium. The club won the AFL championship for the second time in a row in 1961, and Houston fans regularly filled Jeppesen Field.
Early in the 1994 season Jack Pardee was fired, and staff member Jeff Fisher was hired as the team's sixteenth head coach. Quarterback Steve McNair, the NCAA's all-time leader in passing yardage, was drafted. That year the team finished in last place in their division. Under Fisher the Oilers improved to 7-9, tied for second place in the division, in 1995; and 8-8, tied for third in the division, in 1996. Following the 1996 season, which had seen the professional debut of star running back Eddie George, the franchise moved to Tennessee changing the name to Tennessee Oilers . In both 1997 and 1998 the Tennessee Oilers finished 8-8. In 1999 the team changed its name from Oilers to Tennessee Titans and finished the year with a 13-3 record, good for second in the division, then went on to lose Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta to the St. Louis Rams on January 30, 2000.
The Houston Texans
American football club is a National Football League team based in
Year founded: 2002
City: Houston, Texas
Uniform colors: Steel blue, Battle red, and Liberty white
Helmet design: Blue
helmet with a bull head in the red, white, and blue colors of the
Head Coach: Gary Kubiak
Houston's expansion team was christened the Texans on September 6, 2000.
Hunt, the pro sports visionary who was the founder and owned the Kansas City Chiefs and came up with the term "Super Bowl," one of Americas most innovative and creative sports figures of the past half-century, died about 9:40 p.m. December 13, 2006 at a Dallas hospital of complications from prostate cancer. He was 74.
Hunt is one of the most influential sports promoters in the United States. He was one of the founders of the American Football League and Major League Soccer. He is also the founder and owner of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Wizards of the MLS.
Founding of the American Football League
Hunt applied for an National Football League expansion franchise but was turned down. In 1959, professional football was a distant second to Major League baseball in popularity and the thinking among NFL executives was that the league must be careful not to "oversaturate" the market by expanding too quickly.
In response, in 1960 Hunt led several other investors in forming the AFL. Hunt encouraged, wheedled, and cajoled seven other like-minded men to form this new league. One of them, fellow Texan Bud Adams of Houston, had likewise tried but failed to be granted an NFL franchise. Lamar Hunt's goal was to bring professional football to Texas and to acquire an NFL team for the Hunt family. Hunt became owner of the Dallas Texans, and hired future hall-of-famer Hank Stram as the teams first head coach.
HURRY Occurs when a defense's on-coming rush forces the quarterback to throw before he intended to, throw erratically or off target.
The hurry-up offense, or two-minute drill, is an American football offensive strategy designed to run a series of plays quickly and efficiently using as little of the time remaining as possible. Very few rushing plays are called and most passing plays are designed to be out patterns, towards the sideline so the receiver can get out of bounds. Typically a play will last between 3 and 7 seconds in a hurry-up offense.
Plays can be from either a practiced script, called in from the sideline, or called by the quarterback at the line of scrimmage depending on the situation. If a defense has adjusted to an offense's gameplan well all night, plays may be called in from the sideline ad-lib to better gain the advantage over a defense that was prepared against what the offense was trying to do. If a defense has not adjusted well all game, a coach may opt to run the practiced two-minute drill done in practice throughout the week. The hurry-up is sometimes called a no-huddle offense, though the no-huddle is properly a subset of hurry-up offenses.
The hurry-up offense revolves around strategic management of the remaining time of the game clock. There are a number of techniques used to stop the clock from running down:
Drawing penalties or intentional fouls (it should be noted that this is not always smart. If there are only a few seconds left on the clock and someone on a team with no time-outs purposely commits a penalty, there is a 10-second run-off).
Creating penalties by starting plays as the defense is still switching out players, and has the wrong number of players on the field.
The Indianapolis Colts are notorious for this kind of offense.
I20 abbreviation for inside the 20 (found in STAT records)
IDP acronym for Individual Defensive Player
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.
The I formation is one of the most common offensive formations in football. The I formation draws its name from the vertical (as viewed from the opposing endzone) alignment of quarterback, fullback, and running back, particularly when contrasted with the same players' alignments in the now-archaic T formation.
The formation begins with the usual 5 offensive linemen (2 offensive tackles, 2 guards, and a center), the quarterback under center, and two backs in-line behind the quarterback. The base variant adds a tight end to one side of the line and two wide receivers, one at each end of the line.
The I formation is typically employed in running situations. The most common plays out of this formation are running plays up the middle. It is a power formation that allows the fullback to lead the way through the line and make room for the tailback carrying the ball.
Despite the emphasis on the running game, the I formation remains an effective base for a passing attack as the defense will generally be looking for a running play.
The formation supports up to three wide receivers and many running backs serve as an additional receiving threat. While the fullback is rarely a pass receiver, he serves as a capable additional pass blocker protecting the quarterback before the pass. The running threat posed by the formation also lends itself to the play-action pass. The flexible nature of the formation also helps prevent defenses from focusing their attention on either the run or pass.
Many subtypes of the I formation exist, generally emphasizing the running or passing strengths of the base version.
The I formation, in any variant, can also be modified as Strong or Weak. In either case, the fullback lines up roughly a yard laterally to his usual position. Strong refers to a move towards the side of the quarterback with more players, weak in the opposite direction. These modifications have little effect on expected play call.
Many different types of plays can be run out of the I Formation:
This play is designed to stetch the defense vertically, as both wideouts run deep routes to their respective sides of the field. If either receiver is left with single coverage, look to go deep with the pass. However, if both receivers are well covered, look to go underneith to the tight end or running back as both should be matched up against linebackers.
Triple Option Right
The triple option is one of the most consistently effective running plays if it is run correctly and practiced often.
The quarterback must be able to
read the defense quickly, and make decisions based on what he sees.
The first read is the defensive end on the play side. If that end
turns his shoulders perpendicular to the line of scrimmage and
commits himself to stoping the full back, the quarterback keeps the
ball and runs along the line of scrimmage. The quarterback then looks
for a hole to get upfield. If that hole is filled by someone (the
free safety fills the hole), he then pitches the ball to the tailback
to take the ball out wide.
This play is designed to get the tailback outside of the defense. This involves a zone blocking scheme that is designed to have each man block the man to his right. Some defensive linemen will be double teamed immediately, but then the assigned offensive lineman must leave the double team to pick up the linebacker.
The sweep play is used by almost every football team in the country. It provides a change of pace to the power running done up the middle, but requires good speed and timing from the offensive line to be executed correctly.
In the NFL, the I formation is less frequently used than in college. The increasingly common Ace Formation replaces the fullback with an additional receiver, who lines up along the line of scrimmage. The I will typically be used in short-yardage and goal line situations.
IGGLES See Philadelphia Eagles
Referee signal: One arm in front of the body with palm out and fingers up, moved in a pushing motion out.
Fewer than 7 players on the line of scrimmage (or more than 7 in NFL), fails to have an eligible receiver as the leftmost and rightmost players on the line in the NFL, or fails to have five properly numbered ineligible players on the line.
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 FORWARD KICK any kick made from in front of the line of scrimmage. This results in a loss of down and a ten yard penalty. It is the least called penalty in the National Football League
Referee signal: One hand, flat, waved behind the small of the back.
Referee signal: One open fist in a pushing motion to the referee's chin.
Referee signal: One arm in front of chest, palm open and down, with the elbow out to the side, moved away from chest.
Illegal motion results in a five yard penalty against the offending team.
ILLEGAL PASS See Incomplete Pass
The penalty for illegal procedure is five yards against the offending team.
Illegal procedure includes, but is not limited to:
A player is not in motion but is not set before the snap; more than one player is in motion at the snap; or after more than one player was moving (shifting), all eleven players have not been motionless for one second.
Referee signal: two arms in front of chest, palms open and down, with the elbows out to the side, moved away from chest.
The penalty for an illegal shift is five yards against the offending team.
ILLEGAL SUBSTITUTION: A player may only enter the field of play while the ball is dead. They must also only leave crossing their own sideline. Substitutes entering the game must enter the field passed the numerals. Finally, except for the last two minutes of the half, the offense must not rush to the line and hurry up a snap if they are substituting.
Penalty: Automatic 1st Down
Referee signal: one hand held up to shoulder, fingertips touching the shoulder.
Referee signal: one forearm vertically held in front of the body with an open fist facing away from the referee's chest; the other hand grasping the first arm's wrist.
There are several restrictions on how a defender may initiate contact, such as when...
An acronym for Punts
inside the 20 yard line, (a touchback
is not an inside-20) -
usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
acronym Inside 20 punts divided by
Net Punts - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
After an incomplete pass, the football is spotted back at the previous line of scrimmage.
For example, if the quarterback throws the ball to one of his wide receivers, and the receiver either does not touch it, or tries to catch it unsuccessfully, it is ruled as an incomplete pass. An incomplete pass causes the down to advance by one and the offensive team gains no yards. Additionally, the game clock is stopped. However, if the receiver catches the ball, has possession of it (rules vary by league), then loses control of it for any reason, it is ruled a fumble. If a member of the opposing team gains possession of the ball before it hits the ground, it is ruled an interception.
If the receiver (or a defending player) is touched by a member of the opposing team in a way that prevents him from catching the ball, it is ruled pass interference, resulting in a penalty against the touching player's team. The exception to this rule is if the ball is deemed 'uncatchable' by the referees, in which case a pass interference penalty is impossible.
INCOMPLETION See Incomplete Pass
The Indianapolis Colts American football club is a National Football League team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The club has won four NFL Championships and two Super Bowls:
The team began play in 1953 as a second incarnation of the previous Baltimore Colts team in the NFL. The original Colts team began play in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference and joined the NFL in 1950 after the AAFC merged into the older league, but folded after the season. After fans in Baltimore, Maryland protested, this newer Colts team was formed.
In 1984, the Colts moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis.
City: Indianapolis, Indiana
Head Coach: Tony Dungy
Team Colors: Royal Blue and White
Uniform colors: royal blue and white
white background, blue horseshoe
Memorial Stadium (Baltimore) (1953-1983)
RCA Dome (1984-present)
a.k.a. Hoosier Dome (1984-1993)
Lucas Oil Stadium (scheduled to open in 2008)
Baltimore Colts (1953-1983)
In 1946, the Miami Seahawks of the All-American Football Conference were relocated to Baltimore. Charles Evans of Middle River, MD., won a name contest by submitting Colts. His reasoning? "Colts are the youngest entry in the league, Maryland is famous for its race horses and it is short, easily pronounced and fits well in newspaper headlines." The franchise kept the name when it moved to Indianapolis in 1984.
Referee signal: One palm touching the top of the head with the elbow out to the side.
1 a : an ethereal fluid held to flow from the stars and to affect the actions of humans b : an emanation of occult power held to derive from stars
2 : an emanation of spiritual or moral force
4 : the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways : SWAY
5 : one that exerts influence
basicall, it means that the player's injury is severe enough that they don't anticipate him being able to play that year. If he becomes healthy during the season, he still cannot come back until the following season. It's a risk, but by placing them on IR, a team opens up a roster spot for someone else.
INJURY REPORT - NFL teams are required to provide injury reports on a daily basis. These reports list player injuries and status for the upcoming game. Injury reports are useful to fantasy team owners when determining who to start and who to cut loose. The reports are somewhat general in nature designating injured players as either "probable" (75% chance of playing), "questionable" (50% chance of playing), "doubtful" (25% chance of playing) or "out" (no chance of playing). NFL teams often use this report strategically and fudge in which category to place injured players to affect how opponents prepare for an upcoming game. However, once a player is designated as officially "out," he can't see any action in the upcoming game.
1. of a player's path: relatively close (in reference to the sides of the field) to where the ball was snapped from. Thus, a ballcarrier's path in crossing the neutral zone may be said to be "inside" of an opponent, or an "inside run" in general, and a rushing defensive player may be said to put on an "inside move" or "inside rush".
2. of the movement of the ball between players: directed toward a player who cuts between a player in the backfield who throws or hands the ball and the place from which it was snapped. Thus, an "inside pass" or "inside handoff". An "inside reverse" (sometimes called a scissors play) is a reverse play via an inside handoff.
INSIDE 20 PUNT According to the NFL, "Credit a player with an inside-20 when his punt is not returned to the receivers' 20-yard line or beyond. Also credit an inside-20 when a punt does not penetrate the 20, but the returner carries the ball back inside the 20 and his return ends there. A touchback is not an inside-20.
INSIDE 20 PERCENTAGE Inside-20 punts divided by Net Punts.
The referee must see "indisputable visual evidence" for a call to be overturned. If the challenge fails, the original ruling stands and the challenging team is charged with a timeout. If the challenge overrules the previous call, the call is reversed with no loss of a timeout. Prior to the 2004 NFL season, the instant replay rule was slightly changed to allow a third challenge if both of the original two challenges were successful.
After the 2-minute warning of each half, and in overtime, reviews can only take place if the replay assistant, who sits in the press box and monitors the network broadcast of the game, determines that a play needs review. In those cases, the replay assistant will contact the referee by a specialized electronic pager with a vibrating alert.
One concern about replay that was addressed some years ago was the situation where a coach would seek a review of a non-challengable call (such as being forced out of bounds, or in some cases to challenge a runner down by contact). Prior to the rule being clarified, a team would lose the challenge and a time-out. The current rule does not penalize a team in such a case, provided the rule is not abused or taken advantage of.
The NFL replay system currently only covers the following situations:
The replay system replaced a system used during the 1986-87 and 1991-92 seasons where a procedure similar to college football's was used. This is still used in the NFL today. While there is some controversy over the appropriateness of some overturned calls, the system is generally accepted as an effective way to ensure a fair game.
In college, coaches are not allowed to request a replay review of a play. However, in Division I-A conferences, a replay official in the press box observes all plays. If he deems a ruling may be in error, he notifies the officials on the field to interrupt the game before the beginning of the next play. The replay official performs the review and relays the decision to the referee, who announces the result.
High school rules do not provide for video review of any decisions by officials during the game. Further, the use of television or video tape for coaching purposes during the game is prohibited. If a coach feels a rule has been misinterpreted, he may call timeout and request a coach-referee conference to discuss the ruling with the referee, but no replay equipment will be consulted during the conference.
INT % An acronym
for Interception Percentage (Interceptions
thrown divided by pass attempts)
- usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
A forward pass is thrown intentionally away from eligible receivers so that the passer avoids being tackled for a loss
NFL penalty: 10 yards or spot of foul, whichever is farther from the original line of scrimmage, and loss of down. If the penalty occurs with less than a minute left in the 1st or 2nd half, a 10-second penalty is also enforced. If it occurs with 10 seconds or less left, the half automatically ends. The 10-second runoff does not apply if the penalized team uses any of the alloted time-outs in lieu of the runoff. The defense, unfortunately, is not credited for a QB sack on intentional grounding penalties.
College penalty: Spot of foul and loss of down; defense awarded a quarterback sack in some leagues.
In both NFL and college, intentional grounding from the offensive team's own end zone constitutes an automatic safety unless the defense chooses to decline the penalty, which might only ever happen if the infraction had occurred on a fourth-down play. If the quarterback has moved outside of the area between his offensive tackles (the "pocket"), there is no penalty for grounding the ball if the quarterback throws the ball past the line of scrimmage.
There is also no penalty for
"spiking" the ball to stop the game clock, by throwing it
directly into the ground.
See Official Ruling
Interceptions are predominantly made by the secondary or the linebackers, who are usually closest to the quarterback's intended targets: the wide receivers. However, it is not uncommon for a defensive lineman to get the occasional interception from a tipped ball or a near sack.
IN THE RED ZONE: See Red Zone
IntYd An acronym for Interception Return Yards - usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
IR acronym for Injured Reserve
IRON MAN OF NFL Nickname given to Brett Favre for his legendary toughness and ability to come back from and play through many injuries.
See More on Jim Irsay Here
While previously the owner of the-then Los Angeles Rams, Irsay essentially traded franchises with Carroll Rosenbloom, the-then owner of the Colts in 1972.
See More on Robert Irsay Here
Jaguars American football club is a National Football League team
Year founded: 1995
City: Jacksonville, Florida
Head Coach: Jack Del Rio
Uniform colors: Teal, Black, and Gold
A snarling jaguar head on solid black, with black facemask, white
chinstrap and gold number on the back.
ALLTEL Stadium (1995-present)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1995present)
Jacksonville held a contest in 1991, two years before the city was awarded the NFL's 30th franchise. Jaguars claimed the majority of votes, besting a group that included Sharks, Stingrays and (ironically) Panthers.
JAGS See Jacksonville Jaguars
JAGUARS See Jacksonville Jaguars
The reason it's called a jailbreak is because the offensive line releases automatically downfield to block.
This play is best used in 2nd or 3rd and long situations where you expect a pass rush from the defensive line and a softer zone or Cover-2 defense. The ace-formation spreads out the defense to set up the play. The quarterback takes the snap and looks straight upfield as to not tip off the play to the defense. Meanwhile, the guards release downfield to pick up their blocks. The receiver makes a very quick fake upfield, then comes back towards the quarterback to make the catch. Once the receiver has the ball, he should look to find the left guard and go around his block and head upfield.
Also See Screen Pass
JAILBREAK SCREEN PASS
JAX See Jacksonville Jaguars
JEROME BETTIS See Bettis, Jerome
He is the holder of 38 NFL records, a record in itself. Rice has scored the most touchdowns in NFL history(207), and holds virtually every significant career record for receivers, including receptions (1,549), yards receiving (22,895), all-purpose yards (23,540), touchdown receptions (197) and consecutive games with at least one catch (274). In most cases, the next most prolific player isn't close; for example, he's 67 receiving touchdowns ahead of second place Cris Carter, who is also retired. He is the only one of the top 25 scorers in NFL history who didn't kick the football. Rice also gained 645 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns, an extremely large amount for a wide receiver.
His postseason stats are equally high. Rice played in 28 postseason games, amassing 2,245 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns, both NFL records, along with 44 rushing yards. He also holds Super Bowl records for most career receptions(33), career receiving yards(589), career touchdown receptions(8), single game receptions(11), single game receiving yards(215), single game touchdown receptions(3, a feat he accomplished twice), career total points(48), single game points(18) and career total yards(604)
JIM IRSAY See Irsay, Jim
JIM THORPE See Thorpe, Jim
JOHN McNALLY See McNally, John
JOHNNY UNITIS See Unitis, Johnny
JOSEPH CARR See Carr, Joseph
See I Formation
The Kansas City
Chiefs American football club is a National Football League team
Originally called the Dallas Texans, the club was founded in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. The team moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs in 1963 after then-Kansas City mayor H. Roe Bartle guaranteed to the team that they would have increased ticket sales. The Chiefs then joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger.
The Chiefs hold the distinction of being the second AFL team (after the New York Jets) to defeat an NFL club in an AFL-NFL World Championship Game when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
Kansas City, Missouri had a National Football League team prior to the Chiefs that operated under two different names: The Blues in 1924 and the Cowboys from 1925-1926.
City: Kansas City, Missouri
Current Head coach: Herm Edwards
Red helmet with white arrowhead bearing initials K.C.
Dallas Texans (1960-1962)
Also see Kansas City Blues
This original AFL franchise was originally the Dallas Texans but relocated to Kansas City. Owner Lamar Hunt picked Chiefs as a nickname to honor Kansas City mayor Roe "The Chief" Bartle for his efforts in securing the team. Bartle promised to enlarge Kansas City's Municipal Stadium and guaranteed Hunt three times as many season ticket sales as his club had in Dallas.
KANSAS CITY COWBOYS See Kansas City Blues
KARDIAC KIDS The 1980 Cleveland Browns, who had a penchant for having games decided in the final moments.
KEY: Watching a player to try and see the direction in which he is going to be moving. A player may make small movements such as foot placement, etc., that can give away his next move to an observant player who is keying him.
KICKER: See place kicker
KICKING GAME: The game strategy revolving around punting and place-kicking.
When a player kicks a ball from a tee at his own 30-yard line (35 in college) to the opposing team, whose player tries to advance it the other way; used to start the game, the second half and overtime, and to restart play after each score.
The ball is placed on a tee (or held) at the kicking team's 30 yard line (35 yard line in college and high school). The kicking team's players line up on the field parallel to and behind this line and may not cross it until the ball is kicked. A valid kickoff must travel at least 10 yards (though the ball is usually kicked as far as possible--40 to 70 yards), after which any player (though usually one on the receiving team) tries to catch or pick up the ball and advance it down the field before being downed. Occasionally, the kicking team may set up a kick with the intent to recover it; this onside kick is a play where the kicker tries to kick the ball just over the required 10-yard distance in a manner such that a teammate might catch it after a lucky bounce.
KICKS FROM SCRIMMAGE See Official Ruling
KICK RETURNER See Returner
KILLER BEES See The Killer Bees
A quarterback kneel, also called "taking a knee", occurs when the quarterback immediately kneels to the ground after receiving the snap. It is primarily used to run the clock down, either at the end of the first half or the game itself, in order to preserve a lead or a win. Although it generally results in a loss of a yard and a down, it minimizes the risk of a fumble, which would give the other team a chance to score.
Occurs when a defender knocks the opposing team's quarterback to the turf following a running or passing play. Not considered a sack because the quarterback has relinquished possession of the ball by the time the defender hits him.
LAMAR HUNT See Hunt, Lamar
LAME DUCK - A franchise that isn't functioning or whose owner hasn't been adequately managing the team by changing starting lineups to keep play competitive. Generally, it involves a team that has been doing badly or an owner that has lost interest. Many leagues have provisions for taking-over inactive franchises.
a sideways or rearward throwing of the football to a teammate. The pass cannot itself advance the ball, though of course the receiver can advance after catching it. This is distinguished from a forward pass, which moves the ball closer to the goal line. The rules allow forward passes to be thrown only from behind the line of scrimmage.
There are virtually no restrictions on the use of laterals. Any number of laterals may be thrown in a given play. Any player may throw a lateral from any position on the field to any other player. (But if the lateral is thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage and it advances the ball, it is considered an illegal forward pass.) If the lateral is complete and the receiver is behind the line of scrimmage, the receiver may in turn throw a forward pass. If the defensive team takes possession of the ball, they may also freely throw laterals, but not forward passes.
Unlike a forward pass, if a lateral hits the ground or an official, play continues because the lateral is considered a fumble. The ball may be recovered by either side. In NFL rules a backward pass other than the snap, if muffed by a receiver before it first touches the ground, after it touches the ground the ball becomes dead if an opponent recovers it.
LEFT GUARD: See Guard
The Left Tackle would be the one on the left of the Quarterbak on the line
The left tackle is usually the team's best pass blocker. Most often he will protect the quarterback's blindside (if the quarterback is right-handed) on passing plays and usually will have better footwork and agility than the Right Tackle in order to counter-act the pass rush of defensive ends.
Linebackers play behind the defensive line and perform various duties depending on the situation, including rushing the passer, covering receivers, and defending against the run. Most defensive sets have between two and four linebackers. Linebackers are usually divided into three types: strongside (Left- or Right- Outside Linebacker: LOLB or ROLB); middle (MLB); and weakside (LOLB or ROLB). The strongside linebacker (nicknamed "Sam") usually lines up across from the offense's tight end; he is usually the strongest LB because he must be able to shed lead blockers quickly enough to tackle the running back. The middle linebacker ("Mike" or "Mack") must correctly identify the offense's formations and what adjustments the entire defense must make, all in the fleeting seconds before the offense starts play (by snapping the ball to the quarterback). Because of this, the middle linebacker is nicknamed the 'quarterback of the defense'. The weakside linebacker ("Will") is usually the most athletic or fastest linebacker, because he usually must defend an open field.
Jersey Numbers: 50 - 59
YOU KNOW THEYRE DOING THEIR JOB WHEN: The ball advances no more than four yards from where it started. Then theyre doing their job&ldots; but theyre still doing it pretty crappy. The closer to the line of scrimmage, the better theyre doing.
YOU KNOW THEYRE NOT WHEN: The further away from the line of scrimmage the ball goes, the more theyre sucking.
Responsibilities and positioning of each game official.
There are two types of linemen: offensive linemen and defensive linemen. The offensive linemen comprise of the offensive line, while the defensive linemen comprise of the defensive line.
Lineman protect and block for the backs. On running plays, the linemen block defensive players out of the way of the ball carrier. This is called run blocking. When the quarterback throws a pass, the linemen remain stationary and allow the defense to come to them. This is referred to as pass blocking. Linemen are not allowed to touch the ball except for the center and the split ends.
Players are not permitted to put any type of gel or "stick 'ems" on their gloves.
An imaginary line which no player
may cross before the snap;
each team has its own line of scrimmage, separated by the neutral
It is the line from which the next play will begin.
When the players of both teams line up to begin the next play, no member of either team may, prior to the snap of the ball, cross the line of scrimmage. This region around the line of scrimmage is also known as the neutral zone. In order for there to be a legal beginning of a play, a certain number of the players on the offensive team, including certain eligible receivers, must be at, on or within a few inches of the line of scrimmage.
Sportvision provides a product called 1st & Ten which allows broadcasts of American football to include a visible yellow line which may represent the line of scrimmage or the minimum distance that the ball must be moved for the offensive team to achieve a first down.
The yellow line that a TV viewer sees during a live broadcast of a football game. It goes the width of the football field and indicates where the first down marker is located. The purpose of the line is to make it easier for television viewers to follow play on the field. There is also often a second line (usually blue or red in color) that is used to identify the line of scrimmage. The 1st & Ten line is made available by a private company called Sportvision and was developed in 1998.
LNG An acronym
- usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT
A "bad snap" is a snap which causes the delay of a kick or the failure of a play. It is usually because of an inaccurate snap.
The long snapper still performs the normal tasks of a center and also runs downfield after the ball has been punted to help defend the punt return.
Most teams employ a specialist long snapper instead of requiring the normal center to perform this duty.
In 1946, Rams' owner Dan Reeves, fed up with poor attendance at Cleveland Stadium and competing against the Cleveland Browns (then members of the All-America Football Conference), the Rams became the first NFL team based on the West Coast. (There had been a team called the Los Angeles Buccaneers in 1926, but they played their schedule on the road only.) Reeves inked a deal with the city to lease the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the team played there from 1946 to 1979.
Rosenbloom had long been bothered by the Coliseum Commission's apparent foot dragging on building luxury boxes at the Coliseum, which he saw as essential to future success. He broke off negotiations with the Commission and started to negotiate to play at Dodger Stadium, but Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley did not want a football team playing at Chavez Ravine. Rosenbloom was petitioned by Orange County Supervisor Ralph Clark, the founder of the Los Angeles Rams Booster Club, to move the team to Anaheim Stadium, the home of the California Angels. Clark convinced Angels owner Gene Autry to okay the remodeling of Anaheim Stadium to accommodate the Rams, expanding capacity to 68,000 and putting in seating appropriate to football. In 1980, the Rams moved to Anaheim from Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
LOS ANGELES RAIDERS Prior to the 1980 season, Al Davis attempted unsuccessfully to have improvements made to Oakland Coliseum, specifically the addition of luxury boxes. That year, he signed a Memorandum of Agreement to move the Oakland Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles. The move, which required three-fourths approval by league owners, was defeated 22-0 (with five owners abstaining). When Davis tried to move the team anyway, he was blocked by an injunction. In response, the Raiders not only became an active partner in an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (who had recently lost the Los Angeles Rams), but filed an antitrust lawsuit of their own. After the first case was declared a mistrial, in May 1982 a second jury found in favor of Davis and the Los Angeles Coliseum, clearing the way for the move. With the ruling, the Raiders finally relocated to Los Angeles for the 1982 season to play their home games at the Los Angeles Coliseum as Los Angeles Raiders.
In the summer of 1988, rumors of a Raiders return to Oakland intensified when a preseason game against the Houston Oilers was scheduled at Oakland Coliseum. Negotiations between Davis and Oakland commenced in January 1989, and on March 11, 1991, Davis announced his intention to bring the Raiders back to Oakland. By September 1991, however, numerous delays had prevented the completion of the deal between Davis and Oakland. On September 11, Davis announced a new deal to stay in Los Angeles, leading many fans in Oakland to burn Raiders paraphernalia in disgust.
On June 23, 1995, Davis signed a letter of intent to move the Raiders back to Oakland. The move was approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors the following month, as well as by the NFL. The move was greeted with much fanfare under new head coach Mike White.
Louisville, Kentucky had two professional American football teams in the National Football League: the Brecks from 1921 to 1923 and the Colonels in 1926.
The Louisville Brecks went out of business during the 1923 season after their home park burned down. The Brecks are the last team from the four currently extant major professional sports leagues of North America to play its home games in Kentucky, although the Kentucky Colonels played in the American Basketball Association until its merger with the National Basketball Association in 1976.
The Louisville Colonels were created in 1926 to fill the schedules of the expanded NFL, but they were a road-only team that operated out of Chicago.
LOUISVILLE COLONELS See above
LST An acronym
for Fumbles lost
- usually found in a Teams or Individual Players STAT Reports
L YDS abbreviation for lost yards (found in STAT records)
a player on offense who is moving backwards or parallel to the line of scrimmage just before the snap. In American football, only one offensive player can be in motion at a time, cannot be moving toward the line of scrimmage at the snap, and may not be a player who is on the line of scrimmage. In Canadian football, more than one back can be in motion, and may move in any direction as long as they are behind the line of scrimmage at the snap.
The award is the youngest of the three awards presented to college football quarterbacksthe Davey O'Brien Award was first given in 1981, whilst the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, for which only seniors are eligible, dates to 1987and is one of the only of the major college football awards not to be presented prior to the contesting of bowl games; it is thus the only award presented in the calendar year subsequent to that of the season for which it is earned.
MANNING, PEYTON Click Here
MARINO, DAN See Marino here
MARKS BROTHERS The prolific Miami Dolphins wide receiver duo of Mark Clayton and Mark Duper who played with quarterback Dan Marino in the 1980's.
MARVIN HARRISON: Click here
Johnny Blood (as he came to be known) was an integral example for players of every position. He was incredibly intelligent as a young man and graduated high school at 14, but was fairly unathletic for most of his youth. However, in his days at St. John College he became not only the captain of the basketball team, but a letterman in track, baseball, and of course football, all in his junior year.
Johnny got his first professional position with the '25-'26 Milwaukee Badgers, where he became famous as the "Vagabond Halfback." His off-the-field behavior and spontenaiety probably attracted more attention than his unlikely skill. He was 6'1" and 188 bs. in his prime; tall, slender, and vicious. He was ridiculously fast and agile, had excellent pass catching ability, and passed, punted, and tackled with the best of them.
Between 1929 and 1936 he played with the Green Bay Packers, who with him on the field won four championships. He amassed a total of 14 seasons with 5 different teams. In 1937 He was moved to the Pittsburgh Steelers (then the Pirates) where his first play he returned a 92 yard kick for a touchdown, in what is probably the most stunning debut a player has ever had for any team. He ended his career in 1939 as the coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
John McNally died
MEASUING See Official Ruling
The Miami Dolphins American football club is a National Football League team based in Miami, Florida. The Dolphins began play in the American Football League as a 1966 expansion team, and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger.
In 1972, the Dolphins completed the NFL's only perfect season to date, winning every regular season game, two playoff games and Super Bowl VII. The team also won Super Bowl VIII and has appeared in 3 other Super Bowls.
For most of their history, the Dolphins were coached by Don Shula, the winningest head coach in professional football history. His Dolphins teams posted losing records in only 2 of his 26 seasons with the club. In 1972 the Dolphins became the first and only NFL team to complete a 14-game regular season (and the entire postseason) without a loss. Five future Hall of Fame members played for Miami during the 1970s, including running back Larry Csonka and quarterback Bob Griese. During the 1980s and 1990s quarterback Dan Marino became the most prolific passer in NFL history, breaking numerous league passing records. He led the Dolphins to numerous playoff appearances and Super Bowl XIX.
Head Coach: Nick Saban
Aqua Green, Coral
Uniform colors: Aqua Green and Orange (Dark Blue was added to the logo and uniforms as an accent color in the late 90's by then coach, Jimmy Johnson). The Dolphins primarily wear white jerseys at home, except for night contests when they dress in aqua jerseys. Since the 2003 season, the Dolphins have worn an alternate orange jersey once each season for nationally televised contests. They are 2-0 in games wearing the alternate jersey.
A dolphin wearing a football helmet, jumping in front of an orange sunburst
Miami Orange Bowl (1966-1986)
Miami Dolphins (1966present)
After Miami was awarded an AFL expansion franchise in 1965, a contest was held to determine the name. A dozen names were forwarded to a seven-member screening committee of local media and Dolphins was the runaway winner. Although 622 entrants submitted Dolphins, Mrs. Robert Swanson of Miami won the two lifetime passes to Dolphins games. The tiebreaker was picking the winner and score of a 1965 tilt between Notre Dame and the University of Miami. The game ended in a scoreless tie.
The team's schedule was quite difficult. Miami opened with three straight road games, had a single home game, and then played another four road games. After a 1-7-0 start, the team returned home to host their final six games (a difficult sell to the general public). Brooklyn, Cleveland, and San Francisco had completed their 14-game regular seasons before the Seahawks hosted their final two home games.
In 1947, the Seahawks moved north to Baltimore. The team would be re-named the Baltimore Colts via a fan contest, in honor of Maryland's rich history of racing and breeding horses.
MIDDLE SCREEN See Screen Pass for Full Definition
Hall of Famers
MINNEAPOLIS MARINES The Minneapolis Marines were a football team that existed prior to the Minnesota Red Jackets and later the Minnesota Vikings. The Marines existed between the years of 1905-1924 and were owned locally by Minnesotans John Dunn and Val Ness. Composed primarily of working class teenagers, the Marines did not have an excellent record, however, they were initially triumphant before losing several players to other teams in their league. The Minneapolis Marines are of historical value to Minnesota, as they existed prior to the nationally known Minnesota Vikings. During the early 1920's, many professional football teams had come and gone, yet the Marines, owned locally by Dunn and Ness seemed to be virtually unknown to most football fans. The team mostly grew up in the area of the Cedar/Washington avenue which was located close to the Metrodome. Some of the first games were played at Camden Park, Parade Stadium, and Bottineau Field and were later played played at larger stadiums such as Niocollet and Lexington Park. The Marines initially won many of their games as they were participating in a semi-pro NFL league. Dunn was extremely happy with the Marines initial performance and he wanted to move his team to the higher ranks of football; the professional leagues. Dunn moved the Marines away from the teams they had already beaten and into a new stadium called Nicollet Park. Nicollet Park was the previous home of the Minneapolis Millers baseball team and was a lot bigger than what the Marines were used to. Dunn scheduled games against out of town teams and the Marines went on to have a huge winning streak of 34 games in a row. However, their first loss brought them down big time and it appeared their winning streak came to a halt after the Marines lost the 1910 Thanksgiving game against Minnesota's All Star Team.
The American football club is a National Football League team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Originally, the ownership group was to have a team in the American Football League, but withdrew from the AFL and agreed to join the NFL as a 1961 expansion team.
Also see Minneapolis Marines
The Vikings have won their division 16 times, and became the first team to appear in four Super Bowls. But the club also became the first one to lose 4 Super Bowls.
City: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Team Colors: Purple, Gold, and White
Minnesota Vikings (1961present)
General manager Bert Rose recommended Vikings to Minnesota's Board of Directors in 1960. The name represents both an aggressive person and the Nordic tradition inherent in the region.
MOCK DRAFT (fantasy football term) 'pretend' draft, usually conducted by fantasy football experts, designed as a drafting aid to indicate the value of players. Mock drafts give fantasy owners an idea of the likely draft position of individual players.
MONSTERS OF THE MIDWAY Originally applied to the Chicago Bears of the early 1940s, but revived for the 1980s Bears and subsequent successful Bears defensive teams.
Beginning as an amateur athletic club team in Chicago, Illinois named the Morgan Athletic Club, which was founded by Chicago painter/builder Chris O'Brien. They began to field a pro team even before the founding of the NFL.
MOTION: When an offensive player begins to move laterally behind the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped.
Motion refers to the movement of an offensive player prior to the snap of the ball and while all other offensive players are in an unmoving, set stance. Motion can only be parallel to or away from the line of scrimmage. Motion by the offense changes the offensive formation and makes the defense adjust its coverage and formation.
MOUSETRAP: See trap block.
MULTIPLE OFFENSE: offense strategy using a number of formations.
MVP: An acronym for Most Valuable Player. An award given to the best player in a game or for the season.
In August of 1973, the current three-division setup of Division I, Division II, and Division III was adopted by the NCAA membership in a special convention. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Division I football was further divided into I-A and I-AA in 1978. Subsequently the term "Division I-AAA" was added to delineate Division I schools which do not field a football program at all. In 2006, Divisions I-A and I-AA were respectively renamed the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE See NFC
Prior to the 1960s, the most popular version of American football was played collegiately. After the 1958 NFL Championship Game (which went into overtime), the NFL's greatest spurt in popularity came in the 1960s and 1970s with the merger of the rival American Football League, or AFL (1960-1969).
Currently, the league's 32 teams are divided into two conferences: the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). Each conference is then further divided into four divisions consisting of four teams each.
During the league's regular season, each team plays 16 games over a 17-week period generally from September to December. At the end of each regular season, six teams from each conference play in the NFL playoffs, a 12-team single-elimination tournament that culminates with the NFL championship, the Super Bowl. This game is held at a pre-selected site which is usually a city that hosts an NFL team. One week later, selected all-star players from both the AFC and NFC meet in the Pro Bowl, currently held in Hawaii.
Some tend to refer to it as No Fun League
NET KICKOFF AVERAGE Kickoff Yards, minus Return Yards, minus 20 yards for every Touchback, divided by Kickoffs.
Gross punting yards, minus Return Yards, minus 20 yards for every Touchback, divided by Total Punts
NET PUNTS Punt attempts which were not blocked.
The neutral zone can be described as the length of the football from one tip to the other when it is spotted on the field prior to the start of the next play. No member of either team may be "inside" the neutral zone when the ball is snapped or a penalty will be called.
A new definition of
the neutral zone came into effect after a
Exception: The offensive player (Center) who snaps the ball.
Nevers attended Stanford University, where he was an All-American, and played in the 1925 Rose Bowl. Former coach Pop Warner called Nevers "the football player without a fault", and he was often compared to Jim Thorpe. Although Nevers excelled in several sports, including basketball and baseball (he gave up two home runs to Babe Ruth in his 60-homer season of 1927), he signed a contract with the Eskimos. The Eskimos were a unique team, as they had no actual home, and played all their games on the road. After two seasons for Duluth during which he played almost every minute on offense and defense, he did not play in the 1928 season. However, he returned to the NFL to play fullback and coach the Chicago Cardinals from 1929 to 1931. During one game in 1929, Nevers set a record that is unlikely to be broken anytime soon. Not only did Nevers score every touchdown (6), but he kicked four extra points, giving the Cardinals 40 points over the cross-town rival Chicago Bears. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
NEWARK TORNADOS See Orange Tornados
NEW ENGLAND PATHETICS Nickname given to The New England Patriots as they were caught cheating in 2007.
Also see Bill Belicheat
The New England Patriots American football club is a National Football League team based in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The club is the second team in NFL history, after the Dallas Cowboys, to win 3 Super Bowls in just 4 years.
Originally called the Boston Patriots, the team began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger. The club was renamed "New England Patriots" in 1971 after moving from Harvard Stadium in Boston, Massachusetts to Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough.
Head Coach: Bill Belichick
Team Colors: Blue, Red, Silver, and White
Helmet design: A man's face in silhouette, wearing a red-white-and-blue tricorn hat. The man's sideburns and stylized hat led to the nickname "Flying Elvis"
A group of New England sportswriters picked Patriots as a tribute to Patriot Day, which celebrates Paul Revere's ride.
Nickerson Field (1960-1962)
Gillette Stadium (2002-present)
Boston Patriots (196070)
City: New Orleans, Louisiana
Team Colors: Old Gold, Black, and White
Helmet design: Gold helmet with a black fleur-de-lis
Head Coach: Sean Payton
Tulane Stadium (1967-1974)
Alamodome (Half of
the 2005 season)
* To be determined due to damage by Hurricane Katrina (2006)
Due to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina to the New Orleans area, the team has set up headquarters and practice fields in San Antonio, Texas. The team's home games are currently being split between the Alamodome in San Antonio and Louisiana State University's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. However, currently it is undetermined where the Saints will play in 2006 and beyond, although on Dec 30, 2005, the NFL and owner Tom Benson announce the team would return to Louisiana for the 2006 season. There are persistent rumors that the team might relocate permanently to San Antonio, or even Los Angeles.
Currently, the Saints are one of four teams, along with Seattle, Jacksonville and Houston never to have played in either a Super Bowl or any other NFL championship game. They are the oldest franchise with that dubious distinction.
New Orleans Saints (1967present)
The New Orleans NFL franchise was awarded on All Saints Day (Nov. 1) in 1966. Plus, the song "When the Saints Go Marchin' In" in often associated with the city of New Orleans.
NEW YORK BULLDOGS See New York Yanks
NEW YORK GIANTS - NFC East
The New York Giants American football club is a National Football League team that originated in New York City, but is currently based in the suburb of East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants were one of five teams that joined the NFL in 1925 The Giants have won six NFL titles, including two Super Bowls.
Formerly known as:
The New York Football Giants
The Giants were founded in 1925 by original owner Tim Mara with an investment of $500 and became one of the first teams of the NFL. Mara owned the team until his death in 1959; it was passed to his son Wellington.
Year founded: 1925
City: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Team Colors: Royal Blue, Red, Gray, and White
Uniform colors: Royal blue with red trim
Helmet design: Royal blue, with a white lower-case "ny" logo
Head Coach: Tom Coughlin
Home field: Giants Stadium (1976-present)
Unofficial Nickname(s): Big Blue, G-Men
New York Giants (1925present)
In 1925, Tim Mara
purchased New York's first professional football team for a reported
$500. Mara decided on Giants because his team would play at the Polo
Grounds, the home of baseball's New York Giants.
The New York Jets American football club is a National Football League team based in the New York City area. The team plays its home games in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and is headquartered and trains in Hempstead, New York on Long Island.
Originally called the New York Titans, the team began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. The club was renamed the "Jets" after Sonny Werblin bought the team in 1963. The Jets then joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger.
City: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Head Coach : Eric Mangini
Team Colors: Green and White
Uniform colors: Green and White
A green oval, with the letters "NY" superimposed, and
superimposed over that, the word "JETS" and a football
Polo Grounds (19601963)
New York Titans (1960-1962)
New York's AFL squad was originally the Titans. In 1963, after three seasons, a five-man syndicate bought the franchise. On the same day they hired Weeb Ewbank, the owners announced that they were changing the team's name to Jets. It sounded like New York's baseball Mets and LaGuardia Airport was nearby.
NEW YORK TITANS The New York Jets were originally known as the New York Titans, the team played home games at the Polo Grounds. But they had trouble attracting crowds despite fielding respectable teams that finished .500 (77) during their first two seasons. After a 59 season in 1962, the team's future was in doubt. It was saved from bankruptcy by a group headed by MCA head Sonny Werblin and Leon Hess, who bought the team from Harry Wismer on March 13, 1964. Hess eventually bought out his partners, and retained sole ownership until his death. His estate then sold the team to Johnson & Johnson heir Robert Wood Johnson IV in 2000.
After Werblin and Hess took over, the team was renamed the New York Jets as they planned to relocate from the Polo Grounds to Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets, one year later. Shea Stadium lies so close to LaGuardia Airport that the sound of jets roaring overhead was a common sound heard during games played there. (The Jets thus became the second sports-related entity to use the "-ets" formulation. They were followed by the New York Nets basketball team, the New York Sets, World TeamTennis' first franchise in the market, and "New York Bets" used as a nickname for New York State's Off-Track Betting operation.) The colors of the team were also changed from blue and gold to kelly green and white, which also were the colors of Hess' gasoline stations.
Exactly one month after the sale of the team, the Jets hired Weeb Ewbank as head coach. Ewbank had won back-to-back NFL championships in 1958 and 1959 with the Baltimore Colts, and was one of the most respected coaches in the game.
The Yanks finished the 1950 NFL season with a winning record, however the team collapsed back to a single victory in 1951.
The franchise was reported to have been 'sold back' to the league following the 1951 season, but it is more likely the franchise was revoked by the league and canceled by the NFL. A group in Texas bought the rights to the franchise, whereupon the team was resurrected as the Dallas Texans for 1952. For the 1953 season, what remained of the Dallas Texans organization was awarded to the city of Baltimore to form the Baltimore Colts.
NEW YORK YANKEES Not to be confused with the New York Yanks that played in the 1950s.
The New York Yankees were a professional American football team from 1926 to 1928. They played their home games at Yankee Stadium. The team featured Red Grange at running back.
The team arose as a result of a contract dispute between Grange and his previous team, the National Football League's Chicago Bears. When in 1926 the Bears refused to agree to new terms for Grange's services, his agent, C. C. "Cash and Carry" Pyle, formed the new team as part of a new league, the American Football League (AFL). While the Yankees had moderate success, the other eight teams failed, and the AFL lasted just one season. In 1927 the Yankees were admitted to the NFL.
New York Yankees
These 16 teams are organized into four divisions (North, South, East, and West) of four teams each. Each team plays the other teams in their division twice (home & away) during the regular season in addition to 10 other games/teams assigned to their schedule by the NFL in the April before. 2 of these games are assigned on the basis of the teams' final record in the previous season. The remaining 8 games are split between the roster of two other NFL divisions. This assignment shifts each year. For instance, in the 2005 regular season, each team in the NFC East will play a game apiece against each team in both the AFC West and the NFC West. In this way division competition consists of common opponents, with the exception of the 2 games assigned on the strength of the each team's prior season record.
At the end of each football season, a series of playoff games involving the top six teams in the NFC are played, consisting of the four division champions by place standing and the top two remaining non division champion teams ("wildcards") by record. The two teams remaining play in the NFC Championship game with the winner receiving the George Halas Trophy. The NFC Champion plays the AFC Champion in the Super Bowl.
Last updated 2005
It began in 1970 after the merger between the NFL and the American Football League. The NFC was formed with most of the teams that played in the NFL before the merger.
For more details on this topic, see NFL playoffs.
At the end of each football season, a series of playoff games involving the top six teams in the NFC are conducted, consisting of the four division champions and two wild card teams. The two teams remaining play in the NFC Championship game.
When the division was created after the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970, the division also included the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite relocating to Arizona in 1988, the Cardinals continued to belong to the NFC East until the 2002 re-alignment when they were put into the NFC West. Although the St. Louis Rams are geographically farther east than Dallas, the Cowboys remained in the NFC East and the Rams stayed in the NFC West due to long-standing rivalries: The Cowboys with the three other teams in the East, and the Rams with the San Francisco 49ers in the West.
The NFC North currently has four members: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. Thus the division contains the same alignment as the original NFC Central that was created after the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970, and which originally acquired the "Black and Blue" monicker.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the fifth member of the NFC Central in 1977 after they spent their first year in the league as a member of the AFC West, but they were moved to the NFC South after the 2002 re-alignment. With the departure of Tampa Bay, the division is also sometimes facetiously called the "Frozen North", although two of its four teams, Detroit and Minnesota, have played their home games indoors for at least two decades.
Prior to the 2002 realignment, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers belonged to the NFC Central while the other three teams were part of the NFC West.
When the division was created after the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970, the division had the following four teams: Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, and San Francisco 49ers. When the Seattle Seahawks began play in 1976, they spent their first year in this division before moving to the AFC West the following year. In 1995, the new Carolina Panthers team was put into the NFC West. And even though the Rams moved to St. Louis that same year, they remained in this division.
The 2002 re-alignment changed the entire look of the NFC West. The Falcons, Panthers, and Saints moved out into the NFC South, while the Cardinals and Seahawks moved in.
NFL See National Football League
NFL CHAMPIONSHIP: the game held from 1933 through 1965 to decide the champion of professional football; renamed the Super Bowl in 1966.
At the time of its disbanding, there were six teams in the league: five based in Germany and one in the Netherlands. Players in NFL Europa were predominantly assigned by National Football League teams who wanted these younger, "developmental" players to get additional game experience and coaching. The expenses of these players and their coaches while living in Europe were assumed by the league.
On June 29, 2007, the NFL announced NFL Europa would immediately cease operations.
* The four division champions from each conference (the team in each division with the best regular season won-lost-tied record), which are seeded 1 through 4 based on their regular season won-lost-tied record.
The 3 and the 6 seeded teams, and the 4 and the 5 seeds, face each other during the first round of the playoffs, dubbed the Wild Card Round. The 1 and the 2 seeds from each conference receive a bye in the first round, which entitles these teams to automatically advance to the second round, the Divisional Playoff games, to face the Wild Card survivors. In any given playoff round, the highest surviving seed always plays the lowest surviving seed . And in any given playoff game, whoever has the higher seed gets the home field advantage (i.e. the game is held at the higher seed's home field).
A major disadvantage that critics cite in the current system is that a divisional winner could host a playoff game against a wild card team that earned a better regular season record. For example, the Tennessee Titans finished the 2003 regular season with a 12-4 record, but only qualified as a wild card team and thus had to face the Baltimore Ravens, the AFC North division champions with a 10-6 record, in Baltimore, Maryland.
NFLPA An acronym for National Football League Players Association
A defensive back is referred to as a nickel back when he is the fifth defensive back on the field.
a cornerback who serves as the fifth defensive back on defense. Like a dimeback, nickelbacks are backup corners (as opposed to the #1 and #2 corners, who are considered starters). Nickelback is usually played by a slightly better cornerback than dimeback and the player must be better at run defense, as the nickel formation is mainly used as a compromise between run and pass defense formations.
The alignment features four downed linemen, two linebackers, and five defensive backs.
Teams usually switch to a nickel defense when the opposition's offense is in obvious passing situations.
NICKEL FORMATION See Nickle Defense
NIGERIAN NIGHTMARE Nickname given to Christian Okoye of the Kansas City Chiefs due to his large size, powerful running style and Nigerian roots.
NINERS Nickname for San Francisco 49ers
No. abbreviation for number
The no-huddle offense is a tactic in American football designed to minimize clock usage and/or to keep defense's off-guard.
The offense has a series of plays called in a single huddle, from the sideline, or at the line of scrimmage, and run those plays consecutively without going into a huddle. This keeps the defense from calling different plays to counter the situation. It also hampers the defense's ability to switch players in and out as the offense controls the play.
The no-huddle offense is most often used at the end of a half either the first half (for momentum) or the end of the game (to possibly win the game).
Commentators and fans sometimes use the term "no-huddle offense" to describe a hurry-up offense (also known as a two-minute drill), a formation or series of formations and plays scripted in practice and designed to score from any point on the field in under two minutes. However, the no-huddle is sometimes used by teams to take the advantage away from the defense at any point in the game. If a team is trailing in the fourth quarter, they may opt for a hurry-up offense with more than two minutes remaining, and in Super Bowl XXXIX the Philadelphia Eagles were criticized for not doing exactly this when 24-14 down with just under six minutes remaining, almost four of which were used up in the touchdown drive.
Some teams like to use it to try to gain momentum in the middle of the game if their offense is struggling. Other teams, like the Indianapolis Colts under Peyton Manning and the Buffalo Bills under Jim Kelly's K-Gun offense, sometimes go almost the whole game without ever getting in a real huddle.
NO NAME DEFENSE The 1970s Miami Dolphins defensive team, especially that of its undefeated 1972 season, which performed excellently despite a lack of recognizable stars. They earned their nickname the previous year when Dallas coach Tom Landry said in an interview prior to Super Bowl VI that he could not remember the names of the Miami defensive players.
A nose guard is generally big and strong enough to take on double teams on a consistent basis.
The primary responsibilities of the nose tackle are to stop the run and to occupy the offensive lineman to keep them from blocking the linebackers.
Why they have the term as a "TACKLE" is beyond me, it turns out they hardly ever tackle anything at allWhat they do do is line up directly opposite the center, and at the snap they run headlong into his chest. Then they push and shove with the Offense's center for about 25 seconds, by which time a bunch of other people heve done important things that will have ramifications on the game's progress
Unlike the offensive line, where the middle five guys are pretty much set, you wont always see the nose tackle on the line, so dont get freaked out if you dont always see him out there. The nose tackle is pretty much an obsolete position in modern defense. Nowadays, you're much more likely to see four guys up there on the front line, with the defensive tackles pulling double duty.
YOU KNOW HES DOING HIS JOB WHEN: The quarterback hands the ball to a runner who heads smack towards the center of the line and then either veers off, bounces off, or gets swallowed up entirely at the line of scrimmage for no yardage.
YOU KNOW HES NOT WHEN: The quarterback hands the ball to a runner who heads smack towards the center of the line and keeps going, like a gerbil coated in Crisco. Just remember to make sure the nose tackle is on the field before you blame him.
Also known as Nose Gaurd
The Oakland Raiders American football club is a National Football League team based in Oakland, California. Legally, the club is a limited partnership operated by Al Davis, who serves as President of the team's general partner, A.D. Football, Inc.
The Raiders began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger. The team has won one AFL title and three Super Bowls.
In 1982, Davis moved the team from Oakland to Los Angeles, California and the club became known as the Los Angeles Raiders, but they moved back in 1995.
City: Oakland, California
Head Coach: Art Shell
Silver with a black shield with crossed swords and image of a Raider.
Kezar Stadium (1960)
In 1960, Oakland held a contest to pick a name for its AFL team. The fans chose Senors, but Oakland management opted for Raiders.
ODDS: The returns on money bet on a game, based on the likely outcome of the game as determined by an Oddsmaker (see below).
ODDSMAKER: One who establishes the odds for sports betting.
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.
The tactical goal of any offense in football is to score points. The offense wants to score touchdowns and if they cant do that then they want to kick a field goal. To move the ball down the field into scoring position the offense can either run the ball or pass the ball. More often than not a combination of running and passing that works best.
The offensive team or offense is the team that begins a play from scrimmage in possession of the ball. A play usually begins with the quarterback taking a snap from the center, and then either handing off to a back, passing to a receiver or a back, or running the ball himself. The object of the offensive team is to put scores for their team. Usually the sign that their goal is accomplished for the offensive team is the Touchdown.
The offensive unit in American football consists of a quarterback, linemen, backs, and receivers. The function of most of the linemen is to block. The offensive line consists of a center, two guards, two tackles and one or two tight ends. Backs include running backs (or tailbacks) who frequently carry the ball, and a fullback, who usually blocks, and occasionally carries the ball or receives a pass. The primary function of the wide receivers is to catch passes.
The ultimate makeup of the offense and how it operates is governed by the head coach or offensive coordinator's offensive philosophy.
On offense, there are three type of players: linemen, backs, and receivers. The players' abilities combined with the coach's philosophy will determine what formations a team will run their plays out of. Also, in many cases a coach will choose players with abilities that complement certain offensive formations and plays he likes. The basic offensive positions and those players' duties, however, generally do not vary from team to team.
The position name (as well as the initial abbreviations recognized by coaches, players, and fans alike, shown in quotes below) may vary from one team's playbook to another, but these are the ones most commonly used:
The quarterback starts play by receiving the ball from the center. On a running play, he can hand the ball off to one of his running backs (or occasionally, run the ball himself). On passing plays, he can throw the ball to a wide receiver, a tight end, or a running back. Offensive lineman are ineligible to catch the ball unless they report as eligible to the officials before the play.
Running Backs are usually divided into Halfbacks and Fullbacks. The names are an anachronism from the days when the most common formation was the I-formation. In the I-formation, the Quarterback, Halfback, and Fullback all line up in a line, with the Half back twice as far back as the Quarterback, and the Fullback twice as far back as the Halfback. Today, they are more easily divided by their role in the offense. The halfback is the one who runs most often, while the fullback is usually used as a lead blocker. Of course, the fullback may run the ball occasionally as well. On passing plays, the running backs may either have a route to run, which means they are one of the eligible receivers on the play, or they may be kept back to help the offensive lineman block.
See also Offensive Linemen
OFFENSIVE FORMATION The offense almost always sets up first before a play. An offensive formation consists of seven men on the line of scrimmage, with five of those being the offensive line, consisting of the left and right tackle, left and right guard, and a center. The other two players are usually either wide receivers, tight ends, or a combination of both. The other four players always consist of a quarterback and then any combination of running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. These four players can line up anywhere behind the line of scrimmage. However, the quarterback is virtually always behind the center, either directly behind him to receive the snap "under center" or behind him about five yards if in the shotgun formation. The other players can also go in motion lateral to the line of scrimmage, however only one player can be in motion at a time. The difference in the types of formations are the number of running backs and where they line up. However there are different variations of each formation dependent on the number of wide receivers and tight ends used.
Here is a list of various offensive formations with the number of each position:
Note that the description above applies only to a line that is balanced, i.e. that has equal numbers of players on both sides of the player who is to snap the ball. In an unbalanced line, there may be players designated "guard" next to each other.
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.
From left to right they are the left tackle, the left guard, the center, the right guard, and the right tackle. In the NFL, the offensive linemen are the only offensive players allowed to have numbers between 50 and 79. On passing plays, the offensive lineman's job is to prevent defensive players from tackling the quarterback (pass blocking). On running plays, the offensive lineman's job is to make holes in the defense that a running back can run through (run blocking). The center also has to initiate the play by snapping the ball to the quarterback
Referee signal: two arms in front of the body with palms out and fingers up, moved in a pushing motion out.
Offensive pass interference results in a 10-yard penalty on the offending team.
In the calling of a play, just like on defense, there are condensed play calls that are translated into more complicated plays in the heads of each player. An example of a running play the quarterback would call in the huddle would be:
Pro Left 35 Power
The first word denotes the formation of the offense; in this case it is the Pro Set, a one tight end, two wide receiver formation where the fullback and running back line up at equal depths in the backfield, one player to either side.
The second word indicates the strong side of the formation, generally the side featuring the tight end and flanker (a wide receiver lined up away from the line of scrimmage) in most formations. The split end receiver lines up on the opposite (weak) side, on the line of scrimmage. The tailback also lines up on the weakside. There are formations where there are exceptions like I-form, where the tailback is lined up neither left nor right, since the tailback is inline with the fullback and quarterback, or trips bunch, where all three receivers are on the same side.
The first digit in the number ('3' in the above example) denotes who the ball is going to:
* 10 - Quarterback
* 20 - Fullback
* 30 - Tailback/Running Back
* 40 - Third running back or slotback (rarely used in American football, generally used in Canadian football in wishbone formation if at all because of the 12th player available)
The second digit in the number ('5' in the above example) denotes where the ball carrier will pass thru the line (between two linemen, called the "hole"). The holes are even to the right of the center and odd to the left of the center. In this case,
The last word indicates the type of play. In this case ("power"), the fullback would be leading the running back through the hole.
The receivers have their own designations too:
* X -
* Y - Tight End / Slot Receiver
* Z - Wide Out
Here is a diagram of how the formation would look based on the play called:
Were this to be the Base I formation, with the tight end on the right, then there would be a 6 hole, which would be outside the tight end. As it is, this play would be a run between the tackle and the tight end.
Passing uses a different type of naming. Since it is not always certain who the ball is going to, each receiver has a route. An example is:
Again, the I is the formation, and there is no formation modifier word this time. However, there is the "Y-Motion" call (this is an arbitrary name, there are different ways of calling motion for every coach.). In this case it refers to the Y-receiver, and calls for him to motion across the formation to the other side moments before the snap is called. This time the digits correspond to 3 different receivers, and each digit represents a number on the passing tree. The first digit is the X receiver, the second is the Y receiver, and the last is the Z receiver.
In this case, the split end is running a slant, the tight end is running a drag, and the wide out is running a corner. The H-Swing call is a route for the backfield, in this case a swing route for the halfback (tailback). This call is optional, the absence of which calls for the halfback to block.
In both running and passing plays, blocking schemes are tacit and rehearsed. Different types of plays call for different schemes and those differences can also be encoded in the play. For example, plays in the 200s might designate play action pass protection whereas the 300s might refer to a blocking scheme designed for long QB drops. Passing plays call for the linemen to step back and protect against the pass rush, with the backs and tight ends occasionally helping. There is variation to this, in the form of sprintouts, rollouts, play action passes and screen passes. Running plays call for the linemen to get a push against the defense, moving forward to help the running back gain yardage by opening holes and blocking would-be tacklers. Variations may be pulling guards (often used on trap, counter, and other plays to the outside) and draw plays.
Often the choice of running play depends on the strengths of an offensive team, and the weaknesses of the defense they are opposing. For example, plays to the outside of the offensive tackles are often advantageous for a team fielding a fast running back, since it would ostensibly reduce the effectiveness of the slower defensive linemen, whereas inside runs would be favoured by a slower "power" running back, since the back is easier to tackle running to a side rather than straight ahead. Some plays also offer better cutback lanes to better allow an agile running back to make defenders miss and thereby increase yardage.
Similarly, run strategy can be
decided by the weaknesses of the defense. A weakness of the interior
defensive linemen, the tackles, may be targeted by running a lot of
runs inside, since theoretically the offensive guards could moving
the tackles at will, creating wide open holes for the back to run
through. A team with weak defensive ends may have trouble containing
the runner outside, and the offense would therefore look to get
outside and break off some big runs.
Sometimes, a run play
and pass play is mixed in play called "Flea-Flicker" which
is a trick play, where the Quarterback hands the ball to the Running
Back who pretends to run but stops immediately and under-arms the
ball back to the Quarterback. Most of the times, when the ball is
handed to the Running Backs, the Corner Backs (covering the
receivers), think it as a running play and cease covering the
receivers and return toward the line of scrimmage for run support.
The Quarterback can then take advantage passing the ball to wide open
receivers for long yardage. If successfully executed, this play often
results in a touchdown.
SPECIAL OFFENSIVE PLAYS
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.
A tackle is the strong position on the offensive line. They power their blocks with quick steps and maneuverability. The tackles are mostly in charge of the outside protection. If the tight end goes out for a pass, the tackle must cover everyone that his guard isnt, plus what the tight end isnt covering in case his man comes in to make pressure. Usually they defend against defensive ends.
The left tackle is usually the team's best pass blocker. Most often he will protect the quarterback's blindside (if the quarterback is right-handed) on passing plays and usually will have better footwork and agility than the Right Tackle in order to counter-act the pass rush of defensive ends.
The right tackle is usually the team's best run blocker. Most running plays are towards the strong side (the side with the Tight End) of the offensive line. Consequently the Right Tackle will face the defending team's best run stoppers. He must be able to gain traction in his blocks so that the running back can find a hole to run through.
The Left and Right Tackles
On the far side of the guards come the really big boys - the tackles. They're really big for two reasons. The first is that they're on the outside ends of the formation, and they need to make sure that nobody, but nobody does an end-run around the formation and loops back behind the line to drop the quarterback before he does whatever it is he's going to do with the ball.
The second is that he has to have the extra horsepower to blow a hole in the defensive line to create a running lane - a gap through which a guy can run the football through the enemy line.
You know they're doing their jobs when: If the QB is still standing at the end of a play, and the running backs find an inside path into enemy territory.
You know they aren't when: Three things - if the running back coming up the center can't make forward progress, if any of the other guys manage to bully through the center to the quarterback, or if somebody manages to slip around them and get to the QB from the sides.