ITP Glossary: Bounce

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From punt gunner to climbing the pocket, commentators rarely get to explain everything you need to know before the next play. Inside The Pylon’s glossary was developed to give fans a deeper understanding of the game through clear explanations, as well as image and video examples. Please contact us with any terms or phrases you’d like to know more about.


On an outside zone run, the running back has three options: bend, bang, or bounce. As the offensive line flows to the playside, the running back takes the handoff at the mesh point and reads the defense. He can bend back to the weakside, bang into an open rushing lane, or bounce to the edge and try to out run the defense to the sideline.NFLReview4WashingtonPlay2Still3

As this play begins the offensive line all fire out in unison to the left, while the running back takes the handoff aiming for the left side:NFLPreview5SDPlay1Still1

The running back will read the flow of the blocking, and choose between three options: bang, bounce and bend. Should the blocking open up a crease on the interior, between the tackle and guard, that is his bang read, and he will cut inside. Should the defense flow well on this play, he can spot a cutback lane, and bend this back in that direction:NFLPreview5SDPlay1Still3

If the defense collapses on the interior, he can bounce to the outside:Carlos-Hyde-9-yard-run-outside-zone-markup-2

The  San Francisco 49ers use 13 personnel, with all three tight ends lined up to the left side where they run outside zone. Tight ends Vernon Davis (#85) and Garrett Celek (#88), and guards Alex Boone (#75) and Jordan Devey (#65) all execute “reach” blocks, getting to the playside (left) shoulders of the defenders and walling them off to the right.

That frees up tackles Joe Staley (#74), Erik Pears (#71), and Marcus Martin (#66) to get into the second level and block the linebackers. No one has to use brute strength to shove his man off his spot, but they all need to move quickly so the run can develop. Running back Carlos Hyde (#28) follows the blocking and picks up a 9-yard gain.

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Mark Schofield &Dave Archibald wrote this entry. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofieldFollow Dave on Twitter @davearchie.

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