Football Term Glossary

Football offenses are littered with basic and advanced concepts, and the Inside the Pylon Football Term Glossary is dedicated to providing you all of the information possible regarding offense in football. From formations and alignments, to techniques and scouting terminology, Inside the Pylon has created a vast glossary of key terms, giving you both written definitions and annotated video to help aid your learning. These clear explanations help to educate both casual and die-hard fans on critical concepts on offense, and provide more insight into watching football.

Positions

Techniques

  • ACE Block – The ACE block is a combination block between the center & play-side OG to the backside LB that is typically run in a gap or power-blocking scheme.
  • Bang – On an outside zone run, a running back selects the bang option by moving through a running lane opened by his line between blockers.
  • Bend – On an outside zone run, a bend occurs when the running back cuts back to the backside of the blocks into open space.
  • Bird Dogging – When hunters track birds, they rely on dogs to freeze and stare towards the prey. Known as bird dogging, QBs do this too when they lock onto a target.
  • Bounce – On an outside zone run, a bounce occurs when a running back chooses to bounce around the last blocker towards the sideline.
  • Cadence – Cadence refers to all of the verbal signals delivered by the quarterback before the start of the play. Cadence is not to be confused with snap count, which is the signal for the football to be snapped by the center.
  • Chip Block – A chip block is used by a tight end or running back before releasing on a route to help the pass protection with a difficult assignment.
  • Climbing the Pocket – Climbing the pocket is a QB’s ability to avoid pressure, moving with quick steps forward or laterally, keeping his eyes downfield and trusting the OL.
  • Crackback Block – A crackback block is where a player split out wide, or in the slot, motions into the formation and delivers a block to the blindside of an edge defender.
  • Deuce Block – The deuce block is a combination block between the tackle and guard to the backside linebacker that is typically run in a gap or power-blocking scheme.
  • Dino Stem – Dino stem technique is used as the receiver reaches the top of his route, bending his path a few steps, faking as if breaking outside on a corner route.
  • Double Move – A double move is a pass-catching route where a receiver executes two cuts in one route to fool the cornerback.
  • Down Block – A down block is used by OL to drive a defender laterally down toward the center. The down block takes advantage of OL leverage over DL positioned inside.
  • Drive-Catch Technique – The drive-catch phase is a term referring to the ideal initial movement of offensive tackles and guards to get out of their stance at the snap.
  • Hit and Throw – Hit and throw is when the quarterback finishes his drop back and begins throwing as his back foot hits the ground in the last step of a drop back.
  • Hitch Step – The hitch step is used by quarterbacks on deeper drops to help set his feet and sync his timing with the route structure on the play.
  • Kill Call – A kill call is a call made at the line of scrimmage by a quarterback to switch to a more favorable play against the defense that is on the field.
  • Landry Shift – The Landry shift features all offensive linemen but the center going from a 3 point stance, standing in a 2 point stance, and back to a 3 point stance.
  • Mesh Point – The moment where the RB and QB come together on a handoff or play action fake is known as the “mesh point.”
  • Play Action – Play action is used on passing plays to simulate a run in order to put defenders in a poor position to defend against the pass.
  • Scramble Drill – A scramble drill is a practice drill used to train receivers how to respond when pass protection breaks down and the QB is flushed out of the pocket.
  • Silent Count – A silent count is when snapping the ball is based on a movement from one of the interior lineman, such as a head bob or a tap on the center’s knee from a guard, usually due to crowd noise.
  • Trap Block – The trap block is a run blocking assignment that pulls a blocker to the play side of the formation to block an intentionally uncovered defender.
  • Travel Motion – Travel motion motion is the horizontal motioning of a tailback outside to create an empty backfield prior to the snap, most often used in air raid systems.
  • Working Progressions – Quarterbacks have a number of potential receivers on a play. Working progressions refers to how a QB moves through options before finding an open receiver.