ITP Glossary: Kill Call

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.


A kill call is used when two plays are called in the huddle and the quarterback switches to the second play at the line of scrimmage. This concept lets the quarterback survey the defense at the line and either run the first play called in the huddle, or if he sees an advantage switch to the second play. The quarterback often executes this switch by yelling “Kill! Kill! Kill!” and then the offense will shift to the alternate play and he will start his normal cadence. This concept allows the offense to adapt based on what the defense is presenting.

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On this first down play the Denver Broncos are in the high redzone lined up with 12 personnel. Peyton Manning sees that the defense has a dime package out and recognizes that the offense has a physical advantage and decides to run the second play called. On the video you can hear Manning yelling “Kill, Kill, KIll!” After the kill call, Peyton starts his normal snap cadence and the offense executes an outside zone to the right.

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Ted Nguyen wrote this entry. Follow Ted on Twitter @RaidersAnalysis.

All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.

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