View Full Version : Glossary #,A - B

03-04-2009, 11:09 AM

3-3-5 defense
A variation of the Nickel formation with 3 linemen (2 De & 1 DT), 3 linebackers (2 OLB & 1 MLB), and 5 defensive backs (3 CB, 1 SS & 1 FS). Often called a 3-3 stack. Also called the "Rule Breaker" due to the fact that it often changes blocking schemes for the offensive line.
3-4 defense
a defensive formation with 3 linemen and 4 linebackers. A professional derivative in the 1970s of the earlier Oklahoma or "50" defense, which had 5 linemen and 2 linebackers. The 3-4 outside linebackers resemble "stand-up ends" in the older defense.
4-3 defense
a defensive formation with 4 linemen and 3 linebackers. Several variations are employed. First used by coach Joe Kuharich[citation needed] and Tom Landry.[1][2]
4-4-4 Defense
Illegal participation (name so derived from the fact that 4+4+4=12 men on the field; each team is limited to 11). Coined by coach and color commentator John Madden.
46 defense
(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 was invented by Buddy Ryan while with the Chicago Bears and popularized by the Super Bowl XX Champion 1985 Chicago Bears.
50 defense
a once popular college defense with 5 defensive linemen and 2 linebackers. Also known as the "Oklahoma Defense," it is structurally very similar to the 3-4. In the 50-defense, the team uses a nose tackle (NT), 2 defensive tackles(DTs) lined up over or slightly inside the offensive tackles(OTs), and 2 defensive ends (DEs) lineup over or outside the tight end (TE). It maximizes size along the line of scrimmage and is mostly used only in high school against teams that run the ball a lot.


A-11 offense
an offensive philosophy designed to appear as if all 11 players are eligible receivers. The offense exploits a loophole in the American football rulebook to technically make the formation a scrimmage kick, and the offensive line is spread across the field, all wearing numbers of eligible receivers, in an effort to confuse and deceive the defense.
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.
Air Yards
the yards gained by a pass through the air. It is the distance gained by a pass forward of the line of scrimmage to the spot of the reception. Alternatively, it is the total passing yards minus the yards run after catch (RAC).
all-purpose yardage
the sum of all yards gained by a player who is in possession of the ball during a play. This includes rushing and receiving yards gained on offense, yards gained on returns of interceptions and fumbles, and yards gained on kickoff and punt returns.
a play called by the quarterback at the line of scrimmage to make a change from the play that was called in the huddle.
automatic first down
for several of the most severe fouls against the defensive team, a first down is awarded to the offensive team even if the result of the penalty does not advance the ball beyond the line to gain. In the NFL and NCAA, the fouls include pass interference and all personal fouls. Under NFHS (High School) rules only roughing the snapper, holder, kicker, or passer and forward pass interference by the defense are penalized with an automatic first down.


A position behind the offensive and defensive linemen. Offensively, mostly used for running plays: Running back, Tailback, Quarterbacks, Halfback, Fullbacks and Wingback. Defensively, generally faster players with some or all responsibility to cover receivers: Linebackers, Cornerbacks and Safeties.
A second string player who does not start the game, but comes in later in relief of a starter.
backward pass
a pass thrown to the side or backward. Also called "onside pass" in Canadian football. There is no limit to the number of backward passes or where they may be thrown from. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "lateral".
Any player who attempts to advance the ball during a rushing play, or any player in possession of the ball and attempting to advance it on the ground.
ball security
The ability of a player to maintain control over the football during play and thus avoid a fumble.
a defensive maneuver in which one or more linebackers or defensive backs, who normally remain behind the line of scrimmage, instead charge into the opponents' backfield. However, in the 3-4 defense, one linebacker typically rushes the passer with the three down linemen. This is not considered a blitz. If an additional linebacker is sent, bringing the total number of rushers to five, it is a blitz.
when a player obstructs another player's path with his body. Examples: Cut block, Zone block, Trap block, Pull block, Screen block, Pass block, Double-team block.
blocking back
Early name for quarterback
blocking sled
a heavy piece of practice equipment, usually a padded angular frame on metal skids, used for developing strength and blocking techniques
A game in which one team dominates another in scoring from an early point in the contest.
a long pass
an offensive play predicated upon misdirection in which the quarterback pretends to hand the ball to another player, and then carries the ball in the opposite direction of the supposed ballcarrier with the intent of either passing or running (sometimes the quarterback has the option of doing either). A naked bootleg is a risky variation of this play when the quarterback has no blockers pulling out with him. Contrast with scramble, sneak, and draw.
the box
an area on the defensive side of the ball, directly opposite the offensive linemen and about 5 yards deep; having 8 players in the box means bringing in a defensive back, normally the strong safety, to help stop the offensive team's running game
term often used to refer to a player, usually one drafted in the first day of the NFL Draft, who failed to meet the expectations of the drafting team. (Ex : Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith, Tim Couch )
buttonhook (hook,dig)
The buttonhook route is when a receiver runs straight upfield a certain distance and then plants hard and runs straight back towards the quarterback. Often simply called a hook route or a dig route. In some cases, a dig route is considered a very long buttonhook, such as 15+ yards downfield. Hence the receiver must dig his cleats in hard to stop and come back at the quarterback after running so far and fast.

03-09-2010, 02:24 PM
5-technique" defensive end
By Jeff Legwold

POSTED: 03/08/2010 01:00:00 AM MST

Welcome back. I will try to answer some questions during the NFL draft season as I continue to prepare for our coverage of the April 22-24 draft.

Today's questions come from Jim Burnett.

Q: What are the responsibilities of the "5-technique" defensive end? And how are they different from the other defensive end in the 3-4?

A: Jim, it depends on the defense. And like a 4-3 defense, there are plenty of variations of the 3-4 defense as well with divergent philosophies and objectives. The Steelers' 3-4 defense, for example, is different from the Patriots' 3-4 defense.

The Broncos' 3-4 most closely resembles the Patriots' 3-4. The defensive linemen don't attack upfield as much, and they are more power-first players who engage the blockers in front of them.

In that kind of 3-4, a "5-technique" defensive end usually lines up directly over the offensive tackle in a running situation. This essentially makes him a two-gap player to the inside shoulder of the tackle and to the outside shoulder of the tackle.

The defensive end is supposed to engage the tackle, read the play, shed the blocker and try to stop the play. He is supposed to hold the point of attack and control the line of scrimmage.

In many 3-4 defenses, both ends play a 5-technique, with the nose tackle directly over the center or zero technique in the base, early-down look.

A prototypical 5-technique end would look a lot like Richard Seymour, who was with the Patriots when Broncos coach Josh McDaniels was on the staff there. Seymour, 6-feet-6, had the reach to deal with the tackles across from him. And at 310 pounds, he also played with enough power to hold the edge.

A prototypical 5-technique end has enough quickness to get upfield while maintaining the discipline required with two-gap responsibility. One-gap players usually can penetrate and chase upfield. Two-gap players often have to surrender their statistics for the defensive philosophy as a whole.
The right defensive end, lined up across from the offensive left tackle, usually is the better pass rusher of the two ends. The left defensive end, lined up across from the offensive right tackle, usually is a better power player (to deal with the more power-oriented right tackles).

Defensive end, like nose tackle, is a selfless D-line position that requires strength, athleticism and discipline to play. Basically, you're looking for very talented players who play without ego.

They are difficult to find, but the defense can't be played without them. It's why Bill Belichick, one of the NFL's leading practitioners of the defense, used three No. 1 draft picks for his three defensive line positions during the Patriots' run to the Super Bowls.