View Full Version : Glossary: J-M

03-05-2009, 08:27 AM

Interior Linebacker (ILB) of the 3-4 formation, that plays in the weak side of the formation. Also know as Mo.
an offensive package which includes two tight ends, a full back and a half back. Similar to heavy jumbo, in which either the half back or the fullback is replaced by another tight end. In a goal line formation, Miami package, often one or more of the "tight ends" is actually a linebacker (the New England Patriots use Mike Vrabel this way - he has 6 career regular season TDs) or offensive lineman. In the NFL, such a player must report in as an eligible receiver because a lineman or linebacker would not generally wear an eligible number.


as a verb, to strike the ball deliberately with the foot; as a noun, such an action producing a punt, place kick, or drop kick
kicker (K)
player who specializes in placekicking (i.e. field goals and kick offs).
a free kick which starts each half, or restarts the game following a touchdown or field goal. The kickoff may be a place kick in American or Canadian football, or a drop kick in American football.
kick returner
a player on the receiving team who specializes in fielding kicks and running them back.
a low risk play in which the player in possession of the ball kneels down after receiving the snap, ending the play. Used to run out the clock. (Also called "take a knee".) Most commonly, the quarterback will down the ball immediately after the snap in the time after the two-minute warning. Another notable situation is for a player to give up a touchdown run, take a knee to run down the clock because the opposition has no timeouts left, then they can keep the ball, run down the ball and preserve the lead. Most recent example was Brian Westbrook vs. Dallas Cowboys.


see backward pass
a player who has been awarded a "letter" for excellence in an activity, especially a varsity sport. The specific requirements vary by school and by sport.
line of scrimmage/scrimmage line
one of two vertical planes parallel to the goal line when the ball is to be put in play by scrimmage. For each team in American football, the line of scrimmage is through the point of the ball closest to their end line. The two lines of scrimmage are called offensive line of scrimmage and defensive line of scrimmage. Often shortened to "line".

In Canadian football, the line of scrimmage of the defensive team is one yard their side of the ball.

line to gain
a line parallel to the goal lines, such that having the ball dead beyond it entitles the offense to a new series of downs, i.e. a new "first down". The line is 10 yards in advance of where the ball was to be snapped for the previous first down (or is the goal line, if it is not farther than 10 yards away).
Linebacker (LB)
a player position on defense. The linebackers typically play 1 to 6 yards behind the defensive linemen and are the most versatile players on the field because they can defend both run and pass defense or called to blitz. There are two types of LB: Middle Linebacker (MLB) and Outside Linebackers (OLB). In 3-4 formation Outside Linebacker (OLB) may be designated as a "rush linebacker", rushing the passer on almost every play.
a defensive or offensive position on the line of scrimmage.

* On offense, the player snapping the ball is the center. The players on either side of him are the guards, and the players to the outside of him are the tackles. The players on the end of the line are the ends. This may be varied in an unbalanced line.
* On defense, the outside linemen are ends, and those inside are tackles. If there are 5 or 6 linemen, the inner most linemen are known as guards. This is rare in professional football except for goal-line defense, but is sometimes seen in high school or college.

live ball
any ball that is in play, whether it is a player's possession or not. The ball is live during plays from scrimmage and free kicks, including kickoffs.
live ball foul
a foul given for various infractions such as changing numbers during a game
long snapper
a center who specializes in the long, accurate snaps required for punts and field goal attempts. Most teams employ a specialist long snapper instead of requiring the normal center to perform this duty.
loose ball
any ball that is in play and not in a player's possession. This includes a ball in flight during a backward or forward pass.

lost gems
A term coined for undrafted free agents that have played well, much like steals, but steals have been drafted, lost gems never did, so they were signed after 'Mr Irrelevant' was drafted. Notable examples are Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme, Aaron Stecker.


man coverage
same as man-to-man coverage
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.
man-to-man coverage
a defense in which all players in pass coverage, typically linebackers and defensive backs, cover a specific player. Pure man coverage is very rare; defenses typically mix man and zone coverage.
margin of victory
the total difference in points in a game, expressed as possessed by the winning team.
Marty Ball
a conservative gameplan which involves an offense based around the use of halfbacks with use of the passing game only to advance the running game, and a great emphasis on defense. Popularized term for Marty Schottenheimer's approach to coaching.
An I formation with three running backs aligned behind the quarterback in a straight line.
max protect
a modification used on pass plays (usually combined with a shotgun formation) which keeps the tight end and both backs in behind the line of scrimmage to pass protect rather than run a pass route. This is used in obvious blitzing situations to give the quarterback "maximum protection" in the pocket. Although good for holding off a blitz, it leaves the quarterback with only two receivers to throw to (and therefore only two players for the secondary to defend). Some of the logic behind this play might stem from a player's supposed lack of defensibility: when a receiver (such as Randy Moss) or quarterback-receiver duo (such as the historic Joe Montana-and-Jerry Rice) is of the caliber that a completion is likely even when the receiver is closely guarded by defenders. Redskins Head Coach Joe Gibbs is known for having used a two tight end formation to protect his QB from the nearly unstoppable blitzer Lawrence Taylor.[6][7]
Mike (MLB)
the middle linebacker in 4-3 formation. In the 3-4 formation Mike is the Interior Linebacker(ILB) that play in the strong side of the formation. Mike has the responsibility to defend the interior gaps and the Curl Zone. Mike is the leader of the defense and has to be as bright as Quarterback because often he calls the audibles on defense.
Mr. Irrelevant
The final player that is drafted within a class of draftees.
Also known as Jack. The Interior Linebacker (ILB), 3-4 formation, that plays in the weak side of the formation.
The movement of offensive players prior to the snap.
loose ball that is dropped or mishandled while the player is attempting to gain possession.
muffed punt
occurs when there is an "uncontrolled touch" of the football after it is punted. May be recovered but not advanced by the kicking team.

03-05-2009, 09:47 AM