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(from Latin audire = to hear, to listen to) a play called by the quarterback at the line of scrimmage to change the play that was called in the huddle.


see audible


A position behind the offensive line, or behind the linebackers on defense.


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.


when a player obstructs another player's path with his body.


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 ball carrier 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


a player position on offense. The center snaps the ball.


Canadian "center"


the 10-yard long chain that is used by the chain crew to measure for a new series of downs.


see audible

chuck and duck 

a style of offense with minimal pass protection requiring the Quarterback to "chuck" the ball then "duck" to avoid a defensive lineman.


an illegal block in which the victim is blocked from the back and below the waist; the penalty is 15 yards. Originally, clipping was defined as any block from the back, but is now restricted to blocks below the waist. Other blocks from the back are now punished with 10-yard penalties.

coffin corner 

the corner of the field of play. A punter, if he is close enough, will often attempt to kick the ball out of bounds close to the receiving team's goal line and pin them back near their own end zone.

cornerback (CB)

a defensive back who lines up near the line of scrimmage across from a wide receiver. Their primary job is to disrupt passing routes and to defend against short and medium passes.


a running play in which the running back will take a step in the opposite direction of the play, only to get the handoff in the other direction. Weak side linemen will sometimes pull and lead the back downfield (sometimes called a counter trap), but not necessarily. The play is designed to get the defense to flow away from the action for a few steps, allowing more room for the running back.

crack back block 

an illegal block delivered below the opponent's waist by an offensive player who had left the area of close line play and then returned to it, or was not within it at the snap. The term is also used to describe a legal block (delivered from the front, or from the side with the offensive player's helmet in front of the blocked player) by a wide receiver on a player who lined up inside of him.



a sharp change of direction by a running player

see "cut blocking" below

cut blocking

a blocking technique in which offensive linemen, and sometimes other blockers, block legally below the waist (i.e., from the front of the defensive player) in an attempt to bring the defenders to ground, making them unable to pursue a running back for the short time needed for the back to find a gap in the defense. The technique is somewhat controversial, as it carries a risk of serious leg injuries to the blocked defenders. The NFL's Denver Broncos are especially famous (or infamous) for using this technique


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