A quarterback sneak is a play in American football and Canadian football in which the quarterback, upon taking the center snap, dives ahead while the offensive line surges forward. It is only used in short yardage situations; the advantages of this play are that there are no further ball exchanges beyond the center snap, that the quarterback receives the ball at the line of scrimmage so that it is unlikely that significant yardage could be lost on the play. However, it is very unlikely that the play will gain more than one or two yards. For this reason, it is solely used when the ball is close to the goal-line or on third and fourth down with a yard or less to go; the origins of this play date back to 1912 where standout Yale quarterback Graham Winkelbaum first used it in a game against rival Harvard. Quarterback sneaks are statistically the most plays to convert short yardage situations, though each situation varies. Many football statistics sites advocate for increased usage of the play. QB sneaks have drawbacks in that they tend to expose the quarterback to hits from opposing defensive backs.
Quarterbacks do not wish to expose themselves to the increased risk of injury associated with the play. This is prevalent in elite pocket passing quarterbacks, such as Drew Brees or Tony Romo; the most famous quarterback sneak in football history was executed by Bart Starr of the Green Bay Packers in the famous "Ice Bowl" National Football League championship game against the Dallas Cowboys on December 31, 1967. Despite the "sneak" moniker, the play is expected in situations where a short gain is needed
In American football and Canadian football, defensive backs are the players on the defensive team who take positions somewhat back from the line of scrimmage. The defensive backs, in turn are classified into several different specialized positions: Safety: Free safety – most the deepest safety Strong safety – the bigger more physical safety, much like a small, quicker linebacker Defensive halfback Cornerback – which include: Nickelback – the fifth defensive back in some sets, such as the nickel formation Dimeback – the sixth defensive back in some sets, such as the dime formation The seventh defensive back, in the exceedingly rare "quarter" set, but strong known as a dollar back or a quarter back The group of defensive backs is known collectively as the secondary, they most defend the wide receiver corps. American football positions
Hail Mary pass
A Hail Mary pass known as a shot play, is a long forward pass in American football made in desperation, with only a small chance of success and/or time running out on the clock. The term became widespread after a December 28, 1975 NFL playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings, when Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach said about his game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson, "I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary."The expression goes back at least to the 1930s, in which decade it was used publicly by two former members of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen, Elmer Layden and Jim Crowley. Meaning any sort of desperation play, a "Hail Mary" came to denote a long, low-probability pass of the "alley-oop" variety, attempted at the end of a half when a team is too far from the end zone to execute a more conventional play, implying that it would take divine intervention for the play to succeed. For more than 40 years, use of the term was confined to Notre Dame and other Catholic universities.
Crowley told the story of an October 28, 1922, game between Notre Dame and Georgia Tech in which the Fighting Irish players said Hail Mary prayers together before scoring each of the touchdowns, before winning the game 13–3. According to Crowley, it was one of the team’s linemen, Noble Kizer, who suggested praying before the first touchdown, which occurred on a fourth and goal play at the Tech 6-yard line during the second quarter. Quarterback Harry Stuhldreher, another of the Horsemen, threw a quick pass over the middle to Paul Castner for the score; the ritual was repeated before a third and goal play, again at Tech’s six, in the fourth quarter. This time Stuhldreher ran for a touchdown. After the game, Kizer exclaimed to Crowley, "Say, that Hail Mary is the best play we've got." Crowley related this story many times in public speeches beginning in the 1930s. On November 2, 1935, with 32 seconds left in the so-called "Game of the Century" between Ohio State and Notre Dame, Irish halfback Bill Shakespeare found receiver Wayne Millner for a 19-yard, game-winning touchdown.
Notre Dame head coach Elmer Layden afterwards called it a "Hail Mary" play. An early appearance of the term was in an Associated Press story about the upcoming 1941 Orange Bowl between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Georgetown Hoyas; the piece appeared in several newspapers including the December 31, 1940 Daytona Beach Morning Journal under the headline, "Orange Bowl: Hoyas Put Faith in'Hail Mary' Pass"). As the article explained, "A'hail Mary' pass, in the talk of the Washington eleven, is one, thrown with a prayer because the odds against completion are big." During an NBC broadcast in 1963, Staubach a Navy quarterback, described a pass play during his team's victory over Michigan that year as a "Hail Mary play". He scrambled to escape a pass rush, nearly getting sacked 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage before completing a desperation pass for a one-yard gain. Arguably the most memorable and replayed Hail Mary pass came on November 23, 1984 in a game now known as "Hail Flutie".
Boston College was losing to Miami with six seconds left on the clock when their quarterback Doug Flutie threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Gerard Phelan, succeeding because Miami's secondary stood on the goal line to keep the receivers in front of them without covering a post route behind them. Miami's defense was based on the assumption that Flutie couldn't throw the ball as far as the end zone, but Flutie hit Phelan in stride against a flatfooted defense a yard deep in the end zone. To commemorate the play, a statue of Flutie in his Hail Mary passing pose was unveiled outside Alumni Stadium at Boston College on November 7, 2008. Other noteworthy examples include: December 19, 1980: Known as "The Miracle Bowl", BYU quarterback Jim McMahon threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to tight end Clay Brown to defeat SMU in the 1980 Holiday Bowl 46–45, which completed BYU's comeback from a 45–25 deficit which the Cougars faced with four minutes remaining. September 24, 1994: Known as the "Miracle at Michigan", Colorado quarterback Kordell Stewart threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Westbrook to beat Michigan 27–26.
October 31, 1999: The Cleveland Browns's first win after returning as an expansion team came on a Hail Mary against the New Orleans Saints, when Browns quarterback Tim Couch avoided the Saints pass rush and launched a 56 yard pass, tipped up in the air and caught by receiver Kevin Johnson near the pylon for a 21–16 Browns victory. November 9, 2002: Known as the "Bluegrass Miracle", LSU quarterback Marcus Randall threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Devery Henderson in the game to defeat Kentucky 33–30. December 8, 2002: Three years after his first Hail Mary, Tim Couch won another game with a game-ender against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Couch launched a 50 yard Hail Mary, caught by Quincy Morgan, the ensuing extra point gave the Browns a 21–20 win. Although he remains a hotly debated player due to being picked #1 overall in the 1999 NFL Draft and his injury-plagued career, Tim Couch remains the only NFL player to win two games on a game-ending Hail Mary. October 22, 2011: Known as "Rocket", Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Keith Nichol to beat Wisconsin 37–31.
November 16, 2013: Known as the "Prayer at Jordan–Hare", A
Dive (American football)
A "dive" is a type of play in American football in which the ball carrier attempts to thrust over the line of scrimmage, rushing through the linemen. A dive or buck is distinct from both an off-tackle run; the dive may be run with or without a lead blocker, though when run with a lead blocker it may be called a "lead dive". It is though not always, used in short-yardage situations at the goal line. A "cross buck" is a play with two backs crossing paths, one faking to receive the ball, the other receiving it. Fullbacks, or larger, stronger running backs less prone to fumbling, are favorable because this play values strength over speed
A quarterback keeper or keeper in American football is a designed play in which the quarterback does not pass or hand off the ball to another player and instead rushes forward with it in an effort to gain yardage. The play is run in instances where only a few yards are needed to gain a first down or touchdown, due to the threat of injury to the quarterback and most quarterbacks' ineffectiveness at running the ball when compared with a running back or fullback; this play differs from a quarterback scramble in that a scramble is an improvised play, while the keeper is a designed running play. Definition of a quarterback keeper, definitions of running plays Youtube video of a successful quarterback keeper
The Veer is an option running play associated with option offenses in American football, made famous at the collegiate level by Bill Yeoman's Houston Cougars. It is run on the high school level, with some usage at the collegiate and the professional level where the Veer's blocking scheme has been modified as part of the zone blocking system; the Veer is an effective ball control offense that can help minimize mismatches in a game for a team. However, it can lead to turnovers with pitches and handoff option reads; the Veer can be run out of any variety of formations, although it was designed to be run out of the split-backed, aptly named veer formation. It has been used out of the I-formation and the wishbone formation; some variants of the triple option have now made the jump to the shotgun formation, which has become a popular option formation since Eric Crouch and the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers used the shotgun option during his 2001 Heisman campaign. The Veer option is regarded as a "triple option".
It is designed as a three-back attack with one player taking a dive course, one taking a pitch course and another being a lead blocker on the perimeter of the offensive formation. The QB makes reads on defensive players and distributes the ball according to the defensive reaction to the offense. A typical play proceeds as follows: the quarterback takes the snap, he does what is called "opening up": the quarterback goes from his two-point stance, facing forward, takes his opposite side, left foot and pivots ninety degrees on his right foot, extending the ball toward the sideline he is facing. The split-back halfback on the right side, who in this situation is the "dive back", goes forward into the line to where the quarterback is and meets in an area called the "mesh point"; this is where the idea of the Veer begins to take shape: the offensive line has left one man unblocked here, most a defensive tackle or a defensive end. This man is being Read by the QB; the defender is being forced to choose between tackling the dive back or the quarterback.
The dive back explodes forward, puts his arms around the ball, being extended, but does not take it. The quarterback, in his open stance, is reading the man being veered, in order to decide whether to "pull" the ball from the dive back and go through the hole, or to give the dive back the ball and have him go through the hole; this is where the name of the offense, the veer, comes from. This is just one part of the four-part option. If the quarterback keeps the ball, he attempts to cut up the field with the opposite side halfback, running right towards the dive back's original position, he is the pitch man. He attempts to maintain proper pitch relation to the quarterback, technically a few yards outside the quarterback and moving laterally so that the quarterback may pitch the ball as he goes down the field; this entire action takes no longer than a few seconds. The fourth player in the split-veer would be a wide receiver or tight end, his job, depending on the formation, would be to block the force player, responsible for the flat on the side being attacked.
The offense relies on the quarterback making the proper reads, turning up the field and gaining yardage. The dive back must remember to not take the football from the quarterback, rather the quarterback must give it to him; the pitch man must maintain proper spacing from the quarterback to ensure that the quarterback can make an effective pitch that can ensure more yardage. The College Football Hall of Fame credits Bill Yeoman with the invention of the veer formation. Yeoman ran that offense with the Houston Cougars beginning in the mid-1960s and continuing through his career at Houston, which concluded in 1986; when an offensive system is devised for a team, the coach must take into account his players, so the veer can be applied to several situations. It can be used for undersized players so that double teams and angles can be used to block defenders, it can be used to isolate defenders and create predictable responses to the offenses actions. If a team is disciplined it can take advantage of an undisciplined defense that can not execute their responsibilities on each snap of the game.
The veer requires precision and smarts. The ability of the QB to identify weakness in defensive alignment is paramount, as the veer can take quick advantage of a defensive misalignment; the veer can be used with great effect when the offensive line is a strength of the team. Over time, the ability to pass out of the Veer has been utilized depending on the quarterback's ability to "bounce" into a moving pocket to make short range passes; the most effective methods of passing out of the Veer places emphasis on the interior linemen's ability to "sell" the defense on a run block scheme. Short yardage or goal line offensive situations are ideal for a Veer option pass play; the receivers that are the best options for a pass play out of the Veer are the first running back through the line who runs a "go" route isolating the frozen safety. A third component to the Veer that comes with some passing success is the ability to run trick or gadget plays to take advantage of over anxious defensive backs and over pursuing linebackers.
Once the ability to pass out of the Veer has proven successful, the countering of the V
The tight end is a position in American football, arena football, Canadian football, on the offense. The tight end is seen as a hybrid position with the characteristics and roles of both an offensive lineman and a wide receiver. Like offensive linemen, they are lined up on the offensive line and are large enough to be effective blockers. On the other hand, unlike offensive linemen, they are eligible receivers adept enough to warrant a defense's attention when running pass patterns; because of the hybrid nature of the position, the tight end's role in any given offense depends on the tactical preferences and philosophy of the head coach. In some systems, the tight end will act as a sixth offensive lineman going out for passes. Other systems use the tight end as a receiver taking advantage of the tight end's size to create mismatches in the defensive secondary. Many coaches will have one tight end who specializes in blocking in running situations while using a tight end with better pass-catching skills in obvious passing situations.
Offensive formations may have as many as three tight ends at one time. The advent of the tight end position is tied to the decline of the one-platoon system during the 1940s and'50s. A rule limited substitutions. Players had to be adept at playing on both sides of the ball, with most offensive linemen doubling as defensive linemen or linebackers, receivers doubling as defensive backs. At that time, the receivers were known as either ends or flankers, with the end lining up wide at the line of scrimmage and the flanker positioned behind the line on the opposite side of the field; as the transition from starters going "both ways" to dedicated offensive and defensive squads took place, players who did not fit the mold of the traditional positions began to fill niches. Those who were good pass catchers and blockers but mediocre on defense were no longer liabilities. Many were too big to be receivers yet too small for offensive linemen. Innovative coaches such as Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns saw the potential of having a larger receiver lined up inside, developing blocking techniques and passing schemes that used the unique attributes of the tight end position.
Greater use of the tight end as a receiver started in the 1960s with the emergence of stars Mike Ditka and John Mackey. Until most teams relied on the tight end's blocking as a sixth offensive lineman using them as receivers. In addition to superb blocking, Ditka offered great hands receiving and rugged running after a completion. Over a 12-year career, he caught 427 passes for over 43 touchdowns. Mackey brought speed, with six of his nine touchdown catches in one season being breakaways over 50 yards. Starting in 1980 the Air Coryell offense debuted tight end Kellen Winslow running wide receiver-type routes. Tight ends prior to Winslow were blockers lined up next to an offensive lineman and given short to medium drag routes. Winslow was put in motion to avoid being jammed at the line, lined up wide, or in the slot against a smaller cornerback. Former Chargers assistant coach Al Saunders said Winslow was "a wide receiver in an offensive lineman's body." Back defenses would cover Winslow with a strong safety or a linebacker, as zone defenses were not as popular.
Strong safeties in those times favored run defense over coverage speed. Providing another defender to help the strong safety opened up other holes. Winslow would line up unpredictably in any formation from a three point blocking stance to a two point receiver's stance, to being in motion like a flanker or offensive back. Head coach Jon Gruden referred to such multi-dimensional tight ends as "jokers", calling Winslow the first in the NFL. Head coach Bill Belichick notes that the pass-catching tight ends that get paid the most are "all direct descendants of Kellen Winslow", there are fewer tight ends now that can block on the line. In the 1990s, athletic Shannon Sharpe's prowess as a route-runner helped change the way tight ends were used by teams. Double-covered as a receiver, he became the first tight end in NFL history with over 10,000 career receiving yards. Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates pushed the position toward near wide receiver speed and power forward basketball skills. At 6' 6" Rob Gronkowski brought height, setting single-season tight end records in 2011 with 17 touchdowns—breaking Gates' and Vernon Davis' record of 13—and 1,327 receiving yards, surpassing Winslow's record of 1,290.
Jimmy Graham that season passed Winslow with 1,310 yards. Six of the NFL's 15 players with the most receptions that year were tight ends, the most in NFL history. Previous seasons had at most one or two ranked in the top. In the Arena Football League the tight end serves as the 3rd offensive lineman. Although they are eligible receivers they go out for passes and are only used for screen passes when they do. However, in Canadian football, tight ends are, in general, no longer used professionally in the CFL, but is still used at the college level in U Sports. Tony Gabriel is a former great tight end in Canadian football. There remain some tight ends in use at university level football, he was drafted by the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2017, but instead signed with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent that same year. Some plays are planned to take advantage of a tight end's