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
In gridiron football, an onside kick is a kickoff deliberately kicked short. On most kickoffs, the kicking team concedes possession of the ball and tries to kick it as far as possible from its own goal. In an onside kick, the kicking team kicks short in hopes of regaining possession of the ball before the receiving team can control it; the onside kick is a low-percentage play only seen late in a game when the kicking team is trailing in the score and must retain possession of the ball in order to score before time expires. However, its chances of success increase in a situation. Gridiron football originates in rugby football, so does the onside kick. In rugby, while the forward pass is prohibited, a team in possession may kick the ball downfield and recapture possession, provided that the receiver of the kick was onside when the kick was made This form of onside kick is still legal in Canadian football, just as in rugby. A player of the kicking team, "onside" may recover the ball and retain possession for his team.
This includes the kicker himself and anyone else behind the ball at the time it was kicked, other than the holder for a place kick. The form of onside kick available at a free kick in American football is available in Canadian football for a kickoff as well, although it is referred to as a short-kick, as all players are onside for a kickoff. Starting in 1923, the following additional constraints in most forms of American football are relevant to the onside kick: The kick must be a free kick; the kick must cross the receiving team's restraining line, unless the receiving team touches the ball before that line. The kicking team may only retain possession of the kicked ball, but not advance it; the kicking team must not interfere with an attempt by a player of the receiving side to catch the ball on the fly. Unlike during a punt — where if the kicking team catches or recovers the ball, it is "downed" and the receiving team possesses the ball — during a free kick, a ball that has crossed the receiving team's restraining line is a live ball, such that if the kicking team catches or recovers the ball it retains possession.
"Onside" is therefore now a misnomer in American football. The kicking team attempts to make the ball bounce early and be available around 20 yards in front of the spot of the kick. One technique, useful on a hard or artificial surface, is to kick the ball in a way that it spins end-over-end near the ground and makes a sudden bounce high in the air; the oblong shape of an American football makes it bounce unpredictably, increasing the possibility that the receiving team will muff the catch. An alternative is to kick the ball with a great deal of force directly at an opposing player. If the ball touches the player, but he cannot secure it, it becomes live regardless of whether it has traveled 10 yards; when the receiving team expects an onside kick, it fields a "hands team" of players skilled at catching or otherwise securing the ball. Traditionally, the onside kick had its own formation, in which the other ten players of the kicking team would line up on one side of the kicker, in an effort to get as many people as possible into one area of the field.
This is still popular in high school football. To combat this, some teams developed a "cluster formation" in which all of the players line up behind and next to the kicker in what is a moving huddle; the NFL banned this, with a 2009 rule change that states that "the kicking team cannot have more than five players bunched together". Effective with the 2018 season, the NFL requires that the kicking team line up with five players on each side of the ball. An onside kick is a desperation technique used when the kicking team trails in the score with little time left in the game, in order to regain the ball and score again; the trade-off is that, in the usual case that the receiving team does get possession of the ball, it will have better field position and will need to advance the ball fewer yards in order to score. However, in the desperation situation, initial field position becomes less relevant, as the receiving team may focus on running the clock out and ending the game. If the kicking team succeeds in retaining possession the clock does not automatically stop as it would if the ball were transferred between teams.
Football coaches attempt surprise onside kicks to catch their opponent's players off guard and without the "hands team" on the field. Notab
Alley-oop (American football)
The alley-oop is an American football play in which the quarterback throws the ball high into the air, another player jumps up and catches it. The play was developed in 1957 by San Francisco 49ers players Y. A. Tittle and R. C. Owens; the play was named after V. T. Hamlin's comic strip character Alley Oop, it was successful when utilized due to Owens' 6 ft 3 in height and ability to out-leap defenders. Tittle said of the play: "With the Alley-Oop now considered to be a legitimate weapon, the only defense against it was a defensive back who could outleap R. C. – and at that time, no such animal existed in the NFL."According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the usage of the term in football predates its usage in basketball by two years, with the football counterpart inspiring the play in basketball. Alley-oop Hail Mary pass
Down (gridiron football)
A down is a period in which a play transpires in American and Canadian football. The down is a distinguishing characteristic of the game compared to other codes of football, but is synonymous with a "tackle" in rugby league; the team in possession of the football has a limited number of downs to advance ten yards or more towards their opponent's goal line. If they fail to advance that far, possession of the ball is turned over to the other team. In most situations, if a team reaches their final down they will punt to their opponent, which forces them to begin their drive from further down the field. A down begins with a snap or free kick, ends when the ball or the player in possession of it is declared down by an official, a team scores, or the ball or player in possession of it leaves the field of play; the player with possession of the ball after he has been tackled or is otherwise unable to advance the ball further on account of the play having ended is down. Down may refer to the ball after it is made dead in one manner or another.
The line of scrimmage for the next play will be determined by the position of the ball when it is down. Each possession begins with first down; the line to gain is marked 10 yards downfield from the start of this possession, the situation is described as "1st and 10". If the offensive team moves the ball past the line to gain, they make a new first down. If they fail to do this after a specified number of downs, the team is said to turn the ball over on downs, possession of the ball reverts to the opposing team at the spot where the ball was downed at the end of the last down. If a penalty against the defensive team moves the ball past the line to gain, the offensive team gets a new first down; some defensive penalties give the offense an automatic first down regardless of the distance. When the offensive team has not yet made a first down before reaching the final down, the team faces a last down situation, where the team is forced to decide whether to either scrimmage the ball in an attempt to pick up the first down, or alternatively to kick the ball.
Though statistical analysis of games suggests playing more aggressively is the better option, kicking the ball is seen as the safer solution. Downing the player with possession of the ball is one way to end a play. A player is made down when he is tackled by the defense. In the NFL, if the offensive player is touching the ground with some part of his body other than his hands or feet he is down if any defensive player touches him. In the NCAA, an offensive player touching the ground in the same manner is down, regardless of whether a defensive player touches him. If recovering the ball in one's opponent's end zone, a player may down the ball by dropping to one knee. A player in possession of the ball will down the ball. If a quarterback is running with the ball during his initial possession of the same play following the snap, he may down the ball by voluntarily sliding from his feet to a sitting or recumbent position - this is to protect the quarterback from injury. In the NFL, the quarterback is the only player for whom falling down in this way automatically stops play.
The situation at a down can be described succinctly in a short phrase of the form 1st/2nd/3rd/4th & X. The first part describes which down of the set of four the offense is on, the X is a number of yards between the current line of scrimmage and the line at which the offense would gain another set of downs. Thus, offenses will begin on 1st & 10. If they were to gain 5 yards on the play, the subsequent situation would be described as 2nd & 5. If the distance to the target line is small, the number of yards may be replaced by & inches. Colloquially, when the target line is far from the line of scrimmage, the term "& long" may be used; when an offence has a first down within 10 yards of the goal line, the goal line becomes the line to gain as they cannot make another first down without scoring. In these situations the number of yards is replaced with i.e. 1st & goal. Other downs-related terminology is as follows: First down: The term "first down" can be used both as the first down in a series of downs, for the statistical achievement of gaining the required ten yards to be awarded a new first down.
When a team begins a new possession--for example following a kickoff by their opponents--their first play in the ensuing series of downs will be "first down". However, it would not be recorded as a first down for statistical purposes as the offense didn't do anything to achieve the first down. Statistically they are only credited with a first down if they gain the required ten yards to be awarded a new series of downs. Down by contact: When a player with possession of
Blitz (gridiron football)
In American football or Canadian football, blitzing is a tactic used by the defense to disrupt pass attempts by the offense. During a blitz, a higher than usual number of defensive players will rush the opposing quarterback, to try to tackle the quarterback or force them to hurry their pass attempt. In practice, a blitz involves five or more players rushing during a single down, rather than the four rushers used during normal play. For example, in a defense that uses four defensive linemen to rush, a blitz can be created by adding one or more linebackers or defensive backs. Blitzing is a higher-risk strategy, as fewer defensive players are left to cover receivers or to defend against running plays. However, a successful blitz will result in a sack or will force the quarterback into making an error; the blitz began with the "red-dog" first done by Red Ettinger, sometime between 1948–1950. The term "red-dog" referred to rushing a LB, creating a six-on-five matchup against the OL; the term "red-dog" is at least as old as 1959.
Defensive coordinator Chuck Drulis is credited with inventing the safety blitz in 1960. Bill Arnsparger is the creator of the zone blitz. On passing plays, the offense always has at least five people blocking. From the quarterback's left to his right, they are: left tackle, left guard, right guard, right tackle; the Quarterback will throw the pass, is not an available blocker. Any other player is available to block, or to be a target for a pass, depending on the play design and modification by the quarterback and center based on what they see the defense doing; the defense can bring all 11 players to blitz the quarterback. This would leave no one to try to stop a target of a pass. So the defense chooses to bring a certain number of players to try to sack the quarterback, leaves the rest to protect against a pass. Bringing 4 players or less is not considered a blitz, it is only considered a blitz. By nature, blitzes are risky endeavors for the defense. Since the defense is taking away coverage defenders to rush the quarterback, this means that the secondary can not afford to miss any coverage assignments.
The defense does not and cannot cover all offensive players, but rather through the blitz, is proactively involved in pressuring the quarterback—specifically, trying to sack him, throw off his timing, or force him to make an error such as an interception or fumble. The most common blitzes are linebacker blitzes. Safety blitzes, in which a safety is sent, corner blitzes, where a cornerback is sent, are less common. Sending a defensive back on a blitz is riskier than a linebacker blitz, as it removes a primary pass defender from the coverage scheme; the pressure, however, is severe because a blitz by a defensive back is not anticipated by the offensive team’s blockers. Blitzes are run from "Cover 1" coverage shells, which assign one man to guard the entire deep field, though blitzes can be employed in nearly any coverage scheme. Cover 1 is most effective in terms of blitzing because it allows a larger number of defensive players to tighten down on the line of scrimmage, thus increasing the variety of blitzes possible.
Since the main goal is to disrupt the offensive play before it develops, many blitz packages encourage cornerbacks to play tight man bump and run coverage to disrupt the wide receivers' release and prevent them from running their pre-assigned routes. The non-blitzing safety the free safety, has an enormous amount of field to protect and is at a serious disadvantage if the blitz is unsuccessful and receivers threaten his coverage area or if the offense can move the ball forward through immediate checkdown passes or draw plays; as such, he works for depth upon the snap of the ball, backpedaling into his assigned zone. Linebackers are either blitzing or in pass coverage. Blitzing linebackers can employ various stunts to confuse the offense's blockers and break down their protection scheme. Coverage linebackers in a Cover 1 scheme will have man responsibility on a halfback, fullback, or tight end; some defensive schemes employ "key" blitzes where a player will blitz only if his assigned man stays in to block, thus keying his action off the action of his man.
If his man releases into a pass pattern the defensive player will cover him. For example, if weak side linebacker has the fullback as his man, if upon the snap of the ball the fullback blocks, the linebacker will blitz. Advantages gained by blitzing are obvious: proactively disrupt the offense's play before it develops and cause enough pressure on the quarterback to force him into a turnover, sack, or incomplete pass. Disadvantages abound in any blitz scheme as well. First, the offensive linemen are trained to recognize a blitzing player before the snap of the ball, they communicate with each other at the line of scrimmage using code words that shift the protection to the blitzing player's side, thus strengthening their blocking front. The quarterback can call other players into the protection scheme with audibles if he feels that his current protection is weak. With good protection calls and fundamental blocking principles, some blitzes can be "picked up" — stopped at the point of attack. Second, the tight man bump and run technique typical of blitz scheme cornerbacks can be defeated with aggressive wide receiver release moves.
Once this happens, the cornerback is at a disadvantage and must regain ground and position to prevent a catch. If the blitz is picked up, the wide receiver can create enough separation to become open quickly. Third, if the blitz is picked up, the one deep defender (usu
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
Sweep (American football)
A sweep is a running play in American football where a running back takes a pitch or handoff from the quarterback and starts running parallel to the line of scrimmage, allowing for the offensive linemen and fullback to get in front of him to block defenders before he turns upfield. The play is run farther outside than an off tackle play. Variants of the sweep involve the quarterback or a wide receiver running with the ball, rather than a running back. A toss sweep is a play, run out of the I formation or single set back formation; the quarterback takes the snap, reverses out tosses the ball to the tailback. When run from the I formation, it allows the fullback to pick up any defenders who have penetrated into the backfield. Blocking from the offensive line ranges from straight zone blocking to pulling the playside guard. While this sweep doesn't have as many playfake combinations as the buck sweep, it tends to be more powerful and allows the running back to turn upfield faster; the buck sweep is run from a Wing T formation that includes a variety of play fakes.
The quarterback takes the snap and fakes trap to the fullback. He hands off to a halfback or wingback, who runs to the outside; the buck sweep is blocked by pulling the playside guard to kickout the force defender, the backside guard pulling and turning up on the playsided linebacker. This allows for the other linemen to downblock on the other defenders, giving the offense an advantage when it comes to blocking angles; the buck sweep provides an advantage in the possibilities available from its action, with the fullback trap before the sweep, a "waggle" pass, or bootleg after it, the sweep itself. Vince Lombardi, head coach of the Green Bay Packers, was fond of the sweep. In the 1960s, he utilized the Packers sweep play—also known as the Lombardi sweep—in which guards Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston pulled out from their normal positions and led blocking for the running back going around the end, it was an integral part of an offense. Known as the jet sweep or fly sweep, this sweep is a running play, run from a set with a wide receiver split out to the side away from the play run with the receiver in motion.
The quarterback receives the snap and turns or runs toward the receiver, as the receiver makes a deep arc into the backfield behind the quarterback, where there is an exchange either by handoff or by pitching the ball to the receiver. This play resembles Student Body Right, in that every available blocker blocks to the playside; the variant that became popular in the National Football League in 2018 is run with the quarterback in a shotgun formation and the receiver crossing in front of him to receive the ball. The quarterback sweep is a running play where the quarterback takes the snap from center in a shotgun formation, runs to the outside; this play can best be run by a athletic quarterback. Sweeps involve pulling of offensive linemen one or both guards, to provide extra blockers at the point of attack. Teams such as the Arkansas Razorbacks have had success running this play by lining up the halfback as the quarterback in a wildcat formation