2006 NFL season
The 2006 NFL season was the 87th regular season of the National Football League. Regular season play was held from September 7 to December 31, 2006; the NFL title was won by the Indianapolis Colts, when they defeated the Chicago Bears 29–17 in Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium at Miami Gardens, Florida on February 4. End zone celebrations became more restricted. Players can not do any act in which they are on the ground. Players may still spike, or, dunk it over the goal posts. Dancing in the end zone is permitted as long as it is not a prolonged or group celebration; the Lambeau Leap, though, is still legal. Defenders were prohibited from hitting a passer in the knee or below unless they are blocked into him; this rule was enacted in response to the previous season's injuries to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Brian Griese. Down-by-contact calls could now be reviewed by instant replay to determine if a player fumbled the ball before he was down, who recovered it.
These plays could not be reversed once officials blew the whistle. The "horse-collar tackle" rule enacted during the previous 2005 season was expanded. Players are now prohibited from tackling a ball carrier from the rear by tugging inside his jersey, it was only illegal if the tackler's hand got inside the player's shoulder pads. To reduce injuries, defensive players cannot line up directly over the long snapper during field goal and extra point attempts; the 2006 season marked the debut of new officiating uniforms which are supposed to be more comfortable for officials to wear in extreme weather over the old polyester uniforms. The uniforms were designed by Reebok using a proprietary material technology to keep officials both warm and dry during the winter months of the season. On the shirt, the position and number are removed from the front pocket and the lettering and numbers on the back side were black-on-white and are smaller print and the sleeve shows the uniform number. Officials wore full-length black pants with white stripe during the winter months to stay warm, criticized by media.
This was the first major design overhaul since 1979, when the position name was added to the shirt, but abbreviated in 1982. Bernie Kukar and Tom White retired. Jerome Boger and Gene Steratore were promoted to referee. For the first time since Super Bowl IV at the conclusion of the 1969 season, the official NFL game ball was known as "The Duke" in honor of Wellington Mara, whose family owns the New York Giants. Son John is the current CEO of the team; the NFL first used "The Duke" ball in honor of Mara in 1941 after then-Chicago Bears owner George Halas and then-Giants owner Tim Mara made a deal with Wilson Sporting Goods to become the league's official supplier of game balls, a relationship that continued into its sixty-fifth year in 2006.“The Duke” ball was discontinued after the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger, the merged league began using a different standardized ball made by Wilson. The only other time that "The Duke" ball name was used was during the two "Thanksgiving Classic" games in 2004. One side of the new 2006 "Duke" football featured the NFL shield logo in gold, the words "The Duke", the NFL commissioner’s signature.
The obverse side has a small NFL logo above the needle bladder hole, the conference names between the hole, the words "National Football League" in gold. As per the custom, specially branded balls were used for the first week of the 2006 season as well as for the Thanksgiving Day, conference championships, Super Bowl XLI and Pro Bowl games. Through week 11 of the season, all NFL games had been sold out, for the 24th time, all blackout restrictions had been lifted; the streak was ended by the Jacksonville at Buffalo game in Week 12. This was the first season that NBC held the rights to televise Sunday Night Football, becoming the beneficiaries by negotiating the new flexible-scheduling system. ESPN became the new home of Monday Night Football, replacing sister network American Broadcasting Company, who chose to opt out of broadcasting league games. Meanwhile, CBS and Fox renewed their television contracts to the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference packages, respectively.
This was the first season that the NFL used a “flexible-scheduling” for the last few weeks of the season, allowing the league flexibility in selecting games to air on Sunday night, in order to feature the current hottest, streaking teams. This was implemented to prevent games featuring losing teams from airing during primetime late in the season, while at the same time allowing NBC to rake in more money off of the higher ratings from surprise, playoff-potential teams that more fans would enjoy watching. Under the flexible-scheduling system, all Sunday games in the affected weeks tentatively had the start times of 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, except those played in the Pacific or Mountain time zones, which will have a tentative start time of 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. On the Tuesday 12 days before the games, the league moved one game to the primetime slot, one or more 1 p.m. slotted games to the 4 p.m. slots. During the last week of the season, the league could re-schedule games as late as six days before the contests so that all of the television networks will be able to broadcast a game that has playoff implications.
Starting September 18, fans were able to download highlights of their teams' games through Apple's iTunes Store. Each video costs US$1.99 each but fans have the chance of buying a "Follow Your
Reception (gridiron football)
In American football and Canadian football, a reception known informally as a catch, is part of a play in which a forward pass from behind the line of scrimmage is received by a player in bounds, after the catch, proceeds to either score a touchdown or be downed. Yards gained from the receiving play are credited to the receiver as receiving yards. If such a pass is not caught by the receiver, it is called an incomplete pass or an incompletion. A reception should not be confused with a lateral known as a lateral pass or backward pass, which occurs when the ball is thrown backwards or sideways to a teammate. Glossary of American football
National Football League
The National Football League is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, the highest professional level of American football in the world; the NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, held in the first Sunday in February, is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC; the NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League in 1966, the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most watched television programs in American history, all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U. S. television broadcasts by 2015. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner; the players in the league belong to the National Football League Players Association. The team with the most NFL championships is the Green Bay Packers with thirteen; the current NFL champions are the New England Patriots, who defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII for their sixth Super Bowl championship. On August 20, 1920, a meeting was held by representatives of the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Dayton Triangles at the Jordan and Hupmobile auto showroom in Canton, Ohio; this meeting resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference, a group who, according to the Canton Evening Repository, intended to "raise the standard of professional football in every way possible, to eliminate bidding for players between rival clubs and to secure cooperation in the formation of schedules".
Another meeting was held on September 17, 1920 with representatives from teams from four states-Akron, Canton and Dayton from Ohio. The league was renamed to the American Professional Football Association; the league elected Jim Thorpe as its first president, consisted of 14 teams. The Massillon Tigers from Massillon, Ohio was at the September 17 meeting, but did not field a team in 1920. Only two of these teams, the Decatur Staleys and the Chicago Cardinals, remain. Although the league did not maintain official standings for its 1920 inaugural season and teams played schedules that included non-league opponents, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their 8–0–3 record; the first event occurred on September 26, 1920 when the Rock Island Independents defeated the non-league St. Paul Ideals 48–0 at Douglas Park. On October 3, 1920, the first full week of league play occurred; the following season resulted in the Chicago Staleys controversially winning the title over the Buffalo All-Americans.
On June 24, 1922, the APFA changed its name to the National Football League. In 1932, the season ended with the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans tied for first in the league standings. At the time, teams were ranked on a single table and the team with the highest winning percentage at the end of the season was declared the champion; this method had been used since the league's creation in 1920, but no situation had been encountered where two teams were tied for first. The league determined that a playoff game between Chicago and Portsmouth was needed to decide the league's champion; the teams were scheduled to play the playoff game a regular season game that would count towards the regular season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a combination of heavy snow and extreme cold forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Playing with altered rules to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the game 9–0 and thus won the championship.
Fan interest in the de facto championship game led the NFL, beginning in 1933, to split into two divisions with a championship game to be played between the division champions. The 1934 season marked the first of 12 seasons in which African Americans were absent from the league; the de facto ban was rescinded in 1946, following public pressure and coinciding with the removal of a similar ban in Major League Baseball. The NFL was always the foremost pro
Ronnie G. Brown Jr. is a former American football running back. After graduating from Cartersville High School in Georgia, Brown attended Auburn University to play college football for the Auburn Tigers, he and Cadillac Williams shared carries at running back, while he had 1,008 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2002, 446 yards and five touchdowns in 2003, 913 yards and eight touchdowns in 2004. Brown finished seventh in school history with 2,707 rushing yards and fifth with 28 rushing touchdowns, he twice earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors in 2002 and 2004. Brown was drafted second overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2005 NFL Draft. Brown started at running back for the Dolphins for the first four weeks of the season while Ricky Williams served a suspension, shared carries with him when he returned in week five. Brown became the feature back in 2006 due to Williams' full year suspension. Brown sat out three games due to a broken hand suffered on Thanksgiving Day in a game against the Detroit Lions, returning in week 16.
He played in the first seven games of the 2007 season before suffering a knee injury which knocked him out for the remainder of the season. Williams started over Brown in the first two games of the 2008 season, but shared carries with him after week two. Brown had 916 yards and ten touchdowns in 2008, which led to his first Pro Bowl selection following the season, he was placed on injured reserve for the second straight season after suffering a foot injury in week nine of the 2009 season. Brown rushed for five touchdowns in 2010, as he started in all 16 games, he played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 following a six-year career with the Dolphins. Brown attended Cartersville High School in Georgia, where he was a three-year starter and rushed for 4,936 yards, 12 touchdowns. Brown moved on to Auburn University, where he majored in communications and played for coach Tommy Tuberville's Auburn Tigers football team from 2000 to 2004, he teamed up with speed running back Carnell Williams to create a premier running threat of speed and power.
He redshirted after playing in the first two games of the 2000 season as he only gained 10 yards on six carries. In 2001, he played in 10 games and ranked third on the team with 330 yards on 84 carries and two touchdowns while catching seven passes for 109 yards. Brown enjoyed his best season in 2002 when he gained a career-high 1,008 yards on 175 carries with 13 touchdowns while subbing for the injured Williams, he had nine receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown. However, in 2003, with Williams healthy and starting, Brown's statistics dropped as he carried the ball only 95 times for 446 yards, recorded five touchdowns, had eight receptions for 80 yards. In 2004, Brown started seven games. Together with Jason Campbell, coach Tommy Tuberville called them the best backfield in the past 30 years as they led the team to a 13-0 record, he totaled 913 yards on 153 scored eight times. He displayed his receiving capabilities as he ranked second on the team with 34 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown.
Although he started only 21 of 47 games for Auburn he finished his career ranked seventh in school history with 2,707 yards rushing on 513 carries while ranking fifth with 28 rushing touchdowns. Brown had 58 receptions for 668 yards and two touchdowns. 2000: 6 carries for 10 yards and no touchdowns. 2001: 84 carries for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns. 7 catches for 109 yards. 2002: 175 carries for 1008 yards and 13 touchdowns. 9 catches for 166 yards and 1 touchdown. 2003: 95 carries for 446 yards and 5 touchdowns. 8 catches for 80 yards. 2004: 153 carries for 913 yards and 8 touchdowns. 34 catches for 313 yards and 1 touchdown. Brown entered the 2005 NFL Draft and was drafted with the 2nd overall pick of the 1st round by the Miami Dolphins. Fellow Auburn University HB Carnell Williams was in the draft and was selected with the fifth pick in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brown held out of training camp due to a contract dispute and as a result was not successful running the ball in the first two weeks of the season as he rushed for only 93 yards on 34 carries and no touchdowns.
However, he got on track in Week 3 as he rushed for 132 yards on 23 carries and his first career touchdown. He followed, but during Week 5, he had to again share rushing duties with another premier running back, this time Ricky Williams, returning from a four-game suspension. Brown ended up having only about forty more rushes than Williams during the 2005 season, was well on pace for a 1,000 yard campaign if it wasn't for them sharing the football. Brown ended up with 207 rushes for 907 yards and 4 touchdowns while having 32 receptions for 232 yards and a touchdown. With Ricky Williams suspended for the entire season, Brown entered 2006 as the feature back for the Miami Dolphins; the offensive line and offense in general struggled for the Dolphins, making it difficult for Brown to produce at a high level. He had a breakout game on October 15 loss to the New York Jets, rushing for 127 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Three weeks he rushed for a career-high 157 yards against a stingy Chicago Bears defense, helping the Dolphins to an upset victory of the undefeated Bears.
On a Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions, Brown suffered a broken left hand from a hit by a defender's helmet. While he missed the next three contests, Brown returned for the final two games of the season and posted back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances against the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets. In 13 game
Bradley Childress is an American football coach. He has worked for over thirty years as a coach for various college programs and NFL franchises and was head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, he attended high school at the Marmion Academy in Illinois. Childress is a 1978 graduate of Eastern Illinois University, where he preceded current New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. Childress attended Eastern Illinois after playing quarterback and wide receiver at the University of Illinois. Childress suffered an injury before playing for Eastern Illinois, he was one of three Eastern Illinois University alums who have been head coaches in the NFL, along with Sean Payton and Mike Shanahan. Prior to his hiring by the Vikings, Childress had worked as an offensive coach, working his way up through the ranks at various colleges and NFL organizations, first as a position coach, culminating with his offensive coordinator position with the Eagles. During the last four seasons of his tenure on the University of Illinois' coaching staff, the Illini posted four consecutive winning seasons, including a Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl in 1983.
Childress followed stints with the Indianapolis Colts, Northern Arizona, the University of Utah with a successful run at the University of Wisconsin. Childress was the offensive coordinator under former Badger head coach Barry Alvarez, directed offenses that helped the Badgers to five bowl game appearances from 1993–1998, including two Rose Bowls as Big Ten co-champions following the 1993 and 1998 seasons, he coached running back Ron Dayne for three seasons. Dayne went on to win the 1999 Heisman Trophy and finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Childress joined the Philadelphia Eagles for the 1999 NFL season, helped the team to three consecutive trips to the NFC Championship game, a Super Bowl trip in 2004. Andy Reid, the Eagles' head coach, had worked with Childress at Northern Arizona University, a staff that included future NFL coaches Bill Callahan and Marty Mornhinweg. While Childress did not call plays for the Eagles, he did receive credit for his work with quarterback Donovan McNabb, named to five Pro Bowls during his time with Childress.
On January 6, 2006, Childress was hired to be the 7th head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. This choice was the result of a short selection process. Former coach Mike Tice was informed that his contract would not be renewed shortly after the Vikings' last game of the 2005 season on December 31. Four candidates were interviewed by the Vikings: Childress, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders, Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell, former Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell; the Vikings were 9 -- 7 with Mike Tice the year. After going 6–10 in his first year, the team went 8–8 in his second season, narrowly missing a playoff berth; this was followed by a 10–6 record and NFC North title while battling the fourth-toughest schedule in the NFL. However, the Vikings were defeated by the #6 seed Philadelphia Eagles 26–14 in the first round of the 2009 playoffs. On November 19, 2009, the Vikings announced they would be extending Childress's contract through the 2013 season.
The owner Zygi Wilf was cited as saying, “Brad has done a tremendous job leading this football team and we value the positive environment he has created for the Minnesota Vikings on and off the field, He has continued to positively impact this team and create a strong foundation for future success."Partly due to frustration with the development of quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, the Vikings signed Brett Favre for the 2009 season. Favre joined to the team after a controversial courtship which included Childress picking him up at the airport. Favre led the Vikings to a 12–4 season, losing to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game; the Vikings acquired wide receiver Randy Moss and a seventh-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft from the New England Patriots in early October 2010 in exchange for the Vikings' third-round selection in the 2011 Draft. Just four weeks he was waived under Childress' direction, incurring the wrath of Viking fans. ESPN reported. After the unilateral decision to cut Moss, Childress' integrity was questioned by at least one former Vikings beat reporter.
Childress was fired on November 22, 2010, following a 31–3 home loss to the Green Bay Packers which dropped the team to 3–7 on the year. On January 27, 2012, Childress became the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator, he lasted just one season in Cleveland, was let go at the end of the year along with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the rest of the coaching staff. On March 28, 2013, new head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs Andy Reid hired Childress as the spread game analyst and special projects coordinator, a position he stayed at for three seasons. On January 18, 2016, he was promoted to co-offensive coordinator with Matt Nagy. On February 13, 2017, Childress was promoted to assistant head coach. Childress announced his retirement on January 8, 2018, following a wildcard round playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. Just four weeks after announcing his retirement, on February 27, 2018 Childress elected to reunite with Nagy on the Chicago Bears as an offensive consultant. On April 25, 2018, the Alliance of American Football announced Childress would serve as head coach of the Atlanta Legends starting with the inaugural 2019 season..
On January 9, 2019, one month before the team's first game, Childress resigned, with defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle succeeding him. NFL head coaches under whom Childress ha
South Carolina Gamecocks football
The South Carolina Gamecocks football program represents the University of South Carolina in the sport of American football. The Gamecocks compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference. Will Muschamp serves as the team's head coach, they play their home games at Williams-Brice Stadium. It is the 20th largest stadium in college football. USC's SEC tenure has been highlighted by an SEC East title in 2010, Final Top-25 rankings in 2000, 2001, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, four wins over Top-5 SEC opponents. From 1953 through 1970, the Gamecocks played in the Atlantic Coast Conference, winning the 1969 ACC championship and finishing No. 15 in the 1958 final AP poll. From 1971 through 1991, they competed as a major independent, producing 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers, six bowl appearances, Final Top-25 rankings in 1984 and 1987; the Gamecocks have produced a National Coach of the Year in Joe Morrison, three SEC coaches of the year in Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier, one ACC coach of the year in Paul Dietzel.
They have four members of the College Football Hall of Fame in former players George Rogers and Sterling Sharpe, former coaches Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier. Carolina fielded its first football team on Christmas Eve, in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1892 versus Furman. At that time the football team was not sanctioned by the University, they paid their own train fare in order to participate in the game. They were nicknamed the "College Boys" by The News and Courier and their supporters wore garnet and black. USC won its first game in its third season, on November 2, 1895 against Columbia AA; the squad designated W. H. "Dixie" Whaley, the following year. The 1896 season saw the inaugural game against arch-rival Clemson on November 12, which Carolina won 12–6. From 1902 to 1903, coach Bob Williams led the Gamecocks to a 14–3 record. In 1902, South Carolina beat Clemson, coached by John Heisman, for the first time since 1896, the first year of the rivalry. "The Carolina fans that week were carrying around a poster with the image of a tiger with a gamecock standing on top of it, holding the tiger's tail as if he was steering the tiger by the tail", Jay McCormick said.
"Naturally, the Clemson guys didn't take too kindly to that, on Wednesday and again on Thursday, there were sporadic fistfights involving brass knuckles and other objects and so forth, some of which resulted, according to the newspapers, in blood being spilled and persons having to seek medical assistance. After the game on Thursday, the Clemson guys frankly told the Carolina students that if you bring this poster, insulting to us, to the big parade on Friday, you're going to be in trouble, and of course, the Carolina students brought the poster to the parade. If you give someone an ultimatum and they're your rival, they're going to do what you told them not to do." As expected, another brawl broke out before both sides agreed to mutually burn the poster in an effort to defuse tensions. The immediate aftermath resulted in the stoppage of the rivalry until 1909. 1903 heralded the program's first 8-win season with an overall record of 8–2. Future senator and former star player for South Carolina and UVA, Christie Benet led the Gamecocks from 1904 to 1905 and 1908 to 1909.
1904's captain Gene Oliver played against Georgia with a broken jaw. The Board of Trustees banned participation in football for the 1906 season after the faculty complained that the coarseness of chants and cheers, yelled by the students at football games, were not gentlemanly in nature. Within months The Board of Trustees reversed their decision after hearing pleas, receiving petitions, from students and alumni alike. Play was allowed to resume in 1907. A hastily assembled football team, coached by Board of Trustees member Douglas McKay, competed in an abbreviated season that same year, the squad won all three games. In 1910, South Carolina hired John Neff from UVA. Norman Edgerton coached the team from 1912 to 1915. A. B. Stoney played on the team, yet another UVA grad, W. Rice Warren coached the 1916 team. Frank Dobson led the war-torn 1918 team to a 2–1–1 record. Coach Sol Metzger led the 1921 team to a 5 -- 1 -- 2 record. Branch Bocock coached the 1926 teams. Billy Laval, a Columbia, South Carolina native, came to USC from Furman.
Laval accepted a three-year contract worth $8,000 per year to coach the Gamecocks, which made him the highest-paid coach in the state. From 1928 to 1934, he led the Gamecocks to seven consecutive winning seasons and a 39–26–6 overall record, which included a perfect 3–0 Southern Conference campaign in 1933. Laval is one of only two South Carolina football coaches to have produced seven consecutive winning seasons. In 2009, The State called him "the greatest collegiate coach" in the history of South Carolina. Laval left USC after six seasons to coach multiple sports at Emory and Henry College due to differences over his contract with the USC athletics department. 1934 was the first season. Prior to this, South Carolina played its home games on the school's campus. Don McCallister led the Gamecocks for three seasons before being replaced, his final record is 13–20–1. Under coach Rex Enright, who came to USC from his post as an assistant coach at Georgia, the Gamecocks produced another undefeated Southern Conference season, in 1941.
A wide receiver referred to as wideouts or receivers, is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, is a key player. They get their name because they are split out "wide". Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field; the wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist. The wide receiver's principal role is to catch passes from the quarterback. On passing plays, the receiver attempts to avoid, outmaneuver, or outrun defenders in the area of his pass route. If the receiver becomes open, or has an unobstructed path to the destination of a catch, he may become the quarterback's target. Once a pass is thrown in his direction, the receiver's goal is to first catch the ball and attempt to run downfield; some receivers are perceived as a deep threat because of their flat-out speed, while others may be possession receivers known for not dropping passes, running crossing routes across the middle of the field, converting third down situations. A receiver's height contributes to their expected role.
A wide receiver has two potential roles during running plays. In the case of draw plays and other trick plays, he may run a pass route with the intent of drawing off defenders. Alternatively, he may block for the running back. Well-rounded receivers are noted for blocking defensive backs in support of teammates in addition to their pass-catching abilities. Sometimes wide receivers are used to run the ball in some form of an end-around or reverse; this can be effective because the defense does not expect them to be the ball carrier on running plays. For example, wide receiver Jerry Rice rushed the ball 87 times for 645 yards and 10 touchdowns in his 20 NFL seasons. In rarer cases, receivers may pass the ball as part of a trick play. A receiver can pass the ball so long as they receive the ball behind the line of scrimmage, in the form of a handoff or backwards lateral; this sort of trick play is employed with a receiver who has past experience playing quarterback at a lower level, such as high school, or sometimes, college.
Antwaan Randle El threw a touchdown pass at the wide receiver position in Super Bowl XL playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Seattle Seahawks. Antwaan Randle El played quarterback for four years at Indiana University. Wide receivers also serve on special teams as kick returners or punt returners, as gunners on kick coverage teams, or as part of the hands team during onside kicks. On errant passes, receivers must play a defensive role by attempting to prevent an interception. If a pass is intercepted, receivers must use their speed to chase down and tackle the ball carrier to prevent him from returning the ball for a long gain or a touchdown. In the NFL, wide receivers can use the numbers 10–19 and 80–89; the wide receiver grew out of a position known as the end. The ends played on the offensive line next to the tackles. By the rules governing the forward pass and backs are eligible receivers. Most early football teams used the ends as receivers sparingly, as their position left them in heavy traffic with many defenders around.
By the 1930s, some teams were experimenting with moving one end far out near the sideline, to make them more open to receive passes. These split ends became the prototype for the modern wide receiver. Don Hutson, who played college football at Alabama and professionally with the Green Bay Packers, was the first player to exploit the potentials of the split end position, is credited as inventing the wide receiver position; as the passing game evolved, a second wide receiver position was added. While it is possible to move the opposite end out wide for a second split end position most teams preferred to leave that end in close to provide extra blocking protection on the quarterback's blind side; that player was playing the modern day tight end position. Instead of moving the blind side end out, one of the three running backs was split wide instead, creating the flanker position; the flanker lined up off the line of scrimmage like a running back or quarterback, but split outside like a split end.
Lining up behind the line of scrimmage gave flankers some advantages. Flankers have more "space" between themselves and a pressing defensive back, so cornerbacks can not as "jam" them at the line of scrimmage; this is in addition to being eligible for motion plays, allowing for the flanker to move laterally before and during the snap. Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch is one of the earliest players to exploit the potentials of the flanker position as a member of the Los Angeles Rams during the 1950s. While some teams did experiment with more than two wide receivers as a gimmick or trick play, most teams used the pro set as the standard set of offensive personnel. An early innovator, coach Sid Gillman used 3+ wide receiver sets as early as the 1960s. In sets that have three, four, or five wide receivers, extra receivers are called slot receivers, as they play in the "slot" between the furthest receiver and the offensive line. In most situations, the slot receiver lines