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Football Glossary

Understanding Basic Football Terms

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Whether you're new to the sport or a longtime fan of the game, this glossary of commonly used (and not so commonly used) football terms can be useful for just about anyone in need of a quick reference or a tool to learn the basics. It's essentially Football 101, and it includes everything from the most elementary terms to much more advanced concepts.

A
AFL
AF2
Assistant Coach
Artificial Turf
Astroturf
Audible
Automatic

B
Back
Back Judge
Backfield
Balanced Line
Ball Carrier
Beat
Bird Cage
Blackout
Blind Side
Blitz
Block
Bomb
Bootleg
Bowl Game
Bump and Run
Buttonhook

C
Canadian Football
Carry
Center
CFL
Chain Gang
Cheap Shot
Cheat Sheet
Check Off
Chop Block
Clipping
Clothesline
Coffin Corner
Coin Toss
Completion
Conferences
Controlling the Clock
Cornerback
Count
Counter
Cover
Cover 2
Cover 3
Coverage
Crackback Block
Curl
Cut
Cut Back

D
Dead Ball
Defense
Defensive Back
Defensive Backfield
Defensive End
Defensive Holding
Defensive Line
Defensive Lineman
Defensive Tackle
Defensive Team
Delay of Game
Dime Back
Dime Coverage
Dime Package
Division
Double Coverage
Double Foul
Double Team
Down
Down and In
Down and Out
Down Box
Down Lineman
Draft
Draft Choice
Draw
Drive
Drop Back
Drop Kick

E
Eligible Receiver
Encroachment
End
End Line
End Zone
Excessive Time Outs
Extra Point

F
Face Mask
Fair Catch
Fair Catch Interference
Faking a Roughing
False Start
Fantasy Football
Fantasy League
Field Goal
Field Judge
Field of Play
Field Position
First and Ten
First Down
Flag Football
Flanker
Flat
Flood
Formation
Forward Pass
Forward Progress
Foul
Franchise
Franchise Player
Free Agency
Free Agent
Free Kick
Free Safety
Freeze
Front Four
Front Seven
Fullback
Fumble

G
Game Ball
Gap
Goal Line
Goal-Line Stand
Goalpost
Gridiron
Guard
Gunner

H
Hail Mary
Halfback
Handoff
Hands Team
Hang Time
Hash Marks
Head Coach
Head Linesman
Helping the Runner
Heisman Trophy
Hitch and Go
Holder
Holding
Hole Number
Home-Field Advantage
Hook and Ladder
Hot Dog
Hot Receiver
Huddle
Hurry-up Offense

I
I Formation
Illegal Formation
Illegal Motion
Illegal Procedure
Illegal Shift
In Bounds
Incomplete Pass
Incompletion
Ineligible Receiver Downfield
Intentional Grounding
Interception
Interference

J

K
Key
Kick
Kicking an Opponent
Kicking Game
Kickoff
Kick Returner

L
Lateral
Linebacker
Line Judge
Lineman
Linemen
Line of Scrimmage
Line to Gain
Live Ball
Long Snapper
Loose Ball

M
Man in Motion
Man-to-Man Coverage
Middle Guard
Midfield
Motion
Mousetrap
Multiple Offense

N
National Football League
Necessary Line
Neutral Zone
NFL
NFL Championship
Nickel Back
Nickel Defense
Nose Guard
Nose Tackle

O
Odds
Oddsmaker
Offending Team
Offense
Offensive Backfield
Offensive Holding
Offensive Line
Offensive Linemen
Offensive Pass Interference
Officials
Off-Season
Offside
Off-Tackle
Onside Kick
Open Up Holes
Open Receiver
Option
Out of Bounds
Out of Bounds at Snap
Outside
Overtime

P
Pass
Pass Defender
Pass Interference
Pass Pattern
Pass Protection
Pass Route
Pass Rush
Passing Game
PAT
Penalty
Personal Foul
Pick
Pick Off
Pigskin
Piling On
Pistol Formation
Pitch
Pitch Out
Placekick
Placekicker
Play
Play-Action Pass
Playbook
Play Clock
Playmaker
Playoffs
Pocket
Point After Touchdown
Point Spread
Pooch Kick
Possession
Post
Post-Season
Power Sweep
Preseason
Previous Spot
Primary Receiver
Pulling
Pump Fake
Punt
Punter
Punt Return
Pylon

Q
Quarter
Quarterback
Quarterback Rating
Quarterback Sneak
Quick Count
Quick Kick

R
Reading the Defense
Ready List
Receiver
Recover
Red Dog
Redshirt
Red Zone
Referee
Regular Season
Return
Returner
Reverse
Roll
Roll Out
Rookie
Roster
Roughing the Kicker
Roughing the Passer
Route
Runback
Running Back
Running Into the Kicker
Rush

S
Sack
Safety
Safety Blitz
Safety Valve
Salary Cap
Scheme
Scramble
Scrambler
Scrambling
Screen Pass
Scrimmage
Secondary
Second Forward Pass
Series
Shift
Shotgun
Side Judge
Sidelines
Signal Caller
Signals
Single Elimination
Single-Wing Formation
Slant
Slot
Snap
Spearing
Special Teams
Spike
Spiral
Split End
Spot
Square In
Square Out
Squib Kick
Stance
Stiff Arm
Straight Arm
Strength of Schedule
Striking an Official
Striking an Opponent
Strong Safety
Strong Side
Stunt
Substitution
Subway Alumni
Succeeding Spot
Suicide Squad
Super Bowl
Sweep

T
T-Formation
Tackle
Tailback
Takeaway
TD
Territory
Third-and-Long
Three-Point Stance
Tight End
Time Out
Too Many Men on the Field
Touchback
Touchdown
Trap Block
Trenches
Tripping
Turn In
Turn Out
Turnover
Two-Minute Warning
Two-Point Conversion

U
Umpire
Unbalanced Line
Unnecessary Roughness
Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Uprights

V
Veer
Vince Lombardi Trophy

W
Weak Side
Wideout
Wide Receiver
Wild Card
Wing Back
Winning Percentage
Wishbone Formation

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