Why Canton? Representatives from the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, and Dayton Triangles met at the Jordan and Hupmobile Auto Showroom in Canton on erican Professional Football Conference, which in 1922 became the National Football League.
Chain gang – The officials on the sideline that hold the yardage markers. Referred to as the chain gang because the first down markers are held together by a 10 yard metal chain.
Chop block – A block where the offensive player throws himself at a defender’s legs to take him down, but does not tackle.
Clip/clipping – A penalty where an offensive player blocks a defensive player in the back. Results in a 15 yard penalty.
Coffin corner – A punt where the punter is trying to kick the ball out of bounds as closely as he can to the end zone without letting the ball go into the end zone or fly over the end zone. Great coffin corner punts go out of bounds between the 5-yard line and the goal line.
Counter – A play where the offense runs the ball in the opposite direction that the defense expects. Usually preceded by a fake in the opposite direction of the actual play.
This allows the defensive linemen and linebackers to contain a running play, short dump-off passes and get after the quarterback. This defense requires players that are fast and good at covering receivers. This defense can be beaten with deep passes up the middle of the field, as long as the quarterback as the necessary time for the receiver to get that far.
Dime – Similar to the nickel defense, but where the defense removes another linebacker or defensive lineman and replaces him with a sixth defensive back. Only used in obvious passing situations. Very similar to a prevent defense.
Dink and dunk – A short passing game. Passes that can frustrate a defense as they are usually less than 5 yards, but a succession of short passes lead to first downs and uses up the clock.
Dive play – A run up the middle where the offense is hoping for at least minimal yardage. Usually used when the offense needs 2 yards or less to gain a first down or touchdown.
Drag – A route where the receiver runs downfield and breaks in towards the center of the field on a 90 degree angle. The opposite of an out. Not to be confused with Nathan Lane’s character in “The Birdcage”.
Draw – An offensive play where the quarterback drops back or stands in the pocket as if to pass and then runs the ball himself or hands it off to a running back.
Down by contact – The ball carried is ruled down when any part of his body is touching the ground (other than his feet or hands) and he is touched by a defender.
End around – A running play where a wide receiver carries the ball around the end of his offensive line.
Fair catch – A call by a kick returner where he waives his arm in the air prior to catching the ball to indicate that he will not run after catching the ball and that he can not be touched by a defender. It is a penalty if the receiver makes any motion to advance the ball after calling a fair catch. If the receiver touches the ball and drops it, contact may then be made by the defender.