NFL Jargon Quiz

By: Nathan Chandler

NFL Jargon Quiz
Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

American football is packed with obscure slang to help coaches and players communicate more efficiently. How much do you know about NFL jargon? Take this quiz and find out!
Which players often execute "stunts"?
defensive linemen
In an effort to confuse blockers, defensive linemen often shift position just before a play begins, a ploy called stunting. Offensive linemen need good technique and communication to thwart the effects of stunting.
quarterbacks
kickers

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What's a "dime package"?
a touchdown followed by a quick field goal
a defensive scheme
In obvious passing situations, a defense will often switch to a dime package. The dime is a defensive scheme that uses six defensive backs, all chasing potential receivers.
painkillers for injured players

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What's the name for a designed play that disintegrates into chaos?
a rumble
broken play
Sometimes the offense screws up or the defense blows up their plans. Either way, a carefully orchestrated play that falls apart is called a broken play.
snapped play

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Which player might execute a "bull rush"?
defensive lineman
Defensive linemen who discard fancy techniques and simply push straight towards the ball carrier are performing a bull rush. A bull rush is all about power and strength.
fullback
running back

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What's a "bomb"?
a long run
a long pass
When a quarterback throw a long pass downfield, it's called a bomb. A "Hail Mary" is a desperation bomb heaved at the end of a game when the offense needs a miraculous score to tie or win a game.
a long field goal attempt

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When does "Black Monday" traditionally take place?
the Monday following the final regular season game
The day after the final regular season game is often called Black Monday. That's because underperforming head coaches are often fired on this day -- and more often than not, it seems like those coaches are immediately hired by other teams.
the Monday before Christmas
the Monday before the Super Bowl

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How does one "ice" a place kicker?
jump up and down in his face
slam him to the ground
call a timeout
Defending teams will often call a timeout just before a kicker attempts a field goal in an effort to "ice" him. The idea is to make him overthink (and hopefully miss) the field goal.

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A highly regarded college player who doesn't meet expectations in the NFL is called what?
a bust
Many great college players just aren't cut out for the big leagues. Those that can't make the leap to the NFL are called busts.
a drop-out
a ringer

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The "red zone" begins how far from an opponent's goal line?
10 yards
20 yards
The red zone is the area that begins 20 yards from an opponent's goal line. Offenses with a high red zone scoring percentage are effcient at making the most of their scoring opportunities.
30 yards

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What does it mean if a player has a "high motor"?
prone to tiring as a game progresses
relentless energy
Players with a high motor have incredible energy, and they don't tire easily. They will relentlessly pursue their tasks throughout the game in spite of the other team's efforts to stop them.
poor center of gravity

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Which player is obsessed with the "coffin corner"?
running back
quarterback
punter
Punters aim their kicks for the "coffin corner," the corner of the field near the goal line. The hope is to pin the opposing team deep in its own territory.

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A "chip shot" applies to which part of the game?
kicking
A short field goal attempt is a chip shot, one that every professional kicker should make with regularity. Those that don't quickly find themselves wearing street clothes.
passing
rushing

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When is a team most likely to attempt a "squib" kick?
at the beginning of a game
when they are winning
If the winning team is clinging to a lead at the end of a half, they'll often purposely kick a short kickoff, a "squib" kick. Squib kicks often minimize the return team's odds of a long return or score.
when they are losing

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Why is the football field sometimes called the "gridiron"?
It evokes images of powerful men.
It resembles a cooking implement.
A gridiron is essentially a rectangular cast iron skillet or metal grate with regular parallel bars that's used for cooking food. A football field looks a lot like a gridiron, thus the nickname.
It looks like a prison

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Players who are which position sometimes "hear footsteps"?
cornerback
quarterback
Quarterbacks who "hear footsteps" are imagining pocket pressure where there is none, often causing them to scamper or throw the ball out of bounds. QBs who have been hit hard many times are more likely to hear footsteps out of fear.
running back

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On which type of play do "gunners" have the greatest impact?
during kick returns
When a team kicks off or punts, the gunners are the guys blazing down the field in a straight line in hopes of tackling the return man as quickly as possible. The best gunners are fast, strong and fearless.
during long pass plays
during goal line stands

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If a quarterback throws a pass "underneath," how long is the pass?
short
Short passes thrown just past the defensive line -- but short of the linebackers and defensive backs -- are often called underneath passes. Ball control offenses frequently use underneath passes as part of their game plan.
medium
long

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The term "gunslinger" is used to describe a few players at which position?
left tackle
quarterback
Quarterbacks like former NFL star Brett Favre are sometimes called gunslingers. They are high-risk, high-reward QBs who often attempt difficult throws, to either the delight or chagrin of fans and coaches.
wide receiver

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What's a "pooch punt"?
an insanely long punt
a purposely short punt
Sometimes punters are instructed to purposely kick a short punt. This is often done in hopes of limiting the return team's ability to run back a punt for a long gain or score.
a punt that rolls backwards

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A "screen" would happen during which aspect of a football game?
during a field goal attempt
during a passing play
On a screen pass, the quarterback throws a short pass to a receiver or running back, who has extra blockers ahead of him. Screen passes are often effective in long yardage situations where the defense is stretched across the field.
during the kickoff

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A player at which position might display "alligator arms"?
offensive line
cornerback
wide receiver
Wide receivers sometimes fail to extend their arms to catch passes, instead keeping their arms close to their bodies (thus the name alligator arms). This is a frequent tendency for WRs who perceive that they are about to be hit hard by defensive players.

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A "pick six" is a result of which event?
fumble
interception
When a defensive player grabs an interception and returns it for a touchdown, it's a "pick six." Legendary defensive back Rod Woodson holds the career record for pick sixes, with 12.
sack

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A "ball control" offense is predicated on which philosophy?
few turnovers
A so-called ball control offense stresses low-risk plays with few turnovers, minimizing mistakes and capitalizing on defensive vulnerabilities. Ball control offenses are sometimes boring to watch, but executed properly they can win many games.
long passing game
many field goals

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Which player is most responsible for the "snap"?
right guard
running back
center
The center is the player that "snaps" the ball to the quarterback at the beginning of each play. The snap is something that's practiced every week, simply because bungled snaps result in wasted plays and turnovers.

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A "hard count" often results in which penalty?
offsides
A savvy quarterback will often attempt to lure the defense into jumping offsides before the ball is snapped. Some quarterbacks change the tone or volume of their voices (or bob their heads) to trick defenses.
holding
false start

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A player at which position might try to use a "swim move"?
defensive end
Defensive ends use an arm-over motion, sort of like a freestyle swimming stroke, in order to get past blockers. The best defensive ends combine a variety of techniques to disrupt plays.
running back
tight end

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Which player is NOT part of a "shotgun" snap?
tackle
In a so-called shotgun snap, the center executes a longer-than-normal snap to the quarterback, who stands a few yards back from the line of scrimmage. A shotgun snap is often useful when the offense expects a full-out blitz from the defense.
center
quaterback

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What's a "horse collar"?
a penalty
A horse collar is a penalty in which one player tackles another by the back of his collar. This type of tackling is prohibited because it can easily result in a severe injury.
a piece of protective gear
a receiver's route

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Which player would be responsible for the most important aspect of a "bootleg"?
tight end
quarterback
On a bootleg play, the quarterback fakes a handoff and then runs to towards a sideline. He'll either pass the ball or run it himself. Bootlegs are especially effective for teams that have a fast, mobile quarterback.
kicker

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Which team unit would execute a "wildcat"?
defense
offense
In a wildcat offensive scheme, during a shotgun snap, the center may give the ball to either the quarterback or running back. The wildcat can help keep defenses on their heels.
kicking unit

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