Nomenclature - C

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C2 defensive backs man-to-man technique on the widest wide receiver (in-and-out with the MOF player)
C gapGap between the tackle and tight end (or sideline if no TE)
CadenceWords and numbers spoken by the QB at the LOS to hike the football
CageAn alignment in a 4 DL defense in which the DE aligns head-up over the open side OT and has B-gap responsibility or is two-gapping
CAGECenter and Guard. Combo block between the Center and the OG
Capped RouteAn idea in which the defender is aligned in the path a route is attempting to go
CarryWhen a player receives a handoff and carries the football on a run play
CarryTerm used to cover a receiver deep until help can come from over the top
CatA blitz, typically from a secondary player.
Chains10-yard chain that shows the yardage needed to pick up a first down on any set of downs
Change of StrengthWhen the offense shifts/motions into a new formation and changes the formation play strength pre-snap
ChaseThe backside defender assigned to follow for action coming back opposite original flow (boot, reverse, etc.)
CheatA change in alignment where a player aligns closer to where he eventually needs to go based on his assignment
Check DownWhen a QB works through his progression and hits his safety valve, typically short and when under pressure
Check ReleaseA RB pass route that is run after it is clear he isn't needed in pass protection
Check RouteA RB pass route that is run after it is clear he isn't needed in pass protection
Check with MeOffensive playcall made by the QB in the huddle that can be checked to if initial play is unlikely to work against defensive alignment. For huddle teams, often two plays called in the huddle. For no huddle teams, often checking with the sideline
ChipSimilar to brush block, but with a little more force with initial contact
Choice RouteRoute by the receiver where he has options based on the defensive leverage and coverage
Chop BlockIllegal double team block in which one blocker blocks high and the other blocks low
ChuckMomentary hit designed to temporarily delay a player from where he wants to go
ClampMan to man coverage (usually specifically on #1) on all route releases, often used in combination coverage calls
ClearTo run a route through an area to take defenders away from that area
ClearTo see an opening in the blocking for which the LB or S can attack the ball carrier
Clearing RouteTo run a route through an area to take defenders away from that area
ClippingAn illegal block from behind, typically below the waist
CloseA slot receiver split 1-3 yards away from the tackle
Closed FormationA side of a formation that has a TE without a flanker outside of him
Closed SideThe side of an offensive formation with an attached TE
CloudCB with outside leverage and run support and flat responsibility in pass coverage
Cloud ForceWhen a CB is responsible for maintaining "force" or outside leverage
CloudyTo see bodies impeding the path between the LB or S and the ball carrier
ClubA sudden arm movement used to take advantage of opponent's momentum
Coffin-Corner KickA punt aligned to the corner so that it goes out of bounds before reaching the end zone
Combination BlockA pair of blockers in a zone blocking scheme that will double team a first level defender and work playside to a second level defender
ComboA man-to-man coverage with two safeties playing two receivers based on their release (typically involving a TE)
Combo BlockBlock by two blockers, typically working to a 2nd level player
Comeback RouteRoute by the receiver where he breaks back to the football, typically to the outside
CompletionThe act of completing a pass from thrower to receiver
ConeA man-to-man coverage technique in which 2 DBs play 1 receiver (in/out)
ContainThe player responsible for not allowing the ball carrier to break outside of him. Leverage defender
Contain RushOutside-in pass rush that ensures the QB can't break the pocket
Convoy BlockA WR blocking assignment in which he initially goes for the safety. If he can't reach the safety, he comes back to block the corner. In an effort, blocking the most dangerous man
Corner OverA defensive alignment that sees the CB follow the WR to the opposite side of the formation
Corner RouteA route that breaks from the inside and goes to the corner at 45 degrees
CornerbackDefensive back that aligns over the top of a WR, playing either zone or man-to-man coverage
COSChange of strength
CountNumber of players on the field, or in a defined area (box, one side of coverage, etc.)
CountThe number of "Hikes" before snapping the football
CounterA play that looks to initially be going in one direction, but is designed to go the opposite direction
Cover 0No deep safeties
Cover 1One deep safety
Cover 2Two deep safeties
Cover 3Three deep zones covered in thirds
Cover 4Deep zones theoretically covered in fourths
Cover 5A Cover 3 adjustment; means different things in different systems
Cover 6Quarter-Quarter-half deep coverage
Cover 7From the Nick Saban playbook: a two high coverage where the strongside has 4 defenders on 3 receivers pattern match and the weakside has a 3 on 2 pattern match
CoverageScheme utilized by the defense to defend against the pass
Coverage RecognitionAbility for QB and WR to recognize the defensive coverage and adjust attack
Coverage SackA sack due to good coverage in the secondary
CPCoaching Point
CrabA technique by a blocker or defender where a player gets on all fours and makes it difficult for opponent to get leverage
Crack/Crackback BlockWhere an outside receiver blocks a player inside of him and seals the outside, typically blocking either a safety or LB
CrashWhen a defender breaks quickly to where he anticipates the ball going
CrossA man-to-man coverage technique in which 3 defenders (DBs) play 2 receivers
Crossing RouteA route by a receiver that crosses the formation
Crossover StepA lateral step in which the player's foot away from the direction he is going crosses across his body
Crowd the BallAlignment by the defense as close as possible to the LOS
CrownElevated center of the field for water drainage purposes
CrownTop of the helmet
Curl RouteA route by a receiver that curls back to the QB, typically in an inward direction
Curl ZoneThe area of the field outside the TE to the numbers on the field, typically starting from 3-5 yards depth going to 10-12 yards depth
CushionThe vertical distance between a defender and a receiver
CutA man-to-man coverage technique in which a defender frees from his original coverage to go help on another receiver, typically moving in the opposite direction of the primary coverage defender's leverage. Often associated with a LB or safety taking over for a CB on an inside release/crossing route
Cut CoverageA 3-on-2 double to play #2 and #3 man-to-man up and inside and cut to #1 on outside release
Cut BlockA legal block in which a player blocks at the knees or lower of a defender, always in front of the defender (never back of the knee)
Cut Off"Two types of block: 1) Inward block from TE/WR that seeks to prevent penetration, cutting off the shortest route between the defender and the ball
2) A backside block by an OL that prevents the backside of the defense from flowing to the football, i.e. cutting off their immediate path to the play"
CutbackChange in direction by the ball carrier, typically in the opposite direction of the flow of the play.

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