Nomenclature - S

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TermDefinition
SackA tackle of the QB behind the LOS on a pass play
SafetyWhen an offensive team is tackled in their own end zone. The defense is rewarded two points and receivers the following kickoff.
Safety ValveA RB or receiver that is put in a position to receiver a pass from the QB if the QB is unable to identify any other open receivers down field
SAMStrongside Linebacker
ScatA five-man pass protection in which the RB immediately releases into a route.
Scoop BlockA block by an OL which seals a pursuing LB to the backside of the play
ScrambleThe act of a QB running after not finding someone to pass the ball to on a pass play. Not part of the original play design such as a rollout pass
ScrapeLateral movement by a LB in pursuit of a running play
Scrape exchangeA play in which a defense exchanges assignments by allowing a defensive linemen to be responsible for an inside gap, and a LB scraping over the top to take over the DL responsibility
Screen PassA pass play in which the offensive line allows the defense to get penetration and move past them (as if through a screen) before the ball is thrown over top of them with the blockers now moving down field. Can be thrown to any eligible receiver
SDEStrongside Defensive End
SESplit End, WR aligned on the LOS away from the linemen
SealThe act of a blocker maintaining a defender on the intended side of the play
Seal BlockA RB block in which he goes in the opposite direction of the play and seals the first, unblocked defender to the backside.
SeamThe area of the field for the defense within the "seams" of a defensive coverage, or the area splitting two defenders
Seam routeAn offensive route that attacks the "seams" of the defense's coverage
Second LevelThe level of the defense aligned behind the LOS
SecondaryThe defensive backs
SeparationThe distance between an offensive player and a defensive player intending to defend him
Settle TechniqueA technique by a DB in which he waits for the receiver to approach before jamming him to disrupt his route
Seven-Man FrontAny defense having 4 players in the secondary
ShadeAn alignment by a defender in which is is slightly favoring one side of an adjacent offensive player
ShiftA change in alignment by any offensive player pre-snap
Short SideThe side of the offensive formation closest to the sideline
Short TrapA trap play in which an OL trap blocks a defender 2-3 gaps away.
Shotgun formationAn offensive formation in which the QB is aligned further behind the center when he receives the snap. Typically between 4-6 yards behind the center.
Shovel passA passing motion in which the QB "pushes" the ball toward a receiver rather than over-hand throwing it. Typically the shovel pass is to a receiver behind the LOS
Side JudgeAn official lined up on the same side as the head linesmen, essentially similar to the back judge
Sight AdjustmentA post-snap adjustment in which a receiver alters his route/path based on the defense
Single-WingAn offensive formation invented by Pop Warner in which the FB and TB are split behind the center and will receiver the snap directly. The QB in this case is primarily a blocker aligned behind an offensive tackle (often called a Blocking Back) and there is a single wing player aligned outside an End
Six-Man FrontAny defense having 5 players in the defensive secondary
Sky ForceWhen a safety is responsible for maintaining "force" or outside leverage
SlantA route in which the receiver initially works for 3 steps before breaking at a 45 degree angle inside
SlantA DL stunt in which the DL moves one gap to the strong side post-snap
SLBStrongside Linebacker
Slide ProtectionA pass protection scheme in which all blockers slide one direction and are responsible for a zone
Slip BlockA front side combination block in which a blocker first blocks the first level defender before "slipping" to the second level LB when the other blocker takes over.
SlotThe position of the field between the receiver slit off the formation and the end of the formation
Slot fadeA fade route coming from the slot receiver
Slot ReceiverThe receiver aligned between the split end and the end of the formation
Slow ScreenA screen pass that takes longer to develop in order to pull the defenders further upfield
SluggoA route in which you initially run what looks like a slant before going downfield
SnapThe transfer of the ball from the center to the QB, punter, or kicker
Snap CountThe number of calls before the ball is snapped
Sniffer backA RB aligned tight to the LOS immediately behind the LOS between the tackles
Soft EdgeA defensive alignment that does not have a defender directly outside on the LOS from the offensive EMOL
SpikeA move by a DE initially aligned outside to move inside one gap post-snap
SpillForcing the football from its intended direction to the outside
SpinA change in assignments between two safeties
Spin SeriesA series of plays from the single wing in which the player that receives the ball spins around and gives or fakes to another backfield player
SpikeA DL technique in which you start in a gap pre-snap and attack one gap further inside.
Split backsAn offensive formation in which there are two RBs that are split behind the QB
Split FlowAn offensive play where two backs go in opposite directions
SplitsThe distance between receivers or between receivers and the formation
Split-T OffenseAn offensive formation that was a variation of the T-Formation in which the offense is more spread out
SpotThe location the ball is placed down at the end of a play
SpreadAn offensive concept in which offensive players are spread out along the width of the field
Sprint DrawAn offensive run play that initially looks like a sprint out pass before a handoff to a RB going back the other direction
Sprint Out PassA pass play in which the QB sprints out of the pocket immediately at the snap. Typically not paired with play action
SpyA defender that is responsible for keeping an eye on the QB and preventing him from scrambling for yards
SquareThe act of maintaining your shoulder parallel to a surface. Typically, square to the LOS or square to an opponent
Square InA pass route in the receiver starts vertically before breaking in to the middle of the field at 90 degrees
SquatAct of playing flat footed and forward, typically in a zone coverage, allowing you to break on everything in front of you quickly.
Squat AlignmentAn alignment position in coverage with about 4 yards of cushion and on the outside shoulder. Typically used in zone coverage (such as Cover 2) to allow the defender to see the receiver and QB. Also used to bluff zone coverage
Squib kickA kickoff that is intentionally kicked along the ground short of the deep returners in an effort to prevent a long return
SqueezeThe closing and playing a gap with the opponents body, i.e. squeezing a gap by pushing a blocker into an adjacent blocker
SSStrong Safety
StackMultiple WRs aligned one behind the other
StackA LB aligned right behind a DL
Stalk BlockOpen field, above-the-waist block by WRs
STARSafety/LB Hybrid Player
Statue of Liberty PlayA play in which the QB acts as if he is going to pass the ball, goes through the passing motion, but rather than releasing the ball to pass, then hands the ball back to a RB who runs.
StemThe path a receiver takes immediately after the snap to get into his route or the movement of the defense from an initial position to a different position immediately pre-snap
Stiff ArmA move by a ball carrier in which he sticks his arm out into a tackling defender in an effort to prevent him from making the tackle
Stretch BlockA lead block on a stretch run play in which the lead blocker is blocking the first defender that flashes in the 2nd or 3rd level.
Stretch playA type of run play with zone blocking that works like outside zone
Strong SideThe side of the offensive formation that has more players. The run strength of the play typically is to the side where the TE is located and only counts the players near the OL; the passing strength counts the number of eligible receivers
StuntA designed defensive play in which two or more defenders purposefully alter rush assignemnts, typically by twisting around each other or moving to a location away from their initial alignment, in order to confuse blocking assignments
SweepA type of run play that attempts to get to the edge of the defense before getting vertical
SweepA running play where the ball carrier attempts to get toward the sideline and outside the primary run defenders
Swim MoveA move by a defensive player to get off a block, typically by moving the arm over a defender and pulling his opposite shoulder to get him off balance
Swing PassA route by a RB in which he "swings" out of the backfield to catch a pass outside the pocket
Switch ReleaseA concept in which two receiver switch there pre-snap position upon their release

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