Pacstud's O-Line Terminology
Here is a basic guide to translating the terms used in my offensive line analysis. None of this is mine. It is all basic jargon used throughout the football industry. Most of these terms have synonyms that are used. I try to stay consistent, but will sometimes name formations or plays differently. I hope this helps.
3. 3-2; -47
LT-2; LG-1.5; C-1; RG-2; RT-1
The first line
3. 3-2; -47
Play #. Down-Distance; Yard Line (negative indicating opponent's half of field)
Punts and FGs are not included in the play # tally. I have begun to label the start of series as well.
The second line is formation
This may take a while. It is important to remember that you really don't need the formation to follow the play. It does help, though, to know where everyone is lining up in regards to the offensive line.
The third line is the play
Run plays are fairly easy to diagnose and label, with a small number of exceptions. Pass protection is slightly more difficult, but we can still find basic structures.
The fourth line is the player grade
LT-2; LG-1.5; C-1; RG-2; RT-1
This is on a 0-2 point scale. 0 represents a "whiff" or being beaten completely on a play. 2 represents a successful and complete block. .5-1.5 is everything in between. While grades may vary slightly from one person to the next, consistency from a single graded over a period of time is the essential element.
I usually try to add any relevant comments afterwards. These are most helpful if combined with video.
Here is a glossary of terms used in Formation description:
Ace: A two tight end, single running back formation with two wide receivers.
Blue: A shotgun formation with two backs next to the quarterback. Used with a Twins set to one side and an Open set to the other. (Remember: Blue = Two)
Bootleg: A play-action look with a QB roll out opposite of the run fake.
Bunch: A trips set with three receivers clustered near the box. Usually the tight end is set in the middle and on the line of scrimmage, with the other two set off the line of scrimmage.
Empty: This is a formation with five wide outs and the quarterback is the only player in the backfield. Usually, though not always, out of a Gun set.
F: Letter designation for fullback.
Flanker: This is a spot on the field. A flanker is off the line of scrimmage (LOS) and adjacent to the offensive tackle.
Gun: A shotgun formation
H: Letter designation for secondary tight end. It also can be used to designate slot receiver (third receiver).
Lt.: Left. So "Pro Lt." would be an I formation with the tight end set to the left.
Naked: A bootleg without any protection to the roll out side.
On: This is a term used to designate that a player otherwise split out wide by formation is "On" the line and adjacent to the offensive tackle. Almost exclusively used for the tight end.
Open: Used to signify a single receiver set out wide. This can be used with or without a tight end on the same side.
Pro: Basic I formation
Rt.: Right. Strength is declared to the tight end. So "Pro Rt." would be an I formation with the tight end set to the right.
SB: Acronym for a Single Back set. While there may be an F or fullback in the formation, that player would not be in the backfield. An SB designation is not used in shotgun sets where there is no tight end.
Strong: An I formation (Pro) set with an offset fullback "F". In a strong set, the fullback is offset toward the tight end.
Texas: A combination of Ace and Pro. This is a formation with two tight ends and a fullback. This leaves only a single wide out. Often the single wide out is lined up in a wing or flanker position. Also, the wide out is sometimes a third tight end.
TO: Acronym for a Tackle Over set. Strength is still declared to the tight end side, which is opposite the tackle over.
Trips: Three wide receivers set to one side. Often this will include the tight end, designated as "Y". Otherwise, same as twins in regards to strength. Please note that if the Y is included in the trips call, then strength would be to the trips, not opposite.
Twins: Two wide receivers set to one side. I do not designate which is on or off, or their distance from the line (all things that would be done in a "real" formation call). When used, the Rt./Lt. call designates the Twins side. So "Pro Twins Lt." means we have a Twins set left, and by default the tight end (and strength) is opposite, or right.
Up: Used to denote that the player (usually tight end or "Y") is in a two point standing position instead of a three point stance. Up is not used if the player is "open" or "split out wide", it would then be inferred.
Weak: An I formation (Pro) set with an offset fullback "F". In a weak set, the fullback is offset away from the tight end.
Wing: This is a spot on the field. A wing is off the line of scrimmage (LOS) and adjacent to the tight end.
X: Letter designation for secondary wide receiver. Usually set on the line of scrimmage (LOS).
Y: Letter designation for primary tight end. Please note that often a "Y" is designated for schematic purposes, while the actual player may be a wide-out or back.
Z: Letter designation for primary wide receiver. Usually set off the line of scrimmage (LOS).
13, 22, 23, 31, 32: A basic description of "spread" sets. To try and describe any spread set requires multiple terms and numbers, so I use a general "left to right" rule. The first number is how many receivers are set out to the left, the second number to the right. Obviously, 13, 22, and 31 are four receiver sets. 32 and 23 (and I suppose 41 and 14) are Empty sets. If a receiver is set in a wing or flanker slot, I try to label accordingly.
Here is a glossary of terms used in Play description:
Run Plays (I will update throughout the season as needed)
Iso: Short for "isolation" (also known as Lead), the intent is to isolate a LB with your Fullback. The playside blocking is man. There is usually at least one double team. The double team is also responsible for the backside LB. The backside blocking can be man or zone.
Pacstud Note: I will update as this project continues. Trying to get diagrams inserted.