Discussion Questions About American Football? Ask Here!

Gold Knight

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Welcome to the American Football Q/A Thread!!!

As we have plenty of members here whose only experiences with American football may be limited to only the Eyeshield 21 manga, this is where you can come if you desire more knowledge about the sport.

Venom65437 and I, as quite avid football fans, will be happy to educate anybody who asks their questions nicely. I played as a middle linebacker for a state championship high school football team way back in the day, and keep up with the NFL like there's no tomorrow. It's my favorite sport. Venom's been watching football even longer than me, though, and as a diehard Miami Dolphins fan, he's even gone to NFL games personally.

There may be other members here who are quite knowledgable in the sport happy to answer your questions.

So, if you have any inquiries about any rules, any positions, any play calls, any systems, any players, any teams, whatever comes to mind, fire away.

Important: Rules are slightly different between the NFL (Professional Football) and NCAA (Collegiate Football). We'll go over the differences if we have to, just don't be confused by it.
 

Venom65437

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Heh, we could do a whole FAQ on the differences between NFL and NCAA football... but wouldn't this be more appropriate in the sports forum?
 

Gold Knight

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Moved... -.-

Yeah, Venom.

Okay, it's in the right place now. I think. :noworry
 

Ichimaru Gin n Tonic

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I got a question. How many referees/linesman are there in a american football match?
 

Gold Knight

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Four, I believe... one behind the quarterback to protect him (as well as watching for any illegal movements or formations), one right behind the middle linebacker (I ran into him quite a few times too), one way back that one to watch for passing plays and any interferences, and one on the sidelines watching to see where the ball should be on the next play.

EDIT: Okay, my memory's faulty, there's more. Seven to be precise. "Referee, Head Linesman, Line Judge, Umpire, Back Judge, Side Judge, and Field Judge. "

You can read more about their responsibilites here.
 

Ichimaru Gin n Tonic

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Thanks. Now another question. Is it allowed to make a lateral pass to a player standing an inch or maybe a bit more/less than the player who made the pass?
 

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Yes, if it's a quarterback or any other back tossing the pass, it's allowed. It's a lateral if it's thrown backwards, a forward pass is well, forward.

On special teams though, in kickoffs or punts, they have trick plays set up for a surprise pass, but they can only do lateral passes, which is backwards. Forward passes in that situation are illegal.

In which case, it really depends on the official's eyesight, if it's poor or not, whether it counts or not :eyeroll

Note: The risk of throwing lateral passes are that if the ball is not caught, it is considered a fumble, and can be picked up by the other team and returned for a touchdown.
 

Ichimaru Gin n Tonic

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That gave me another question (geez, stop already, man!)
If the ball fumbled and picked up by the opponent, can they make a forward or lateral pass? And if they're downed, do they get a first down or what? And... i cant think of anything else right now :D
 

Xophien

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Actually I had questions too, a bit ES21-related :

When do you get a penalty for pass interference ? I mean, Kamaguruma's bumps in the Taiyou match, weren't they a bit too much ?

Is the benchpress record of a player used in their stats ? And if yes, is 200kg (440lbs) an uncommon record ? :D
 

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ichimaru_gin_n_tonic said:
That gave me another question (geez, stop already, man!)
If the ball fumbled and picked up by the opponent, can they make a forward or lateral pass? And if they're downed, do they get a first down or what? And... i cant think of anything else right now :D
The one who picks up a fumble can only do a lateral pass or run ahead with the ball himself for the play to continue. If he tries to do a forward pass, it's a penalty.

If they're downed, I assume you mean if they're stopped? Their offense comes on and yeah, it's a first down.

Xophien said:
Actually I had questions too, a bit ES21-related :

When do you get a penalty for pass interference ? I mean, Kamaguruma's bumps in the Taiyou match, weren't they a bit too much ?
Bumps are allowed as long as it's done only five yards beyond the line of scrimmage. After that it becomes illegal and the defensive backs can't touch the receivers until they catch the ball - though crafty ones will get away with slight nudges.

Kamaguruma's bumps would have been legal, yeah. The reason it's allowed is because sometimes the receiver will actually try to block them instead of run their routes. The defensive backs have to defend themselves, too. Big receivers are actually more than often stronger than the usually smaller defensive backs. Kamaguruma was a freak.

Is the benchpress record of a player used in their stats ? And if yes, is 200kg (440lbs) an uncommon record ? :D
Well, my max. bench press was 300lbs in high school, 440lbs would be something most collegiate and pro linemen should be able to do, but for most other players on the team it would be extraordinary.

And no, it's not really mentioned too much what a player's bench press is in college or pro football, once at these levels they're all usually pretty strong. Though it's usually something the recruiting/scouting departments looks at. It's usually in high school that a player's statistics are more noteworthy to fans.
 

ibra87

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Do I sound retarded when I say that I live in Europe and don't know anything about American Soccer other than that fat and big people will jump on you if you play? The only thing I know is rugby where you grab the ball and ruuuuuuuun~ and are not allowed to pass it forward plus that you have put down on a line to score a goal :sweat
 

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ibra87 said:
Do I sound retarded when I say that I live in Europe and don't know anything about American Soccer other than that fat and big people will jump on you if you play? The only thing I know is rugby where you grab the ball and ruuuuuuuun~ and are not allowed to pass it forward plus that you have put down on a line to score a goal :sweat
I played rugby too, and let me tell you right now, it's pretty different from American football. ;)

In rugby you can only toss the football backwards at ALL times. And the action is nonstoppable, no pauses except for halftime. In football there's more strategy for every play involved because you're allowed a few seconds to decide what your next play by consulting with your coaches before the next play (more if you have a first down in collegiate football, because they stop the clock. They don't in pro football). Rugby is like a game of checkers where American football is like a game of chess.

Oh and by the way, the tacklers who jump on you aren't all that fat. They're in the best shape of their lives ever usually, and it can hurt. Though there can be some pretty big-boned players out there XD

And don't worry, I know most people here haven't been exposed to watching American football at all, so your questions are understandable.
 

Venom65437

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And here I saw there was 11 responses to this thread and I'd get a chance to answer some questions. Oh well.
 

Luckas

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Gold Knight said:
Four, I believe... one behind the quarterback to protect him
That seems a little scary. :eyeroll What do you mean with "to protect the quarterback"?
 

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Venom65437 said:
And here I saw there was 11 responses to this thread and I'd get a chance to answer some questions. Oh well.
I WIN!!! *Dances around Josh and then spikes the ball in front of him*

Luckas said:
That seems a little scary. :eyeroll What do you mean with "to protect the quarterback"?
If a defensive player hits the quarterback late, after the quarterback has already thrown the ball, it's considered a 15-yard penalty ("roughing the passer"). In the NFL they are really cracking on these type of blatant hits. Though sometimes I think they're helping the quarterbacks too much. Sometimes the defensive player can't stop himself but they still throw the flag sometimes even if it's only a second before the hit that the quarterback lets go of the ball.

But there are a lot of quarterbacks hurt in pro football/college football and that can usually ruin a team's chances of having a winning season. So the NFL in particular, who loses a lot of money if their star players are injured - and the star players are more often than not quarterbacks - tells their officials "when in doubt, throw the flag" every time.

There's also a new rule that was installed just last year where a defensive lineman cannot go for the quarterback's legs anymore in tackling him. That's usually where the majority of injuries come from - quarterback suffering ACL tears from these type of hits. Carson Palmer, the quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, got knocked out of the first round playoff game against the Steelers last year due to such an injury. The crazy thing about that was he had also thrown a 80-yard touchdown pass on the same play, and that was his final play of the game. Steelers went on to win. Sad huh?

The defensive player also cannot hit the quarterback in the head, either.

Defensive players lately like Dwight Freeney, who used to be a beast for the Indianapolis Colts, are complaining this year that having to worry about how they hit the quarterback - making the perfect tackle every time for a sack - was taking a lot of their playing abilities away.
 

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Thanks, Gold Knight; very insightful.
 

Ichimaru Gin n Tonic

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Even with all that protection, it's hard to believe that football players managed to get back up after being tackled by a bigger and/or stronger lineman. A broken bone or teared muscle is nothing strange seeing how hard those players tackles their opponents. I saw a show on Discovery about a football player who got a broken neck and he was saved thanks to the immediate use of a certain drug (i'm not gonna mention the name of the drug here, since it might raise more doubts, speculation and questions i dont know how to answer to :D). My question is, has there been fatal incident that caused the death of a player on the field?
 

Gold Knight

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Luckas said:
Thanks, Gold Knight; very insightful.
You're welcome :)

ichimaru_gin_n_tonic said:
Even with all that protection, it's hard to believe that football players managed to get back up after being tackled by a bigger and/or stronger lineman. A broken bone or teared muscle is nothing strange seeing how hard those players tackles their opponents. I saw a show on Discovery about a football player who got a broken neck and he was saved thanks to the immediate use of a certain drug (i'm not gonna mention the name of the drug here, since it might raise more doubts, speculation and questions i dont know how to answer to :D). My question is, has there been fatal incident that caused the death of a player on the field?
The last death of a pro football player that I have heard about was due to heat exhaustation. His name was Korey Stringer.

Heat is usually a football player's worst enemy, especially in summer workouts.

On the field, it's usually debilitating and devastating hits that don't even look like they were bad in the first place which cause paralysis - the latest was David Pollack of the Bengals (wouldn't be surprised if that was the player you had watched on TV. He broke his neck.

Bengals have been having bad luck with injuries lately huh - but actually, scary injuries aren't as commonplace as they used to, thanks to equipment improvements (especially in the helmet), but there's always a risk associated with playing any sport :/

Most American football death incidents are usually high school kids now because they don't have top of the line protection or skilled trainers who always know what they're doing, not like pro and college players have nowadays, anyway. Even so, considering there are like a million kids playing American football in the States, it still isn't too commonplace.[br]Posted on: December 30, 2006, 02:38:25 PM_________________________________________________
Venom65437 said:
I heard all QBs will be required to wear skirts this week! :o
Well, considering that quarterbacks are basically sitting ducks in the pocket most of the time, as they no longer can just throw the ball away unless they move outside of the pocket (or risk being penalized for "intentional grounding"), I think it's a good move. Of course, the quarterbacks that CAN run do usually take advantage, but still...

Considering that there are some quarterbacks out there on teams with inept offensive lines or wide receiving corps, it's probably for the best. Wasn't too long ago that David Carr, the quarterback of the Houston Texans, broke the record for being sacked the most of anyone in the history of NFL in a season, 76 times in his rookie year of 2002, and he's been sacked 200+ times... it's a rule some quarterbacks do need to be enforced.

It still doesn't stop quarterbacks from being hurt in any event. A lot of them still get hit when they don't know the defender is coming and they still have the ball.
 

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Thanks, GK. Now I know why they put those big fan(s) near the players bench :D
 
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