Did you know that Prohibition and football share the same term? That’s right. Read on to find out how it came about and other details involved with the football version of bootleg.
What is a bootleg in football?
A bootleg in football is a play where the quarterback runs the ball toward either sideline behind the line of scrimmage. This is a play-action pass play where the pocket moves for the quarterback.
- Standard bootlegs include just one fake handoff and a blocker. More complex versions can include multiple fake handoffs and multiple blockers.
- Bootlegs rely on misdirection to free up time and space for the quarterback.
- A naked bootleg is a trick play where the QB runs without any blockers in the opposite direction than his team. Usually, run in short-yardage situations.
Why is it called a bootleg?
During Prohibition, people known as bootleggers would hide their whiskey in their pants. This is similar to how the quarterback hides the ball during the play. The quarterback hides the ball by his thigh to deceive the defense. Pop Warner is credited with inventing the term for football.
How do you run a bootleg?
There are different variations that can be implemented, but here is a general idea of how a bootleg in football is run.
- The quarterback snaps the ball.
- The quarterback fakes a handoff to the running back. QB hides the ball near his hip.
- Quarterback rolls to either sideline accompanied by a lead blocker.
- The quarterback decides to either attempt to run for positive yardage or pass.
Bootleg Concepts Explained Video
Which side do quarterbacks run to on bootleg plays?
Quarterbacks can run toward either side, but they usually run toward the side of their dominant hand. If the QB is right-hand, he will probably run to the right side; if the QB is left-handed, he will probably run to the left side. This makes it easier for the QB to secure the ball and make an accurate pass.
What is a naked bootleg?
Also called a waggle, a naked bootleg is when blockers do not accompany the quarterback. It is also common for the QB to make a run in the opposite direction than the rest of his team. Other standard bootlegs include the quarterbacks having a lead blocker. Naked bootlegs are considered a trick play that is often run in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
What is the difference between a play-action pass and a bootleg?
A play-action pass is when the quarterback intends to pass the ball. Bootleg plays utilize the same play-action pass buildup because the quarterback fakes a handoff. After the fake handoff, the QB rolls out to the side and decides to either run or pass on bootleg plays.
What is the difference between a rollout and a bootleg?
A rollout is different from a bootleg because the QB begins his motion toward the sideline once he snaps the ball. Rollouts don’t include any fake handoffs. Bootlegs are essentially a delayed rollout because they include a fake handoff to delay the rollout.
You’re on our Bootleg in Football Definition page.
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