Yes, once again it seems I've inadvertently come up with a series of articles on a particular topic. This time, it's scouting. Here is Part 2 in the series, a couple of interesting and somewhat amusing pieces from a former NFL GM:
Part 1: NFL Scouting Departments
The Dictionary meaning and the NFL Scouting meaning
by Ted Sundquist
The key would be to know “what to ask” and “who to ask it to”. But with football terms you can’t just open up your ENCARTA Dictionary and hope for the best when explaining your plight. Let The Football Educator be your Rosetta Stone to some of these commonly used descriptors by NFL scouts in their football player evaluations. Here’s a look at a few for quarterbacks and fullbacks.
- Good hard count
- ENCARTA -firm, stiff, or rigid, and not easily cut, pierced, or bent/to say numbers in order, usually starting at one
- SCOUTING MEANING – The ability to use voice inflection on the snap count to draw the defense offside or put them on their heels at the snap.
- Happy feet
- ENCARTA- feeling or showing pleasure, contentment, or joy/plural of foot
- SCOUTING MEANING – No, not dancing penguins. The inability to set your feet in the pocket and throw the football due to fear of pressure (getting hit) by the pass rush and or the inability to release the ball due to the secondary’s coverage of the receivers.
- Hangs guys out to dry
- ENCARTA – to suspend or fasten something so that it is held up from above and not supported from below, or be suspended or fastened in this way/not wet, or no longer wet
- SCOUTING MEANING – The inability to put the ball in the receiver’s body frame to catch, rather forcing the receiver to extend and expose himself to a big hit by the secondary.
- Dart Thrower
- ENCARTA- a short weighted arrow with a long slender point, a tapered tubular body, and plastic or metal fins/to propel something through the air by swinging the arm and releasing the object from the hand
- SCOUTING MEANING – A QB with a compact throwing motion and quick release from his hand. Ball is accurately on the target, travels in tight spiral/straight line and is within the body frame of the receiver.
- Nickel-dime passer
- ENCARTA – a coin worth five cents – a U.S. or Canadian coin worth ten cents/to move past or through a place or past a person
- SCOUTING MEANING – A QB that is apt to throw to the short route receivers in the 5 to 10 yard range from the line of scrimmage. Not going to risk or have the physical ability to throw the ball to the deeper routes downfield.
- Face up on edge
- ENCARTA – the front of the human head, where the eyes, nose, mouth, chin, cheeks, and forehead are/in, at, or to a higher level or position/a line or area that is the outermost part or the part farthest away from the center of something
- SCOUTING MEANING – Willing to pickup pass rushers outside the Offensive Tackle and square his body up on theirs. Will not pick a side (left or right), but more apt to put his helmet in the middle of the defender’s body to engage the block.
- Eats up ground quickly
- ENCARTA – to take something into the mouth as food and swallow it/the surface of the land/moving or doing something fast
- SCOUTING MEANING – Quickly covers a short distance from his pre-snap stance to his blocking responsibility or has the acceleration and short yardage burst to carry the football for positive yardage.
- Carries pads well
- ENCARTA – to take somebody or something that you are holding or supporting to another place/a piece of soft material used to protect something or give it shape, to clean or polish articles, or to absorb moisture/a hole or shaft that is dug or drilled into the ground in order to obtain water, brine, petroleum, or natural gas
- SCOUTING MEANING – Looks natural and plays with smooth body movement, whether running or change of direction, for a bigger skilled position player. Doesn’t appear awkward or stiff in getting from point A to point B in his assignments.
- Cut on a dime
- ENCARTA – to divide something into pieces using a knife, scissors, or a similar sharp-edged tool/used to indicate a position above and in contact with the surface of something else/ a U.S. or Canadian coin worth ten cents
- SCOUTING MEANING – Can make the mental decision to change direction and has the physical tools to quickly do so, whether 45 or 90 degrees. No wasted body movement with change of direction. Feet are quick and precise in their movement.
- Hedges some on blocks
- ENCARTA – a close-set row of bushes, usually with their branches intermingled, forming a barrier or boundary in a garden, lawn, or field/ used to indicate an unspecified number, quantity, or proportion of a total, generally a fairly small to average or reasonable one/ a large solid piece of a hard substance, usually with flat sides
- SCOUTING MEANING – Will at times be less than willing to engage a defender to execute a block. Body will tense up, cringe or slow down at the point of contact. Doesn’t use strength and acceleration upon contact to move the defender from his position.
It’s a little confusing at first, but with your own “secret decoder ring” – The Football Educator, you can cut straight to the football scouting meaning of just about anything. See you next with Running Backs and Tight Ends.The true scouting meaning of some more NFL terms
by Ted Sundquist
We football scouts are a funny breed. After watching hundreds and hundreds of ]NFL draft prospects each and every season, there’s only so many times you can describe speed as “fast” and big as “strong”. Late nights at the laptop tend to loosen up the articulate creativity of the NFL scout. What once could be defined with one or two commonly used terms or phrases suddenly becomes open season for more “colorful” clarifiers. Here are just a few used to push the positives (and sometimes negatives) of the running backs and tight ends.
- Wide-screen vision
- ENCARTA – describes a type of film projection in which the image is substantially wider than it is tall/ the ability to see
- SCOUTING MEANING – Has the instinctive peripheral vision that spans 180 degrees. Able to see and mentally “feel” openings in the defensive line and has the foot quickness and body control to change direction and accelerate to and through the opening.
- Great finisher
- ENCARTA – very large and impressive/ to come to an end, or bring something to an end
- SCOUTING MEANING – Doesn’t cringe upon contact with defender, stop his foot movement or forward acceleration when being engaged by tacklers. Player will continue with lower body movement and power to push through the tackle and move the ball forward with extra physical effort.
- ENCARTA – somebody who weaves, especially professionally/ to make long deep cuts in something
- SCOUTING MEANING – Weavers tend to run through openings in the defense and then around defenders to avoid tackles by constant change of direction. Takes a lot of energy out of the back and exposes him to pursuit tackles. Slashers are runners who see the opening in the defense and accelerate through in a straight line. They use their combination of vision to find the hole and speed to get from point A to point B.
- Home run gear
- ENCARTA – in baseball, a hit that allows a player to make a circuit of all four bases and score a run, usually by hitting the ball out of the playing area/ one of several fixed transmission settings in a vehicle that determine power or direction
- SCOUTING MEANING – The ability once the back clears the line of scrimmage and avoids the front seven defenders (linemen and linebackers) to accelerate and open up his foot speed to outrun defenders (secondary) to the endzone.
- Narrow base
- ENCARTA – having a small width, especially in comparison to height or length/ the lowest, bottom, or supporting part or layer of something
- SCOUTING MEANING – A running style that is more upright and linear. Usually not a lot of knee bend or balance in his stride. Defenders can easily knock these type of backs down with body contact alone.
- Gets foot into the ground
- ENCARTA – to become or begin to have a particular quality/ the part of the leg of a vertebrate below the ankle joint that supports the rest of the body and maintains balance when standing and walking/ the surface of the land
- SCOUTING MEANING – Describes the ability for the player to plant his foot off a full stride sprint and change direction in a quick and controlled manner, usually to execute a specific receiving pattern.
- Stays collected in break
- ENCARTA – to continue to be in the same place, condition, or state/ calm and in control of yourself/ to become damaged and separate into pieces, or damage something so that it separates into pieces
- SCOUTING MEANING – This goes in conjunction with “gets foot into ground”. For a physically bigger/taller receiver, is able to bring his body under control and remain balanced/quick to execute a sudden route movement away from the defender and into his next move.
- Good trey blocker
- ENCARTA – of a high quality or standard, either on an absolute scale or in relation to another or others/ a card, or the face of a die or domino, with three pips/ a drug that prevents a physiological function
- SCOUTING MEANING – Used to describe the ability to “double team” with an Offensive Tackle down on a Defensive Lineman aligned inside of the Tight End. The Tight End works in conjunction with the offensive tackle and then can release away from the first block and move even farther inside to execute a second block on a pursuing linebacker. Has good timing, balance and quickness to move from the first block to the second.
- Alligator arms
- ENCARTA – a large reptile that lives near water, has thick scaly skin, powerful jaws, a long tail, and a shorter and broader snout than a crocodile/ a limb attached to the shoulder of the human body
- SCOUTING MEANING – Not wanting to extend the upper body (both arms/hands) to reach for the football thrown outside the frame. Normally a result of sensing or seeing impending contact from a defender closing in on the receiver.
- Sinks & separates
- ENCARTA – to descend, or cause something to descend, beneath the surface of a liquid or a soft substance and become partly or wholly submerged/ not touching or connected, not together, or not in the same place
- SCOUTING MEANING – This runs in conjunction with “gets foot in ground” and “stays collected in break”. As a receiver, is able to decelerate and lower his center of gravity by dropping his hips and maintaining a good balance/base. Can then quickly create distance between himself and defender by changing direction and accelerating away.
The Football Educator “double grabs” Wide Receivers and Offensive Centers to “escape the jam” next.