Football phrases

A handy guide
by Dr. Robert Feathers

"No one has a crystal ball"
"That toughness is contagious"
"Pulling the trigger"
"Get a hat on a hat"

"Challenge the manhood of your football team"
"They're back to being hungry again"
"He's good in space"
"Trying to change the culture"
"He's the bell cow on defense"
"They're going to hit you in the mouth"
"It's a chess match"
"He's growing up right before our eyes"
"He showed some mental dexterity"
"In the trenches"
"He's got a chance to be special"
"One tough hombre"
"His players have bought in"
"Pound the rock"
"Control tempo"
"Believe in themselves"
"Taken to the woodshed"
"Answer the bell"
"He's playing with a lot of swagger"
"How hard these kids have worked"
"Crazy things can happen in this game"
"They're still trying to find their identity"
"Play a cat and mouse game"
"Go through his progressions"
"Nothing to sneeze at"
"Tighten up your boot straps"
"He's got the right make up"
"Ran out of real estate"
"That's exactly how you draw it up"
"Tremendous competitor"
"That's an effort play"
"Play for 60 minutes"
"Let the wind out of their sails"
"That's a football player"
"A bend but don't break defense"
"We're going to find out what kind of character they have"
"We're going to find out how tough these guys are"
"He can flat out make plays"
"The will to win a football game"
"Run between the tackles"
"He's playing at a high level"
"You've got to have a short memory"
"He has a nose for the ball"
"That's part of the maturation process"
"Firing on all cylinders"
"He's given them a different dimension"
"He's a game-changer"
"Throw the statistics out the window"
"Play with a sense of urgency"
"Ball security"
"Match their physicality"
"Physical specimen"
"High motor"
"They've been hit by the injury bug"
"Delivers the wood"
"There's parity across the board"
"He's a dual-threat guy"
"Off to the races"
"That's just power football"
"Ball recognition"
"Happy feet"
"Kept his composure in the pocket"
"Circle the wagons"
"You've got to look that ball in"
"Bow your neck"
"Let's see how they handle adversity"
"Fire in your belly"
"Hits him in the numbers"
"Impact players make impact plays"
"That's just putting your helmet on the football"
"Tackling with a purpose"
"Making something out of nothing to help your football team"
"Getting your team at a fever pitch"
"You've got to win the battle up front"
"The hands team"
"Hostile environment"
"Playing with continuity"
"Route recognition"
"He'll be playing on Sundays"
"Freakish athleticism"
"At the point of attack"
"He plays with a chip on his shoulder"
"Small in stature, big in heart"
"Bow up"
"They do everything with a purpose"
"There's a lot of football to be played"
"Taking it to the house"
"A high-effort player"
"That's textbook football"
"He's a touchdown maker"
"Dialed up some pressure"
"They fly to the football"
"Into the teeth of the wind"
"A place in pro football lore"
"They've got their mojo back"
"Look your fear in the eyes"
"They've put their hearts out on that field"
"Pedal to the metal"
"That's their bread and butter"
"Playing the field position game"

"Right up the gut"
"That's smash-mouth football"
"Battling tooth and nail"
"They've been through the wars"
"Getting their sea legs"
"Ball skills"
"Up to the task"
"This is not a game for the faint of heart"
"Against the grain"
"Chasing points"
"Big boy football"
"Playing with their backs against the wall"
"Play to the whistle"
"Error-free football"
"On the money"
"End the season on a high note"
"That's an inspired play"
"Playoff atmosphere"
"In traffic"
"Run it right down your throat"
"You just have to keep fighting"
"Out of their comfort zone"
"This is what teams play for"
"Who wants it more"
"He has NFL scouts drooling"
"Big shoes to fill"
"Prepare your team to play under adverse conditions"
"Quick strike"
"Third and manageable"
"Field awareness"
"That's body part awareness"
"He's a chain mover"
"He runs behind his pads"
"The game is bigger than all of us"
"Assignment football"
"Assignment-oriented football"
"These teams don't like each other"
"He figures prominently"
"Pull the ball down"
"Plus territory"
"Jumps the route"
"Tendency breaker"
"Do not get nosy with your eyes"
"He ate him for lunch"
"He trusted his instincts"
"Space eater"
"He's playing with his eyes"
"Tail and trail"
"In God's hands"
"Game speed"
"Walked off under his own power"
"Never underestimate fresh legs"
"Laid the lumber"
"The gift of hindsight"
"The field is where you make plays"
"No dice"
"There's no love lost"
"Old school"
"You don't want to let off the gas"
"Put two hands on the football and tuck it in"
"Ball hawking"
"It's going to build the confidence in that locker room"
"Quality pitch and catch"
"Pass the eyeball test"
"Smoke route"
"Took a big lick"
"Dinking and dunking"
"Throwing the ball with conviction"
"Taken down by the turf monster"
"They had him dead to rights"
"The fun and gun"
"Mr. Everything"
"Blood and guts football"
"He’s a north-to-south runner"

"He can pull it down and make plays"
"On the national map"
"Battering ram"
"Eat up clock"
"Maintain leverage"
"He likes the big stage"
"Securing the edge with a purpose"
"This game humbles you"
"These guys are pretty salty"
"Establish physicality"
"He's a space player"
"Lateral quickness"
"That's how you set the edge"
"Tough sledding"
"He's got field moxie"
"Room to operate"
"Flying to the football"
"Can't bang our heads against a nine-man front"
"Manage your expectations in this type of atmosphere"
"He stayed right in his hip pocket"
"Put the best 11 on the field"
"Take the starch out of the run"
"Disciplined enough to stay in our lanes"
"Film never lies"
"Cut his teeth"
"Bunch look"
"Going for broke"
"Do you have enough to be physical at the point of attack"
"Play action check down"
"Fight like the devil"
"You have to contend routes"
"Laid the ball on the ground"
"Licking their wounds"
"Hot read"
"The NFL's Mount Rushmore"
"To be able to produce in critical spots"
"On an island"
"Bevy of talent"
"Finding ways to utilize their talent"
"Beyond the sticks"
"He gave them a shot in the arm"
"You see the exuberance"
"Fine line between winning and losing a football game"
"Concussion-like symptoms"
"Texas-sized comeback"
"Methodical approach"
"Between the 20s"
"The red zone"
"Stretch the defense"
"He knows the verbage"
"Killer instinct"
"Even keel"
"He got his bell rung"
"Running downhill"
"Run reliant"
"Character plays"
"Self-inflicted wounds"
"Pure pocket passer"
"A punter's chance"
"Ground and pound"
"Pinching your linebackers"
"Honor his legs"
"Toting the rock"
"Turn the page"
"Win first down"
"You just wanna get north-south"
"He's an X's and O's guy"
"Best in the business"
"Four-down territory"
"Dynamic sideline presence"
"There are a lot of moving parts"
"Throw a wrinkle in the offense"
"Rub routes"
"The moment was bigger than all of us"
"It's a wordy offense"
"That deer-in-headlights look"
"Bringing the wood"
"College football landscape"
"He's throwing hospital balls"
"He was poised to house it"
"Ghost motion"
"Hit in the dentures"
"Trucking the defender"
"That pass had too much sauce on it"
"Window dressing"
"He's a football doctor carving up defenses with surgical precision"
"That's good pre-snap administration"
"A gaggle of wide receivers"
"Chunky yardage"
"There's nothing but green grass and opportunity"
"We're not going to throw out the baby with the bath water"
"That consistency has a lot to do with his motor"
"Five-step drop"
"Iron sharpens iron"
"He brings the thump"
"Strike force offense"
"Tuck it and take off"
"They're stalking bigger game"
"He's got a little hitch in his giddy-up"
"He engages on the edge"
"Pre-snap information"
"You've got to bring your lunch every day"
"Banana route"
"Lightning package"
"Directional schools"
"Trench personnel"
"Bull rushing"
"System quarterback"

"Load the box"
"He's the blitz beater"
"He's a bowling ball of a back"
"Play fast"
"His lid came off"
"Bowl preparation"
"A whale of a season"
"SEC speed"
"Turf toe"
"Situational football"

The Jesse Palmer Hall of Fame

"Pinning your ears back"
"You can dial up exotic pressures"
"They need more eye discipline"
"He's got some get-off"
"Exotic blitz packages"
"3rd and California"
"The K-Gun"

Team, game, person or city-specific phrases

"The Big House"
"Between the hedges"
"Touchdown Jesus"
"The frozen tundra"
"The 'U'"
"The Big Easy"
"The maize and blue"
"Beamer Ball"
"Death Valley"
"Matty Ice"
"The New York football Giants"
"Big Ben"
"The ol' ball coach"
"The 12th man"
"The Pittsburgh Steelers way"
"Legion of Boom"
"Beast mode"

2017-2018 football phrase diaries

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6


Please don't mention these things again

The 1972 Dolphins
"Roll Tide"
The 1985 Bears