Glossary of American Football - Z


Used in offensive play calling, usually referring to the flanker, the wide receiver who lines up off the line of scrimmage. For example, "Panther Gun 85 Slant Z Go" tells the Z-receiver to run a go (also called a fly or streak) route.
A colloquial term for an official, referring to their black-and-white striped uniform.
zone defense
A defense in which players who are in pass coverage cover zones of the field, instead of individual players. Pure zone packages are seldom used; most defenses employ some combination of zone and man coverage.
zone blitz
A defensive package combining a blitz with zone pass coverage. Allows the defense to choose the blitzer after the offense shows formation and pass coverage requirements, and features unpredictable blitzes from different linebackers and defensive backs. Invented by coach Dick LeBeau.
zone read
A type of option offense where the quarterback and tail back line up approximately side by side. After the quarterback receives the snap, the two players cross paths and go through the motions of a hand-off. Based upon reading the defensive reaction, the quarterback either completes the handoff or pulls the ball out and runs with it himself.

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Z - Name and Pronunciation
... In most dialects of English, the letter's name is zed /ˈzɛd/, reflecting its derivation from the Greek zeta, but in American English, its name is zee /ˈz ...