Sunday, September 21, 2008

New NFL buzzword? Bubble screen

Was it last year or the year before, everyone started using the words "Trap game?" This year's buzz word is "bubble screen." Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times explains:
    It's a pass thrown behind the line of scrimmage to a receiver or running back who's already in an extended formation. The term "bubble" refers to the pass catcher bubbling back away from the line of scrimmage to give the quarterback a better angle to throw to him.

    The goal is to have the receiver catch the ball in front of him, with his shoulders facing forward. At the same time, the receivers outside of him are blocking down the field.

    The timing is crucial, because those outside receivers cannot start blocking until the ball has been caught. Otherwise, it's offensive pass interference. (Typically, officials won't call that as long as the ball has left the quarterback's hand.)
Farmer said it's a play that is used to pick up 4 or 5 yards. I just Googled it, he's right. It's all over the place. Feel free to use it today in conversation before it becomes last year's buzz word. It's getting use in the college game, too.