Football Bootleg

What is a Bootleg in Football?

A Bootleg is a very popular play in football in which the quarterback moves towards one of the sidelines behind the line of scrimmage after he gets the ball from the snap. By doing so, the quarterback is confusing the defense by moving away from the position he is expected to be, the center of the field. The play works better if a team has a versatile quarterback that can both throw and rush well. After the bootleg, the quarterback can rush or have many passing options, depending on what the coach drew for the development of the play.

The Naked Bootleg

One of the most popular and entertaining variations of the bootleg is the "naked of the bootleg." The way the play develops is; after the snap, the quarterback executes a fake hand-off to a player that pretends he is rushing. The offensive line acts accordingly, protecting the fake ball carrier and that way tricking the defense into thinking that the quarterback no longer has the ball. If the defense falls for the trap set by the naked bootleg, the quarterback is left free with the ball and a huge space to run, or many passing options, and very far away from the defensive players. On the other hand, if the defense or even just one defensive player notices what is going on, the quarterback is left completely unprotected, with the risk of being sacked and losing several yards.