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NFL.com's Scout-Speak Quiz and Mayock's Glossary.

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NFL.com put together a fun little video quiz on basic scouting terms and another article breaking down Mike Mayock's scouting jargon.

Browns scouts
Browns scouts
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Check out the scout-speak quiz on NFL.com.

It's pretty basic stuff and not all that challenging, but they did a nice job, especially with the explanation videos. Some of the terms they chose to highlight seemed odd to me and a little random, but all-in-all it's well worth taking a look at.

I ran through it several times. It's a 10-question quiz but there are more than 10 possible questions that you can get. The second time I got maybe 3 or 4 ones I didn't see the first time through. The third time I saw one. After that it was all repeat, so I'd recommend taking it twice or maybe a third time.



Scouting a la Mayock

They also have a glossary of terms Mike Mayock uses. This could be helpful when you're watching the Scouting Combine, but you'll sound silly if you use some of these in conversations about prospects. I'll list his terms without the definitions and add my own comments:


  • Road Grader -- Not silly. This term is so common that many people think of a powerful run-blocking offensive lineman when they hear it more than the piece of heavy machinery that the term comes from.
  • Natural Bender -- Also common. Bending at the knees is important because it allows you to get good leverage without sacrificing balance. Linemen who can't bend well often have to give up one to get the other, at least when facing an opponent that has his feet set. If you lean too much to get leverage (because you can't bend well), what happens when your opponent changes directions? You might get chucked aside or fall over...or more importantly, lose leverage. If you try to stay balanced and not lean, you won't get good leverage and can get shoved around.
  • Downhill Thumper -- Yeah, this one too.
  • Heavy-Legged Waist Bender -- I'm more inclined to separate these terms. I talk about Waist Benders or at least "bend" and "flexibility" a thousand times in almost every article I write. Heavy-Legged? I'd rather talk about heavy feet (or light/quick feet). Heavy-Legged seems a bit confusing to me. Is it talking about flexibility, agility, quickness, footwork, range, or what? It's unclear without the context.
  • High Motor -- Another common one.
  • Burp the Baby -- Too silly. Just say the quarterback hesitated, didn't throw with anticipation, had trouble reading the coverage, or didn't trust his receiver (depending on which one it was). These are more specific and less ridiculous.
  • Gets Through Trash -- I'd say "Fights Through Trash", but this one's good. Generally used to describe a linebacker rather than a defensive lineman.
  • Quicker than Fast -- Self-explanatory.
  • Run the Arc -- This is a good one to know. A more specific term (that applies only to a few players) is: Dip, Bend, Flatten, Close. No one on the Browns rushes this way. They don't have the flexibility or balance. Think guys like Robert Quinn, Robert Mathis, Khalil Mack, Junior Galette, and Jerry Hughes. If someone says a pass rusher can dip and bend around the edge, this is what they're talking about.
  • Bubble Butt -- Really? This is at least understandable. I tend to say a player is "built low to the ground" or in certain cases "has a squatty build". "A thick lower half" is better too.
  • Sand in the Pants -- This term isn't bad but his explanation isn't so good. If a player "lacks the sand in the pants to anchor against bigger nose tackles", for example, we're talking about maybe a center or a guard that has trouble blocking more powerful players. This suggests it's due to the player lacking weight or strength, but sometimes the bigger issue with poor anchor is poor flexibility. Player's who can't bend enough to get good leverage can have trouble in this area no matter how huge or strong they are. But sometimes, it really is due to weight and strength.
  • Taffy Pull -- Couldn't just say something normal like stalemate...
  • Power Step -- This is a good one. When we're talking about a Power Step, this could be an interior lineman or a tackle. I'll use a left tackle as the example. His inside leg is often called his post leg (right leg). If a pass rusher takes an outside speed rush, he'll kick slide in an attempt to string him wide and cut that move off. If the rusher redirects or takes an inside move, the tackle will plant his inside leg (post leg) to stop him. With interior linemen, a bull rushing defensive tackle may hit them very hard. This drives them back half a step. They then plant that inside foot and drive off it, while keeping it planted in place, to stop the defender's push in it's tracks. It takes a certain degree of "Sand in the Pants" and flexibility to anchor like this.
  • Dancing Bear -- This isn't as silly as it sounds. People use this.
  • Phone Booth -- His definition is referring to a "Phone Booth Guy". Most people use it along the lines of "does well in a phone booth" or "can make people miss in a phone booth". In these cases, we're talking about how a player moves in the short area. The first being how agile an offensive lineman is and the second how elusive a running back, quarterback, or receiver is.
  • Get-Off -- Sure.
  • Space Player -- Good.
  • Oily Hips -- Loose hips or fluid hips.
  • Body Beautiful -- I'd stick with "showed up in good shape".
  • J.A.G. -- "Just A Guy" isn't bad. This player isn't special. Maybe an end of the roster type or player not likely to stick in the league. But saying "JAG" might be confusing, considering we have a team that some people call the Jags. But at least there's some humor to be found here: It sounds like you're saying "This player's bad enough to be a Jacksonville Jaguar."