drop back

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See also: dropback and drop-back



drop back (third-person singular simple present drops back, present participle dropping back, simple past and past participle dropped back)

  1. (American football) Of a quarterback or other player in the backfield, to take a number of steps back from the line of scrimmage immediately after the snap or hike of the ball, to avoid defenders.
    The Tiger quarterback is dropping back to pass.
  2. To move to a lower (or slower) position in a race or competition; to slow down so as to meet up with someone behind oneself
  3. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see drop,‎ back.
    • 2020 August 7, Jonathan Liew, “Phil Foden stars to offer Manchester City glimpse of multiple futures”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Without the ball, he was often the furthest player forward, harrying Raphaël Varane and Éder Militão and cutting off the supply to Casemiro (all of whom had wretched games). When City won the ball, meanwhile, he dropped back, slipping between the lines, demanding the ball and laying it off economically.


drop back (plural drop backs)

  1. (American football) The act by a player in the backfield of dropping back from the line of scrimmage after the hike of the ball.
    With his ankle injury his drop back is not pretty.

Related terms[edit]