What Is A One Cut Back In Football

In the game of football, there are many different styles of running backs that can play the position effectively.

A one cut running back is the sort of back that has incredible vision and the ability to make sharp cuts exposing holes in the defense.

Pros And Cons Of One Cut Running Backs



The biggest positive of a one cut back is their vision and spatial awareness. These players are able to read the defenders better than any other style of running back.

This can mean choosing the right hole to hit in the defensive line.

As well as have the vision and awareness to know where their blockers are. A one cut back will also have a better ability to let their blocks develop.

This is because they tend to have a better understanding of the locations of all players on the field.


Another benefit of a cutback is their ability to cut back. For those that don’t know a cutback refers to a player changing the direction of the play through a single cut.

An example of this would be a run to the right in which the running back starts to the right and then cuts to the left oftentimes catching the defenders off guard.

The vision of a one-cut back allows them to notice these cutbacks opportunities more often.

Their agility and hard cuts also allow this manoeuvre to be more effective. Not to mention cutbacks can often lead to big plays as defensive players will often be out of position.

Positive Yardage

Due to the one cuts backs ability to choose the correct path you will find they rarely lose yards. These are not the sort of running backs that you find juking around the backfield looking for a place to go.

One cut backs will know if the blocking is not sufficient and will typically pick up whatever few yards they can.


Rarely Make Multiple Players Miss

One issue with one cut backs is that they are not typically the kind of player to juke out a whole defense. These backs are more efficient than they are elusive style backs. This means if you find multiple players in your backfield it will be tough for this back to avoid them.

He may be able to pick the right path and start running north/south but he will rarely make something out of nothing.

Don’t Typically Have Elite Speed

Though it is not always the case one cut backs often do not have elite speed. Runners like Arian Foster or Matt Forte come to mind in this category. These backs did not have great top-end speed but were still able to bust off many long runs due to their vision.

The issue is that these backs don’t have homerun speed meaning it is rare they will outrun defenders in the secondary on the way to a touchdown. This is something that is mostly done by scatbacks or three-down backs.

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