Most football fans have either seen or heard the term toe drag in reference to a player catching the ball in football.
Though many fans don’t know what this term means, or why these receivers do it. Luckily this guide is on hand to break down everything you need to know about toe-drags in football.
A toe drag in football refers to the act of a wide receiver dragging both his pointed toes across the turf in order to keep them in bounds as he catches the football.
Toe drags help the officials determine whether a pass is completed or is ruled incomplete.
Why Do Receivers Do It?
There are three main reasons that receivers drag their toes when catching the football. The first is that extending your feet out to a toe drag makes it easier for your feet to stay in inbounds.
The second is that the trailing of your feet allows the turf pellets to shoot up into the air. And finally, the toe drag acts as a clear way for the refs to see multiple body parts in bounds.
Have you ever been reaching for an object on a high shelf and went on to your tippy toes to get higher? If so you’ve followed the same thought process as a y receiver.
On these players, the receivers are usually reaching for the ball. If you were to remain with your feet flat you are going to lose about three to five inches from your reach.
By stretching your feet out to your tippy toes you’ll find your body is at a full extension. This will allow you to catch balls that are well out of bounds. All while keeping your toes behind the white line.
The other reason that football players tend to toe drag is to alert the ref via turf pellets. When playing on a turf field a toe rag is going to shoot up pellets in the area that your toes travelled. In other words, when you drag your toes it will be followed by a wake of pellets from the turf.
What this does is give the ref a visual signal that your feet were inbounds. If the ref is able to see to lines of turf pellets pop up in the playing area he will know that your feet were dragging in bounds.
The difference this makes in the refs calls is hard to measure but in football every inch counts.
Clear Body Parts In Bounds
In the game of football it is not only your feet that declare your body in bounds. Getting two feet in bounds will count but so will your but, shin, knee etc…
NFL players are able to declare themselves inbounds in many different ways. But much like the turf pellets you want to make it as easy for the referees as possible.
The easiest body part to measure inbounds is the feet. By catching the ball and moving your feet in unison you are going to make the refs job very easy. Toe dragging is the expected way to catch difficult passes near the sideline.
This means this is likely what the ref is going to be looking for. In order to not have any bad calls go against make it easy for the ref to see you are in bounds. You can do this by performing a clear toe drag with both feet.
What Does Toe Drag Swag Mean
The term toe drag swag has been used by NFL media in a way to show off the coolest toe drag plays throughout the season. This term was made popular by the segment toe-drag swag on Good Morning Football.
When the toe drag segment is played the host of good morning football will recap the top toe dragging plays of the week.