Why Do Quarterbacks say Omaha?


Why Do Quarterbacks say Omaha?

I am sure many people out there have heard the quarterback of a football team yelling out his cadence before calling hike to start a certain play in motion. I always found it to be confusing with all of the different and random words that they use to communicate with his teammates before a play is run, but now I understand that a lot of the time the quarterback is not actually speaking in legitimate football terms, but rather trying to confuse the players on the defensive side of the ball before the ball is snapped.

One of the more common words used in a pre-play cadence is Omaha. The word Omaha actually has no real significance to what play is about to be run or if there is an audible to change the play from a run to a pass or vice versa. The fact of the matter is that the quarterback is trying to draw the defensive players offside and mess up the timing of their jumps so that they do not get in there and sack him or tackle the running back for a loss of yards. The sudden yelling of a word such as Omaha can really rattle an opposing player and make so that he does not ever really have a good read on where the play is eventually going to go or when the ball is going to be hiked.

It is very important for a quarterback to always have the upper hand on the defensive players because they are the ones who primarily have the ball in their hands and run the show. If the defensive players ever get the snap count down or realize what the different cadences really mean, the quarterback and entire offensive tea, are going to be struggling mightily for the remainder of the game. To avoid this issue, quarterbacks need to be the smartest and quickest players on the field at all times so that they can adjust on the fly if it is needed.

Author: radan

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3 Responses

  1. ross

    August 26, 2010 9:49 am

    this is untrue, Omaha is actually the the word quarterbacks use to tell his team mates that the play-clock is running and they need to hurry up.

    • bob

      November 14, 2013 11:43 pm

      No, Omaha means that the next ‘set, hut…” is the live one. Omaha is first called in the huddle, which means any ‘set, huts’ they hear before omaha is called are not real snap counts

  2. Dillon

    November 13, 2014 12:24 am

    “Omaha” is just what Peyton was using that got a lot of attention. For the HS team I played on “green” said it was first down, “blue” was second and “red” was third. A digit number would tell my team if the call was for real. The third was one of four or so plays we’d use. But the first word was supposed to get everybody’s attention. So “green, 6, 31” might mean things didn’t look for the original call, or it might mean “check out the chick on the second row”.

    What was always fun was to use the same (invalid) audible sequence a couple of times & run the same play. Then do the same (invalid) sequence but run a different play.

    In HS a lot of the guys would put the play sequences on tape on their wrists, but additional sequences that were ****.

    “Split I right, 24, deep left, 3, on 2”. Dumb jocks? Not on the field, but most didn’t stand a chance in the classroom. I bailed when some of the guys started weighing at twice my weight.


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