A term for an offensive play in which the quarterback takes the snap and runs to the outside of the offensive line with the intent of running with the football. A bootleg can either be a regular run, or can be a misdirection run in the opposite direction of the rest of the offense, which is called a "naked" bootleg. The bootleg is usually used as a changeup play to keep the defense off-balance.
Bootlegs are most effective when the team has an athletic quarterback who can run with the football. Typically, a team will call a bootleg when a defense is aggressively pursuing a team's running plays. The advantage to a bootleg is that the defense may react to the fake run, leaving the opposite side open for the quarterback to gain yardage. The risk behind a bootleg is that if the defense does not react to the play fake, the quarterback will be completely exposed behind the line of scrimmage and vulnerable to a big hit.