A technique in which a running back or receiver will change direction and quickly move upfield in order to gain yardage. A good cut will avoid the defense while using available offensive players as blockers to keep defensive players in disadvantage places. An effective running back will be able to use quick and powerful cuts through holes made by their blockers in order to maximize the amount of yardage gained. Running plays are designed to make lanes for a player to cut through.
The best running backs make quick cuts upfield through the offensive line, using a combination of speed and power to slash downfield and gain yardage. For other players, a cut can simply mean a quick change of direction in order to avoid defenders or dodge defenders who have overrun the play. A receiver can make a catch and then make a quick cut to try and gain yardage after the receiving the pass.