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Red Dog

What is Red Dog?

This is a label used in football placed on a linebacker whose objective on a given play is to get to the quarterback and tackle or disrupt his pass attempt. The play is most commonly known as a blitz, and involves one or more players behind the line of scrimmage attempting to break through and getting to the quarterback. A successful blitz requires many players, but the player doing the blitzing is known as a red dog.

Sporting Charts explains Red Dog

The label came from sports announcer Bob Fouts, who saw a photo of his dog, an Irish Setter, a red colored dog, with his legs on the quarterback for the 49ers, whom he worked for at the time. Since the idea of a blitz is to get on top of the quarterback, Mr. Fouts thought this term would aptly apply and it has stuck ever since. It is sometimes used as a verb so that a, "blitzing linebacker," is "red-dogging."

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