A slang term in football that refers to a running back that is valued for speed and athletic ability over size and brute strength.
A "scatback" is a halfback or tailback and is more of a utility back than a traditional running back. Whereas a traditional tailback or fullback tends to run vertically through offensive tackles, relying on power to shrug off and shed tacklers, scatbacks are more versatile, and are often used in rushing plays to the outside parts of the field. Since scatbacks possess more speed, they can reach the outside and "turn the corner" faster than traditional backs, beating defenders and gaining yardage away from the largest mass of players on the field.
Quick running backs like the scatback also tend to be the target of more receptions from the quarterback, receiving screen passes and passes in the flat. They are more of a threat in the open field, as their size and speed can cause defenders to miss tackles, creating a larger potential for big plays. Since scatbacks also tend to be smaller than many players, they can use their size to their advantage by hiding behind the offensive line, making it harder for defenses to locate them during a play. Some scatbacks will also often play a role on special teams as kickoff and punt returners, using their speed and maneuverability to provide their team with good field position.