Why Does Quarterback Says Blue 80 In Football? (Reasons Explained!)

Last Updated on October 15, 2023 by Alex PT

Quarterbacks say “Blue 80” in football as part of their cadence, which is the set of words and numbers they call out before a play that helps the rest of the offensive players know when the play is about to begin. The phrase “Blue 80” has no specific meaning, but it is commonly used as a signal that the quarterback is about to snap the ball.

Reasons Why Quarterbacks Say Blue 80 During A Football Game

Reasons Why Quarterbacks Say Blue 80 During A Football Game

As a die-hard fan who watches football games frequently, it is normal for you to notice quarterbacks trying to communicate with their teammates with some strange terminologies. The main reasons why a quarterback will use blue 80 as terminology to communicate with his teammates include; changing the play, describing the defense, starting the play, and changing the play. 

To Describe The Defense 

When a quarterback is trying to describe the defense, it is common to see him scream Blue 80 before a play. The term is normally used by quarterbacks to identify the middle linebacker during a football game. With that, the rest of the team will be able to know the opponent on the defense. 

Changing The Play

Another major reason why the quarterback may scream before the ball is snapped is to change the play. A quarterback looks at the defense of the opposition team before taking the field with his premeditated play. One of the jobs of a quarterback is to study the defensive formation of the opponent and inform the rest of the team about his observations. 

Nonetheless, a quarterback will begin his premeditated play when he notices that the defense of the opponents looks susceptible to his team’s intended to play. On the other hand, the quarterback makes an audible call immediately after he notices that the defense of the opposition team is rigid and very difficult to break. This audible call comes in the form of a code word to the rest of the team, to inform them about the change in the play. 

Furthermore, quarterbacks are very good when it comes to studying the opposition team. As soon as he notices that there’s a weakness in the defense of the opponent,  he’ll immediately swap plays. A weakness in the defense might include the star receiver having one-on-one coverage against a weak cornerback. The quarterback will call an audible as soon as he notices a way to manipulate the defense of the opponent. 

Blue 80 Quarterback Cadence 

Generally, quarterbacks are the players responsible for starting the play on the offense. Quarterbacks use a cadence to move all ten other players simultaneously. Wondering what cadence means? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! A cadence means a set of instructions that are normally called out by the quarterback used to inform the center when to snap the ball during the game. A quarterback has a vital role in the team, especially in big leagues like the NFL. He can make class and run the play, use a hard count to fool the defense of the opposition team, kill the play and move to the next. All of the scenarios that we mentioned here happen at the line of scrimmage as the quarterback is positioned under the center. 

Using Blue 80 As A Hard Count

When it’s a hard count, the quarterback may make a call to use the cadence blue 80 which is quite effective and efficient. What does a hard count mean? It happens when a quarterback has done his regular cadence and then he bluff it at the end. We’ve seen professional football players like Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton handling a hard count. What they do is shout “but* in a loud manner at the end after going through their regular cadence, signaling to the center not to snap the football.

Why Do Quarterbacks Yell Colors Before The Ball Is Snapped?

  1. Code Communication:
    One of the main reasons that quarterbacks yell colors out is to relay coded instructions to their teammates. These signals, provided through colors, digits, or codes, are disguised as dummy calls designed to deceive and blur the opponent’s understanding of the play.
  2. Audible Calls:
    Often times when quarterbacks are yelling colors, they are implementing what is known as an “audible.” This is a tactic used for changing the play at the line of scrimmage if the quarterback identifies a better play based on the defense’s formation.
  3. Adjusting Blocking Assignments:
    Through these color-coded signals, a quarterback can also adjust blocking assignments. For example, they might signal a particular color to assign specific linemen or backs a different player to block.
  4. Determining the Snap Count:
    The color shout could also be part of the snap count. A snap count involves rhythmic shouts or signals to point out when the center should snap the ball. The call often includes a color to help the offensive group synchronize their movements.
  5. Directing Receiver Routes:
    Colors can also be used to direct receivers and tight ends to adjust their routes. A quarterback might verbally call a color “route” or numeric signal to instruct a receiver to modify their pre-set route based on the defensive setup.
  6. Disguising Intention:
    Oftentimes, quarterbacks will also use color calls as misinformation. The aim is to scream a series of colors that are meant to confuse the opponent, rather than relay important team information.
Code CommunicationRelaying coded instructions to teammates
Audible CallsChanging the play at the line of scrimmage
Adjusting Blocking AssignmentsAssigning specific linemen or backs a different player to block
Determining the Snap CountPointing out when the center should snap the ball
Directing Receiver RoutesInstructing a receiver to modify their pre-set route
Disguising IntentionConfusing the opponent with misinformation

Why Do Quarterbacks Point To Their Helmet Before The Ball Is Snapped?

Quarterbacks point to their helmets before the ball is snapped in football for communication purposes. This action is part of a coded system to convey information to their teammates and ensure everyone is on the same page. Here’s why they do it:

  1. Changing the Play: Sometimes, the quarterback receives a play call from the coach, but they want to change it based on the defensive alignment or other factors. Pointing to their helmet signals to their teammates that they are switching to an alternative play, often called an “audible.”
  2. Adjusting the Snap Count: Quarterbacks may also use this gesture to adjust the snap count. By pointing to their helmet, they can indicate a change in the timing of the snap to catch the defense off guard, prevent them from anticipating the snap, or to draw the defense offside.
  3. Concealing Communication: Pointing to the helmet is a discreet way for quarterbacks to communicate with their teammates without alerting the opposing defense. It can be challenging for the defense to interpret these signals and adapt quickly.
  4. Maintaining Secrecy: In a noisy stadium with crowd noise or when the quarterback wants to keep the element of surprise, pointing to the helmet helps prevent the defense from hearing audible calls or snap count changes.
  5. Team Coordination: It’s a non-verbal way to coordinate with the offensive line, wide receivers, and running backs, ensuring they understand the adjustments and changes in real time.
  6. Misdirection: Sometimes, quarterbacks use the helmet tap as a form of misdirection to keep the defense guessing about the actual play or snap count.


We’ve prepared a list of the frequently asked questions and answers. Let’s go through them! 

Why Do They Say Blue 42 In Football?

When. A set of people are trying to make fun of the cadence of a quarterback, then the term “Blue 42” is normally used. And the offense gets ready for contact instead of the quarterback getting to the line of scrimmage and yelling “Go!”. 

What Does Green 18 Mean, Aaron Rodgers? 

Formally known as “in the huddle”, it is the normal snap count and plays called. Aaron Rodgers is one of the popular football players who normally make the Green 18 calls during a football game. 

What Does The Quarterback Shout? 

In the game of American football, quarterbacks are known to be more outspoken than the other members of a team. They shout special code words like “Blue 42, Texas 29, Blue 80, White 80, and so on. You can also see a quarterback throwing the ball at the ground to halt the official game clock.

Is The Quarterback The Only Player Responsible For Calling Blue 80? 

Yes! That’s one of his roles on the pitch. He starts the play on the offense. So, he has to study the defense of the opposition team.  

Final Words – Wrapping It Up! 

Just like we said earlier, blue 80 is yelled out by the quarterback during a football game because it is more like an audible signal for communication with the offense. The offense of a team uses the blue 80 as a code word for effective communication. You shouldn’t be surprised anymore when you the quarterbacks screaming “Blue 80” and “White 80” before the ball is snapped during an NFL game. We’ve reached the closing chapter of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good resources in your quest to know why does quarterback says blue 80. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks.



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