Back in the 1960s when Sam Wyche played quarterback at Furman, the play-action pass was called the "Belly" series.
"You'd put the ball right in the belly of the back, and you would either give it to him or pull it back," Wyche explained.
He is better known for introducing the no-huddle as a standard offense when he was head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, but Wyche is also an authority on the play-action pass. Here are a few of his favorite quarterbacks who mastered that rare art form:
"I was lucky to learn from Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, too. I thought Joe was an outstanding ball-handler. [He would] give the illusion that something's about to happen -- it's happened so many times over in the study of film -- that the players have to react to it."
"I remember Boomer used to really emphasize -- 'This is a run-action play.' What he was saying quickly to the linemen is 'I need a little extra time now, because this one is going to go down the field. We've got to give that receiver time to run.' Boomer was a little bit unusual because he was left-handed, so a lot of those fakes were coming at the side they weren't used to seeing."
"He could literally make the ball disappear. In fact, sometimes in practice the ball would be stuffed under his shirt with a I-don't-know-where-it-is kind of look on his face. It's a lot like prestidigitation, magic, sleight of hand."
"Clearly, of all the guys I haven't coached, Peyton Manning would be among the best. When you break it down, what Peyton does is a thing of beauty. When you're sitting in the stands, you don't watch the guards and tackles play. They watch the ball, then suddenly the ball disappeared and then it pops up again. That's performance. That's entertainment."
-- Greg Garber