carry the ball

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carry the ball

1. In American football, to literally hold the ball (and protect it in order to maintain possession) while attempting to advance it on the field, ultimately in pursuit of a touchdown. This is our last chance to tie the game, so I want Ross carrying the ball on this play.
2. By extension, to have a leading role in the completion or execution of a task or project. After I implemented that important initiative, the boss asked me to carry the ball on our next big project.
See also: ball, carry
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

carry the ball

 
1. Lit. to be the player who is relied on to gain yardage, especially in football. It was the fullback carrying the ball. Yes, Tom always carries the ball.
2. Fig. to be in charge; to be considered reliable enough to make sure that a job gets done. We need someone who knows how to get the job done. Hey, Sally! Why don't you carry the ball for us? John can't carry the ball. He isn't organized enough.
See also: ball, carry
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

carry the ball

Take charge, advance a cause, as in In our lab any of the assistants can carry the ball. This usage comes from such sports as football, where the ball-carrying player gives the team yardage or a touchdown. By the early 1900s it was being transferred to other endeavors.
See also: ball, carry
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

carry the ˈball

(American English, informal) take responsibility for getting something done: My co-worker was sick, so I had to carry the ball.We need a couple of Senators who will carry the ball for us in Congress.
See also: ball, carry
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

carry the ball

Informal
To assume the leading role; do most of the work.
See also: ball, carry
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
One of the great things about him is he's able to put in massive effort every time he carries the ball because he's super fit.
"Wellington is big, dynamic and carries the ball well.
"He hits hard and carries the ball well and against Fiji we know they are going to carry the ball hard, so we need stopping power.
He carries the ball so well, he moves his body and he runs at people, glides past them.
"Burgess is a guy who carries the ball strong but in union there are quite a few guys who carry the ball strong.
He carries the ball out of defence, is dangerous aerially from set-pieces and could be on free kicks now Rafael van der Vaart is gone.
UP FOR THE CUP: Left and above, it's all eyes on the ball in the cup final thriller between Lingdale and Loftus and, below, Tony Sivills celebrates after scoring for Loftus IN THE NET: Right, Ben Crooks' first goal for Lingdale in the cup final BATTLE IN THE BOX: Right, the action hots up in the cup final between Lingdale and Loftus ON A RUN: Loftus' Andrew Dent carries the ball forward HEAD TO HEAD: Right, Lingdale and Loftus battle for the ball during the Whitby Benevolent Cup final Pictures by KATIE LUNN GOAL JOY: Right, Ben Crooks hits the ball home for Lingdale and, left, it's celebration time
"And Ryan causes problems when he carries the ball like he did.
"Every time he carries the ball you're looking to run off his shoulder because you know he'll break the first tackle."
"Peter takes a great deal of pride in how he carries the ball and I thought he did a great job," said Morgan.
The nomination letter here carries the ball. Explicitly tell the judges the impact of the entry.
He's a good line-out player, carries the ball well, is hard working and has a high tackle count.
"He thinks about the game, he carries the ball well, he reads the game well as a captain and he has all the physical attributes of a modern back-rowforward."
The long-axis pass carries the ball away from pressure.
"Every time he carries the ball you're looking to run off his shoulder because you know he'll break the first tackle.'' "We seem to be clicking very well and sharing the workload.