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Old 06-17-2013, 09:06 AM    (permalink
Iamcanadian
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Default Will running QB's face a new reality in this coming season?

NFL defensive coordinators have had an off season to plan how to defend against running QB's and it is my guess that they will all have very short careers if they continue to carry a heavy load running the ball. RB's have seen their careers set at about 5 years because of the punishment their legs take and defensive coordinators are definitely going to attack QB's legs every time they carry the ball and try to put them out of the game.

Is Griffin just the first to pay the price or will it become a trend for all running QB's? If running QB's carry a heavy load, is it just a matter of time before they get blindsided and are carried off the field especially as teams plan how to attack them? It doesn't matter that 15 times a game, they avoid injury by sliding, it just takes one failed attempt and their career can end or at least their season. QB's aren't built like RB's who often have the thick thighs necessary for survival in the NFL, QB's have bodies that are built for passing a ball and I doubt they can survive a season running the ball after defensive coordinators have spent the off season planning on how to injury them if they do.

Should be an interesting season!!!
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:22 AM    (permalink
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I think it depends on the running QB. If it's Michael Vick or Bob body mold injury is more likely than someone build like Colin K and Cam Newton. Also, the play design by the 49ers help protect Colin K. They have designed QB running plays that are well drawn up. I posted this in our section and talked to the 9ers fans about this as well.

I am also interested to see how these QBs do this season. I know a lot of staffs send coaches to various schools and learn how to stop these offenses. So let's see how it can be done now.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:00 PM    (permalink
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I don't think running QBs were ever the future. A pocket passer that has some wheels, sure. We're seeing that with Luck, Kaepernick, Newton, Rogers, Wilson, etc.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:19 PM    (permalink
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I think once D Coordinators are able to break down how often the teams run and how etc... it will force the QBs to beat you with their arm...


I dont care who you are the most effective way for a Offense to move is through the air, so a QB is still going to be required to throw it.

Hence why a pocket passer is still the ideal QB, with that said i think a select few of the "new" QBs will be able to throw it no problem...but alot of the QBs will get more attention on the ground forcing them to rely on their arms.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:48 PM    (permalink
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The media has been waiting the running QB since the days of Randel C. Then when Vick came into the league, the Nike brought that Michael Vick experiment themed ad campaign. Young had a good year, and soon the media was waiting for this to happen. Newton and Bob coming to the league, and now Wilson and Colin K's success basically made the media orgasm. All you hear is daily Bob updates and the network focuses on those QBs.

It's interesting because pocket passers have stood through time as reliable QBs that have won. Let's see if these duel threat guys can stay durable and make plays with their arm in the future.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:06 PM    (permalink
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It will be interesting, but i still think the best QB is a pocket passer that can threaten any defence on any part of the field.


If you are too reliant on your legs(Vick and maybe even RGIII) injuries will catch up. NOW with people like Newton(who i think makes to many bad decisions that lead to turnovers) that can take the punishment of running but can pass it will be interesting to see.


But time and time again a QB that can beat you on any part of the field through the air is something that you simply can phase out, there is a reason why the QBs that win the SB are capable of using nothing but their arm to beat you and its because no matter how big of a threat you are to run the ball it still comes down to being able to take advantage of bad coverage.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:20 PM    (permalink
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Can I just point out that the two times Griffin got hurt last year it was not on designed running plays he was scrambling.

Designed run plays by Griffin accounted for less than 1/10th of the 994 snaps the team took last year. The read option itself was used on 25% of Redskin snaps last season and Griffin took about 40% of them.

What Kyle Shanahan likes about the read option is that it seems to buy the QB more time than he has been used too. He said he is gonna keep it until it is figured out. The threat of Griffin's legs played a huge part in his success we will need a better line if he is going to become a pure pocket passer.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:34 PM    (permalink
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Can I just point out that the two times Griffin got hurt last year it was not on designed running plays he was scrambling.

Designed run plays by Griffin accounted for less than 1/10th of the 994 snaps the team took last year. The read option itself was used on 25% of Redskin snaps last season and Griffin took about 40% of them.

What Kyle Shanahan likes about the read option is that it seems to buy the QB more time than he has been used too. He said he is gonna keep it until it is figured out. The threat of Griffin's legs played a huge part in his success we will need a better line if he is going to become a pure pocket passer.
doesnt really change my reasoning... he was RUNNING around. A pure pocket passer would most likely throw it away in those scenarios


And RG3 is more in the Mike Vick build meaning he is one good hit away from having a concussion or rib injury etc... Newton and Kaepernick are built to take hits that come with using their legs.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:21 PM    (permalink
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Can I just point out that the two times Griffin got hurt last year it was not on designed running plays he was scrambling.

Designed run plays by Griffin accounted for less than 1/10th of the 994 snaps the team took last year. The read option itself was used on 25% of Redskin snaps last season and Griffin took about 40% of them.

What Kyle Shanahan likes about the read option is that it seems to buy the QB more time than he has been used too. He said he is gonna keep it until it is figured out. The threat of Griffin's legs played a huge part in his success we will need a better line if he is going to become a pure pocket passer.
This is a dumb argument. Yes, he was hurt on designed pass plays. But maybe the running plays that led to more hits than the average QB started to add up?

As for using it until it is figured out... most defenses will have it figured out before October.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:20 PM    (permalink
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Also the good QBs all have mobility to some extent and the ability to sense the pass rush and move around in the pocket. That pocket awareness which allows them to then decide to move around effectively is good enough to allow them to make plays.

It's not like the guys are statues likes Kerry Collins or Drew Bledsoe where once you get pressure they are done for.

I will take a traditional QB, pocket passer, over a QB like Vick any day.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:16 PM    (permalink
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how many sacks will them "trying to excape a sack" lead to instead of just throwing it away?

There is two sides to everything, being athletic enough to escape a sack also brings extra hits... look at Big Ben he is often able to escape a sack or keep a play alive but he is often ALWAYS nursing a injury... As opposed to a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady that get rid of the ball so quick when things are breaking down they they often 1) get rid of it or 2) get a unnecessary roughness call because they get rid of it

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Old 06-17-2013, 04:21 PM    (permalink
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how many sacks will them "trying to excape a sack" lead to instead of just throwing it away?
You're still given the shot at the Quarterback if they are releasing it as you get there. Dodging someone will lessen an impact more than throwing it and getting popped.

It's all just theoretical arguments. Injuries happen in football. Tom Brady stepped into a throw, had his knee destroyed. Peyton Manning messed up his neck. Drew Brees had his shoulder destroyed. No matter who you are, you're going to get hurt at some point.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:26 PM    (permalink
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i agree injuries will occur, we obviously agree on that but i think having a QB that is more prone to use his legs is not all good there are inherent dangers that go along with it
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:19 PM    (permalink
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The Redskins may have run the RO 25% of the time, but they also ran PA off of it and designed zone runs to the RB out of the gun from a RO look. They also ran a lot of quick screens. The reason why the offense was so good was the threat of the deep ball because of his accuracy.

And they used a lot of bootleg action to get him into space.

The offense worked well last year, but it was definitely suited to his strengths and DCs given a whole year to study it now have a leg up they didn't have last year.

But RGIII is so dynamic as a player that it might not matter, and their offense might evolve into a more traditional (wow, now run&shoot and WCO passing concepts are considered traditional!) NFL passing attack.

As long as their zone running game is clicking, RGIII's legs are still a THREAT, and he has that deep accuracy, their offense should be OK.

As for OP's premise, it's really difficult to predict injuries so I think watching DCs try to STOP that offense is more important to analyze.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:18 AM    (permalink
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The Redskins may have run the RO 25% of the time, but they also ran PA off of it and designed zone runs to the RB out of the gun from a RO look. They also ran a lot of quick screens. The reason why the offense was so good was the threat of the deep ball because of his accuracy.

And they used a lot of bootleg action to get him into space.

The offense worked well last year, but it was definitely suited to his strengths and DCs given a whole year to study it now have a leg up they didn't have last year.

But RGIII is so dynamic as a player that it might not matter, and their offense might evolve into a more traditional (wow, now run&shoot and WCO passing concepts are considered traditional!) NFL passing attack.

As long as their zone running game is clicking, RGIII's legs are still a THREAT, and he has that deep accuracy, their offense should be OK.

As for OP's premise, it's really difficult to predict injuries so I think watching DCs try to STOP that offense is more important to analyze.
Good Post. I was really just referring to the component of the Offense where RG3 was a genuine option to run as per the OP, but you are spot on many things led from the threat of RG3 running.

During the season where the playcall was a straight RG3 run without the RO the plays were not that successful, the TD in the Vikings game being the obvious exception.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:55 PM    (permalink
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As for Kaep and Wilson.

First, Kaep. He is actually a scarier running threat for defenses and probably more effective because of his insane offensive line and as a complement to their power running game. So teams really don't like to play man against him because once he breaks contain he's gone AND he can scramble up the middle (or even run a lead draw up the gut).

So teams didn't really mix stuff up pre snap because you can't have moving parts against that running attack. So when they played zone, Kaep knew it. So he has the ability to make plays against stagnant, blatant zone looks, be it C2, 3, or 4. All he has to do is prepare during the week and read the safeties pre snap. He carved up Atlanta and GB doing this.

However, this season he'll miss Crabs who was a terrific route runner and knows how to beat zone defenses.

Also, Kaep is actually more green than the two second-year players because of when he got the job. This will be his first offseason as the guy, and DCs having a half season worth of tape on him does help immensely in trying to gameplan for him. What I expect is for defenses to try to confuse him pre snap with rotating safeties and mixing up coverages, and/or bite the bullet and play man on the outside (his receivers are either unproven or underwhelming - yes Boldin was superhuman in the playoffs but he doesn't get open as much as you'd like). The problem is that few teams can play man on the outside. The perfect defense, that worked against them, is Seattle's press man coverage with ET in the MOF (and St. Louis' to an extent). But, evne in that SNF thrashing, Seattle did give up their fair share of runs.

In the end it always comes down to the chess match + execution.

So basically, I expect Kaep to struggle some because the game is going to change mentally for him and I'm not sure he can handle it. I'm not saying he won't, but he's going to see a lot of different looks and he's only got 11 games under his belt and is missing a really good receiver that he had a rapport with. This is a completely different situation than when he took the job. Now he needs to have a full grasp on EVERYTHING they do (and they do A LOT just by formations - where losing Walker might hurt a little also). For all of Smith's flaws, he was definitely a hard-working leader in that respect and also an intelligent and traveled veteran football mind with tons of experience - he embraced Harbaugh's philosophy of limit turnovers/pre-snap reads rather than post snap adjustments/run with the lead and really worked it masterfully. Kaep did in limited action, but there are just so many changes in his situation this year. They still have their awesome OL and coaching staff which is probably most important, but their play-calling will have to be on point and dynamic for DCs not to make fruitful adjustments going into games against the Niners.

And Wilson - the Seahawks ran RO about 7% of the time and Wilson is more a of a scrambler to buy time rather than a runner. He's small but I like his body to hold up for two reasons: 1) He's built compact and isn't long. 2) he's very smart not only with running out of bounds and sliding but he also knows how to brace for hits and take hits in such a way that he doesn't really allow direct shots. Neither RGIII nor Kaep do this as well as him.

The Hawks used a lot of PA, boots, and rollouts designed to get him into space as a playmaker but by the end of the season he was doing everything the modern passing attack asks of a player. See how he used Zach Miller over the middle against Atlanta and utilized both his outside receivers as big play threats (not necesarily on deep routes but also intermidiate outs on the sideline for 15-18 yard gains. These types of plays were essential and he didn't really start hitting them until midseason with any consistency.

But the key for Seattle is the versatility because they can run so effectively and if Wilson lives up to his reputation in terms of preparation, he's going to be ridiculous this season considering a stable of backs and of course as dynamic a weapon as there is.

The first challenge for Seattle, because they can do ANYTHING on offense, is for Bevell to use his resources in a way that won't overwhelm or misuse anyone. Harvin can't get lost like he did at times in Minny - they can't run predictable jet sweeps and bubbles on 2nd and 8 and have 3rd and longs all the time - they need to teach him a little bit how to really work the slot with option routes - I've always been underwhelmed with him there and confused as to how he wasn't completely dominant from inside. Rice and Tate need to be involved. And just because Wilson can do it all doesn't mean they should abandon the run. I could see them getting a little pass happy. It wouldn't be the worst thing, but that's not their identity. He can't give this group too much to take in, especially the newcomers.

The second challenge is for Tom Cable and the offensive line. Most importantly though, they need to stay healthy. Okung and Unger especially. Anything they get from Carpenter would be extra in my mind but realistically he has the potential to be a game changer. He could actually be the difference between a good season and a dominant one. And the RT Breno was inconsistent last year and made a bunch of dumb mistakes. For the OL it's all execution. I do love that they have experience together - this will be their second-ish season as a unit together.

Needless to say, I'm intrigued.

But in the end, it's execution that separates good coaches from great ones. And I firmly believe that all coaches in the NFL are good... maybe some are a little overmatched intellectually during the chess match during the week and on game day, but good coaches always have good players.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:46 AM    (permalink
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I think that a lot of the read option stuff will drop off as defense get used to it and because of the risk of injury to your star QB. I do think it is a very valuable crutch for a young QB as they develop as passers. It helps the run game open up and it give the QB simpler coverage looks. Over time I think it becomes more of a threat the defense has to account for rather than a consistent attack. I'd think in Brady/Manning had the tools to run read options they would only do it once or twice a game at most to get the defensive adjustment advantage.

I just don't think the physical toll is worth the gains to run it consistently. Only Newton and Tebow have the physical build to handle the hits imo. Russel Wilson might do it a little for the advantage but it isn't his game. He is a scrambler not a runner & he knows when to slide. Kaep will need to use the read for a bit because I think he still needs a lot of development as a passer. I'm not sure what happens with Griffin. Hopefully he still has the same type of explosion now, but I don't think he runs it nearly as much as he did this past year.

I wish we could get a new rookie Mike Vick instead of the 32 year old one. It will be fun to see him in Kelly's offense. RG3 has amazing speed but Vick was just much quicker.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:07 AM    (permalink
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There's nothing to figure out about the read option because it's not any team's primary offensive play call. The SKins run it about 20-25% of their play calls. Good luck to any D trying to lock in on it. And if you send too many defenders to bottle it up, a good OC is going to run a wicked play action fake and throw to a wide open TE/WR in the middle of the field.

Kyle says he'll stop running the read option when it's no longer effective and I just don't see a time when defenses are in the backfield blowing the play up before it gets started.

Kaepernick and Harbaugh IMO have near unlimited options with what CK can do. His game speed once he gets going is among the best in the game for any QB and if he's really close to 235-240#, he can take the occasional hit and shake it off.

Every team WANTS a mobile QB. They don't have to have the athletic ability to switch positions and play another skill position, but even guys like Matt Ryan and Eli are decent athletes for the QB spot; coordinated athletes who can pick up 10-15 yards on a scramble if needed.

Joe Flacco is another guy who's mobility and speed is underrated.

It's just hard in today's game to get by with a guy who's nearly immobile in the pocket.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:31 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, I still donít see a ďrunningĒ quarterback revolutionizing the game. Thatís been a clichť for athletic quarterbacks for quite some time, but the idea seems to have gained further momentum after last season. In the end, a quarterback needs to cross a competent threshold in the pocket in order to succeed against NFL defenses. Because, in essence, the effectiveness of the zone-read relies on a quarterbackís competence as a thrower. Itís a mathematical advantage in a numberís game. Thatís it. Itís not something thatís going to create quarterbacking talent that doesnít exist. At best, itís something thatís going to camouflage certain deficiencies of a talented passer. If the quarterback canít threaten a defense with stick throws, itís game over. Defensive coordinators will just sit in variations of Cover 1 man-free, negate the numerical advantage, and force a struggling passer to string together a series of throws to beat them.

As a defensive coach, itís near impossible to erase each concept, given capable offensive execution. You just want to reduce the number of possibilities available to them and find favorable outcomes. Itís about being comfortable with what the offense needs to execute in order to win.

And, along those lines, if I had to guess, I think one of the first strategies that defensive coordinators will attempt against the zone-read is eliminating conflict altogether. The element of conflict is the creative linchpin of the read-option concepts. Defenders that think fast defend fast. When a quarterback sticks the ball out and creates that mesh point, it freezes defenders and leaves them flat-footed. Does he crash? Does he contain? Outside of dictating the next action, it doesnít matter. When left with a simple read, a smart runner like RGIII or Cam or Kaepernick or Wilson is going to make the ďcorrectĒ decision versus an isolated defender. You crash, he breaks containment. You contain, he hands off to a crashing runner.

In that sense, the first defender is irrelevant. Short of a superhuman individual effort, he canít win. Conflict schemed him out. So what changes? Eliminate the conflict and define the responsibilities. Since the first man canít win regardless, change where the battle is fought. Dictate the decision. Donít strand the edge defender on an island. Crash on a mesh point and invite the quarterback to break containment, for example. Then make it about the second and/or third man to the ball. We started seeing some similar principles late last season.

In the Week 17 matchup between Dallas and Washington, the Redskins had initial success with the zone-read. On 1st & 10 with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter from the left hash, RGIII lined up in the pistol with 21 personnel (strong-side H-Back) against Dallasí odd-man front. At the snap, RGIII stuck out the ball for Alfred Morris. The arc blocker came across the formation. Right outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware crashed down under the arc blocker. RGIII tucked the ball and took off around the edge. Right inside linebacker Ernie Sims looped behind Ware to fill the vacated edge, but pushed his angle too far wide and the arc blocker ended up getting enough of him to give RGIII a big running lane. The result didnít favor Dallas, but the design is legitimate. With a proper angle, Ernie Sims gets a clean shot at RGIII at the line of scrimmage. And thereís not a coach, general manager, or owner in the NFL that wants their star quarterback eating those shots over a prolonged period of time.

Plus, there are possible wrinkles built off that design. Ware went under the arc blocker to meet Morris and left Sims in a situation where he got some resistance. Your edge defender might adopt a wedge-buster role and crash on the arc blocker to eliminate the quarterbackís shield. Your rotating linebacker might fill against the arc blocker on the edge and one of the in-the-box safeties gets the shot at the runner. The designs are multiple.

Over time, I think the counter-design and long-term application of the zone-read is using the misdirection to pass the ball. That can siphon coverage potential from the back seven and slow down a pass rush. But even thatís not indefensible. Again, itís about what a defense is willing to live with.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:27 AM    (permalink
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The rise of the running QB motif will stop getting as much press soon, simply because these guys will stop running as much as they take the next step on the path to becoming successful NFL QBs and will get handed more and more "traditional" responsibilities. And as these guys get better at reading defenses and riping them up with their arms they'll rely less and less on their legs, and as they run less and less we'll talk less and less about running QBs. The only way this doesn't happen is if these kids don't progress as passers and have to continue relying on their running to make them effective.

I brought up Elway on the previous page as he's the quintessential example of a phenomenal athlete who can make magic happen with his legs, but develops his passing until it overtakes his running to the point where his mobility is used almost entirely to avoid hits in the pocket, and not to weave his way down the field.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:12 PM    (permalink
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Elway is somewhat a good example for this. But Elway had one of the best arms the game has ever seen.... it just so happened that he was one of the better athletes to play QB also.

His transition from dual threat to Pocket passer i think was a scheme and age thing, he was already a good passer early in his career he just didnt have the talent around him so often his stats didnt reflect that..

Back to my point, Elway is a good example though because to last in the NFL as an athletic QB you can go to ways

1) Elway's - Transition from athlete to pocket passer

or

2) Steve Young - Athlete that used his running ability often that led to numerous concussions that cut his career short.


Obviously not everyone is going to fall into this...but as a general rule of thumb the more you run the more you are going to get hit and thus increase your chance to be injured and by taking off and running for say 10 yards you might not be looking at the wide open WR down the field for 30 yards..

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Old 06-18-2013, 12:37 PM    (permalink
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Elway is somewhat a good example for this. But Elway had one of the best arms the game has ever seen.... it just so happened that he was one of the better athletes to play QB also.

His transition from dual threat to Pocket passer i think was a scheme and age thing, he was already a good passer early in his career he just didnt have the talent around him so often his stats didnt reflect that..

Back to my point, Elway is a good example though because to last in the NFL as an athletic QB you can go to ways

1) Elway's - Transition from athlete to pocket passer

or

2) Steve Young - Athlete that used his running ability often that led to numerous concussions that cut his career short.


Obviously not everyone is going to fall into this...but as a general rule of thumb the more you run the more you are going to get hit and thus increase your chance to be injured and by taking off and running for say 10 yards you might not be looking at the wide open WR down the field for 30 yards..
No disagreements with this post, however I would question whether or not Elway was a good passer early in his career. I've always described Elway as a playmaker the first five years of his career and less an accomplished passer; Elway was a guy who could run well enough and pass competently enough for the Broncos to win games and get to SBs.

But it was the 4th quarter when Elway became an exceptional player and elevated his game.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:43 PM    (permalink
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Lets also not forget that pocket passers miss time for injuries as well. Brady & Manning have both missed a year. Tony Romo missed time 2 years ago I think after a sack against the Giants. Schaub missed the end of last year, Alex Smith obviously got injured too. Can't remember all of these injury situations, but they certainly aren't run-option QBs, just Qs trying to make a play.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:54 PM    (permalink
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Lets also not forget that pocket passers miss time for injuries as well. Brady & Manning have both missed a year. Tony Romo missed time 2 years ago I think after a sack against the Giants. Schaub missed the end of last year, Alex Smith obviously got injured too. Can't remember all of these injury situations, but they certainly aren't run-option QBs, just Qs trying to make a play.
Very true, but the difference is the injuries that occur to the pocket passer would be possible for any QB to get from a blindside sack etc.


Injuries that the mobile QBs would be getting would most likely not be applicable to the pocket QBs such as Mike Vicks ribs or Steve Youngs concussions...


im not saying mobile qbs are the only ones that get hurt, but they are raising their % of becoming a ball carrier and thus raising the number of times that they are potential targets.

This raise in targets and lowering their protection from the rules that QBs get... is a big cause for concern because while a blind side sack is very dangerous, factoring in lets say 120 rushing attempts and 36 sacks, that is allowing the D to hit your QB exponetially higher than say a pocket guy that gets sacked 21 times combined with 23 rushing attempts is around 1/3 of the possibilties that the D could Tee off on the QB and cause a potential injury.



**In a perfect world i would love a Peyton Manning with Cam Newton size and Mike Vicks Speed.... but its not possible, so with that said give me the guy that is not one rushing attempt from a bum ankle, rib or concussion. Give me a guy that will stand tall in the pocket and scan the field instead of just taking off once he feels a little pressure.


Longevity is what im going for in a franchise QB not someone that will make sports center a couple times a year but is hurt for a couple games also.

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Old 06-19-2013, 12:15 AM    (permalink
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Regarding Steve Young...

The majority of the diagnosed concussions he suffered were on designed pass plays.

The two, most major concussions are somewhat indicative. In 1997 versus the Buccaneers, Young attempted to avoid a broken pocket on a roll-out and was kneed in the head after being sacked.

The career-ending concussion in 1999, was a crushing sack, dead in the center of the pocket when Lawrence Phillips didn't pick up a blitz from Aeneas Williams.

Those two major concussions, with the last being the 2nd in 3 weeks (also behind the line of scrimmage) were what ended his career.

It would be difficult to directly correlate his knack for running the ball with these injuries.
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