Pocket passers are outdated


“Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and the Packers break the huddle.” by Mike Morbeck is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Gone are the days of quarterbacks just staying in the pocket and passing.

NFL quarterbacks are trying to create their own plays, get out of the pocket and make something out of nothing. These types of quarterbacks are called “dual-threat quarterbacks”, and they are slowly taking over the NFL.

The reason for quarterbacks having to get out of the pocket and make plays is due to defenses being faster and calling more blitzes.

Dual-threat QBs are not new. Steve Gorgan was one of the first dual-threat QBs. Dual-threats were seen more frequently in the 1980s, but were still a rarity.

The faces of these types of QBs were Steve Young and Randall Cunningham. They were seen as dynamic and different types of players, and people loved seeing them play.

As these players retired, more players became dual-threat QBs. One that can be highlighted is Michael Vick, who is arguably the greatest dual-threat QB ever. He holds the record for most rushing yards of all time by a QB at 6,109 yards.

Vick is often said to be the best QB in Madden history and was literally considered to be a cheat code in Madden 2004. He inspired many young kids to want to play like him.

That leads us into today’s NFL, where dual-threat QBs are outperforming pocket passers.

Aaron Rodgers sparked a huge change in the MVP winners. Before him winning MVP in 2011, the last dual-threat QB to win MVP was Steve Young in 1992. 

Since then, two dual-threat QBs in the following eight years won an MVP as well. This isn’t a coincidence as five of the past eight Super Bowls featured a dual-threat QB. 

Lamar Jackson is currently 8-2 and just beat arguably the greatest pocket passer of all time a few weeks ago, giving Tom Brady his first loss all season. Defenses are not ready for the QB to get out of the pocket and run like a running back.

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are also 8-2 and recently just beat the previously-undefeated 49ers. He is another dual-threat QB and MVP favorite.

Aaron Rodgers has been dominating the league for years, and he is still on top of the league right now.

Patrick Mahomes won the MVP last season by a landslide and was favored to win it again this year before he got injured. It’s not a surprise that he is a dual-threat QB.

Teddy Bridgewater, a back-up QB for the Saints who is also a dual-threat, served as a replacement for Drew Brees while he was out and went 5-0. 

Deshaun Watson is right behind Wilson and Jackson in the MVP race and he is an exciting dual-threat QB.

The top five quarterbacks in the league are all dual-threats QBs. Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson are all dual-threat QBs. As you can see, dual-threat QBs are on top of the league right now.

These players don’t start in the NFL. Dual-threat QBs dominate in college. Eight of the past nine Heisman winners have been dual-threat QBs. The last pocket passer to win the Heisman was Sam Bradford in 2008.

NFL teams are starting to notice that dual-threat QBs are out performing pocket passers. When greats like Brees and Brady retire, it will mark the end of the pocket passing era and begin the dual-threat QB era for young players like Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson to take over.